When Wes Craven’s Scream resurrected the horror genre in 1996, few could have predicted the bloody floodgates would have been opened. Not only did the film inspire a new generation of slasher films like I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) and Urban Legend (1998) but it spawned four sequels spanning 25 years. With new blood like Melissa Barrera and Dylan Minnette joining the legacy stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox in the new Scream, what better time to look back at the facts and figures that generated one of the biggest horror franchises of all time…
- Scream was originally going to be called Scary Movie, after the question the killer asks his victims, “Do you like scary movies? The name Scream was apparently inspired by the Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson duet of the same name.
- Molly Ringwald, Drew Barrymore, Alicia Witt, Brittany Murphy, Melissa Joan Hart, and Reese Witherspoon were all considered for the part of Sidney Prescott before Neve Campbell won the role.
- After losing the lead role but loving the script, Barrymore pushed to be cast as the film’s first on-screen victim Casey Becker. She also fought to have her character killed at the beginning of the film to show that rules did not apply in Scream.
- Inspired by Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream,” the killer’s look was actually a mass-produced “Peanut-Eyed Ghost” mask by Fun World mass-produced in the early ’90s. Legend has it that Wes Craven and his production team stumbled upon it in an abandoned house while they were scouting locations.
- Joaquin Phoenix turned down the role of Billy Loomis. SPOILER ALERT The killer part was eventually taken by Skeet Ulrich. The writing was on the wall. He is named after Dr. Samuel Loomis who was Michael Myers psychiatrist in John Carpenter’s classic slasher Halloween.
- 50 gallons of fake plasma were used to depict the killer’s bloody rampage in the original film.
- Brooke Shields was nearly cast as Gale Weathers after Janeane Garofalo turned the role down of the pushy TV reporter turned true crime author.
- The Exorcist star Linda Blair makes a brief cameo appearance in the original Scream as the reporter who says, “People want to know, they have a right to know.” She previously worked with director Wes Craven on his television chiller Summer of Fear (1978).
- As on all previous four Scream films, Roger L. Jackson is actually on the phone when characters talk to the killer. In the first film, Craven did not allow the cast to meet him so they could not picture his face when they were talking to the mysterious caller. Jackson also voiced monkey villain Mojo Jojo in The Powerpuff Girls.
- In Scream 2, Robert Rodriguez directed the movie-within-a-movie “Stab” based on the book written by Gale Weathers. Rodriguez recreated scenes with Heather Graham playing Casey and Luke Wilson taking on the role of Billy.
- Jada Pinkett Smith requested a brutal and bloody death for her character Maureen when she attends a screening of “Stab” at the beginning of Scream 2.
- In Scream 3, Kate Winslet, Shannen Doherty, and Charisma Carpenter were close contenders for the part of Christine that was eventually taken by Kelly Rutherford, then hot off Melrose Place.
- The 2022 re-quel is the first Scream film not directed by Wes Craven, who passed away in August of 2015 from cancer. The character of Wes was named in honour of him, and the film is dedicated to the legendary horror director in the end credits, “For Wes.”
- David Arquette is a Bob Ross painting instructor so as a gift to his fellow Scream (2022) cast members he taught them how to paint. He explained to Collider, “I wanted to do something special, so I got them all Bob Ross paint kits and then we all did an art class.”
- Mirroring events in Scream 3 and the faux horror film “Stab 3”, the cast of the new Scream were given multiple versions of the script to avoid details of the plot leaking online.
- Aussie actress Samara Weaving, who worked with Scream (2022) directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin on the twisty gory thriller Ready or Not, was almost cast in the re-quel.
- The Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ song “Red Right Hand” from their eighth studio album, Let Love In (1994) was featured in the first three Scream films, skipped Scream 4, and is heard in the new film when Ghostface kills Vince (Kyle Gallner).
- Jenna Ortega, who turned 18 years old just before Scream (2022) began filming, is the second actor in the entire Scream movie franchise who was a teenager while playing a teenager. Emma Roberts, who was 19 when she played Jill in Scream 4, is the only other performer who acted her age.
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