When the news broke last night, I managed to misread all of the headlines and was convinced that High School Musical‘s Ashley Tisdale was one of many bubbly blondes who had signed up to appear in Scream 5. You know how those movies love to open with pretty, recognizable faces getting hacked and slashed by Ghostface before the credits even start. In fact, Scream 4 managed to go through two or three movies-within-a-movie, getting rid of Lucy Hale, Kristen Bell, and Aimee Teegarden.
But I was wrong: Ashley Tisdale isn’t appearing in Scream 5, she’s just been cast in Scary Movie 5. Sure, Ashley’s built her career on comedy, but I’m talking the silly, nonsensical Disney plotlines from HSM and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. I’m sorry, but it’s hard to take seriously a character named Sharpay. Even for the increasingly dumb Scary Movie franchise, Ashley’s experience is still a level below.
But what’s odd is that she may be the star, since Anna Faris has no plans to appear in Scary Movie 5 despite helming the first four movies. While promoting The Dictator, Anna told press, ”No, I don’t think I’m going to do it. I don’t think I’m part of that. I don’t know exactly what’s happening with it, but I hear it’s sort of in the works and stuff.” And why should she have to? In the six years since she last played Scary Movie‘s heroine Cindy, Anna has had major roles in movies like My Super Ex-Girlfriend and The House Bunny, played herself on Entourage, and even attempted to graduate to rom-com heroine in What’s Your Number? She’s bigger than that now.
But is Ashley the right person to take over? I will give her this: She played a spot-on parody of Toddlers & Tiaras‘ fearsome contestant Makenzie at age 25 in a Funny Or Die video last fall.
The Weinstein Company’s press release says that Ashley will play “one of the leads,” implying that she may be helped along by more seasoned comic actors. We also know that whereas the past movies’ plots have directly mocked Scream, Signs, and War of the Worlds, the fifth installment will focus on the psychological thriller Black Swan:
The story in Scary Movie 5 involves the dance world, with a snooty, aloof, imperious, and oversexed French director of a dance company named Pierre putting on a huge production. Jody, a Caucasian late-20′s mother of two and her late-20′s African American friend Kendra are both vying for the lead in the production. Jody’s extremely controlling former dancer mother is determined that Jody will have the brilliant career that eluded her. The highly skilled mid-30′s Diva veteran dancer with the company, Heather Daltry, gets cut from the production and goes berserk.
But maybe with some Step Up thrown in? At least that way Ashley can recycle some of her High School Musical moves.