Behind-The-Scenes Details From The 'Scream' Franchise

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Vote up the making-of details that leave you screaming.

Scream took horror fans by storm when it premiered in 1996, taking on the genre's tropes head-on and turning them upside down. Since then, four more Scream films have reunited core characters while adding even more people and places to the franchise lore.

While there are plenty of eagle-eyed viewers who have picked out facts about the movies, the actors have more anecdotal Scream behind-the-scenes facts to share with adoring fans.

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  • 1
    305 VOTES

    It Was Drew Barrymore Who Suggested She Die In The First 15 Minutes Of 'Scream'

    It Was Drew Barrymore Who Suggested She Die In The First 15 Minutes Of 'Scream'
    Photo: Scream / Dimension Films

    Scream broke a lot of rules of the horror genre, but it also attempted to trick audiences by casting Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker and using her predominately in the advertising for the film. Initially, Barrymore was signed on to play the movie's lead, Sidney Prescott. Barrymore changed her mind and decided she would rather take on the role of Casey, fulfilling screenwriter Kevin Williamson's hopes of having a big-name actor take on the part:

    I wanted it to be this big, huge Janet Leigh moment. And then when she dies, you’re like, “Wait a second. Wasn’t she on the poster? Wait. What’s going to happen next?”

    From that point on in the movie and eventually the franchise, fans knew any of their beloved characters could be killed at any time.

    305 votes
  • 2
    177 VOTES

    Wes Craven Used Stories Of Animal Cruelty To Make Drew Barrymore Cry

    Wes Craven Used Stories Of Animal Cruelty To Make Drew Barrymore Cry
    Photo: Scream / Dimension Films

    Drew Barrymore's opening scene was filmed in a very short five-day period, and she was adamant that her tears and hyperventilating be as real as possible.

    In an effort to assist her, director Wes Craven told animal lover Barrymore terrible stories of animal cruelty to get the tears flowing. To simulate hyperventilating, Barrymore ran around the set to become out of breath.

    177 votes
  • 3
    157 VOTES

    David Arquette Pitched His Interpretation Of Dewey Riley To Wes Craven, And It Landed Him The Part

    David Arquette Pitched His Interpretation Of Dewey Riley To Wes Craven, And It Landed Him The Part
    Photo: Scream / Dimension Films

    David Arquette read through the Scream script and wanted to try for the part of Deputy Dewey Riley instead of Billy Loomis. However, Dewey was originally written as a dumb jock character, which isn't exactly Arquette's brand of acting.

    Instead, Arquette had the idea of switching up Dewey's personality for someone who's supposed to have an air of authority, but who actually receives no respect from anyone at all.

    According to Arquette, director Wes Craven loved the idea:

    I met with Wes and I was like, “I really like this role.” And he was like, “Wow, I didn’t even consider that,” because [Dewey] was written as more of, like, the dumb jock character. I read it as a character that’s in a position of authority getting no respect.

    157 votes
  • 4
    223 VOTES

    Drew Barrymore Accidentally Called 911 For Real, Which Alerted The Cops

    Drew Barrymore Accidentally Called 911 For Real, Which Alerted The Cops
    Photo: Scream / Dimension Films

    Drew Barrymore worked five days to film her 15 minutes of the film, squeezing all of the screaming, hyperventilating, and terror into a short period of time. While on this tight schedule, the prop master reportedly forgot to unplug the iconic white phone before filming Barrymore's scenes, in which her character desperately attempts to contact 911 to save her from Ghostface. This led to Barrymore dialing 911 on the prop phone and accidentally calling the real thing, complete with her screams of pain and fear before disconnecting when director Wes Craven cut.

    During one of the takes, police called Barrymore's phone back to check on the calls that sounded like a woman actually fighting for her life. This finally clued in the prop master, and he disconnected the phone.

    223 votes
  • 5
    186 VOTES

    Script Leaks Plagued The Production Of 'Scream 2'

    Script Leaks Plagued The Production Of 'Scream 2'
    Photo: Scream 2 / Dimension Films

    After the success of Scream, finding out anything about the production of the sequel was high on a lot of people's list of priorities. According to Wes Craven, “[Writer] Kevin [Williamson] sent us, I think, something like 30 pages by email. We read it, it was fabulous - it was on the internet, in its entirety, that night.” 

    That leaked script had Sidney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) boyfriend, Derek Feldman (Jerry O'Connell), and her BFF roommate, Hallie McDaniel (Elise Neal), as the Ghostface killer couple. Lots of people believed this to be the sequel's original ending, but it was actually one of several false endings created to keep the real script a secret. Writer Williamson even revealed that one draft had Dewey Riley (David Arquette) taking up the Ghostface mantle.

    In the end, only two killers were left standing during the big reveal, and Williamson said Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf) and Mickey Altieri (Timothy Olyphant) were always the true Ghostface gang for this sequel.

    186 votes
  • 6
    127 VOTES

    Matthew Lillard Claims Stu Macher Was The Original Mastermind Behind The Killings In 'Scream 3'

    Matthew Lillard Claims Stu Macher Was The Original Mastermind Behind The Killings In 'Scream 3'
    Photo: Scream / Dimension Films

    In the original 1996 Scream, Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) is one of two killers who dons the Ghostface costume that terrorizes Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) throughout the movie. In the movie's epic final scenes, Sidney takes Stu out with a television to the face while he continues bleeding from a wound his co-killer Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) gave him. Some fans have wondered if Stu really died from his injuries or if he survived and went to jail. 

    In 2016, Lillard took part in a Scarefest Scream panel alongside Ulrich and teased a scrapped idea where his character returned for Scream 3:

    From jail, I was kind of masterminding this attack against Sidney - Neve’s character - and so three weeks before we were supposed to start shooting, Columbine High School broke out, and they changed everything. They kind of took the script and threw it to the side, and they bought me out, and I never did the third one.

    127 votes