Perhaps the screenwriter most identified with teenage horror and hormones in the 1990s, Kevin Williamson has risen swiftly through the screenwriting ranks, thanks to both the phenomenal success of the Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer series and Dawson's Creek, his hit series for the WB Network. Williamson's scripts tend to be notable for their deft blend of irony, humorous genre knowledge, and self-conscious intelligence, qualities that the screenwriter has essentially made his copyright.
A native of North Carolina, Williamson initially studied film and theater at East Carolina University, moving to Los Angeles to try and break in as an actor. This effort led to little more than bit parts so he turned his attention instead to writing and directing, first striking a deal for Killing Mrs. Tingle, a film that he would eventually direct in 1999 under the revised title of Teaching Mrs. Tingle. The sale of his second work, the script for Scream (1996), followed quickly, and the huge success of the film, as well as its sequel, duly established Williamson as one of Hollywood's newest forces to be reckoned with. In 1997, the same year that Scream 2 was released, the screenwriter further whetted the growing appetite for teen horror films with his script for I Know What You Did Last Summer. Like Scream, it was another self-referential slasher flick that featured some of Hollywood's more photogenic young performers, and, also like Scream, it proved to be incredibly popular.
Williamson struck a series of deals during late 1997, including one to develop a television series -- the first effort being Dawson's Creek, a teen-angst drama airing on the Warner Bros. Network. The series became an unanticipated success, further adding to the Williamson mystique and making stars out of its young cast. In addition to his work on the show (which he wrote and executive produced until 1999), Williamson kept busy writing teen slasher films, notably Halloween: H20 and The Faculty, which was directed by Robert Rodriguez. He made his directorial debut the following year with the aforementioned Teaching Mrs. Tingle, which proved to be an unmitigated flop among both critics and audiences alike, despite the substantial amount of hype surrounding it. On a more personal note, Williamson publicly came out as gay that same year, just a short time after one of the characters on Dawson's Creek did the same on an episode of the show. In 2000 Williamson again returned to the Scream machine, supplying the original story for Scream 3. He tried his hand at TV again with Glory Days in 2002 and Hidden Palms in 2007, and a attempted to find Scream's success outside of that franchise by writing and producing Cursed, but he was back on board when Wes Craven decided to revive the franchise with Scream 4 in 2011.