20 Interesting Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Scream Movies

It is hard to believe that you never came across the spooky mask from Scream at least once. Indeed, the 1996 horror hit Scream and its subsequent editions were some of the best that Wes Craven has produced. With the new and probably the last Scream film out, it is mandatory to peek into some fun trivia. The following is a list of 20 interesting things you probably didn’t know about the Scream movies. 

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1 The original title of the first Scream movie was Scary Movie.

Image credit: Dimension Films

The title Scary Movie was introduced by Dimension Films, and it lasted throughout the filming. However, it was changed to Scream by Weinstein Brothers just before the filming was complete. 

The title Scary Movie was then later used for a parody of Scream. It is also used by other pop culture horror films in the Scary Movie film franchise. The term is mentioned five times. (1, 2)

2 Partially, the movie Scream was inspired by a real-life series of student murders in Gainesville, Florida which happened in 1990. Danny Harold Rolling was the perpetrator of the crimes and was dubbed as “The Gainseville Ripper.”

Image credit: abc7.com

In August 1990, Rolling committed five murders and was quickly found in September the same year. He left an intimidating impression by posing the bodies in odd ways and got attention all over Florida. 

Kevin Williamson came across “The Gainseville Ripper” via a newspaper on a fine day. While looking at his open window, he realized how easy it is for anyone to just barge in and harm him. This inspired him to write the Scary Movie. (source)

3 The new Scream movie is not directed by Wes Craven because he tragically died in August 2015 from cancer. The character Wes is named in honor of the former director, and the film is dedicated to him in the end credits. 

Wes Craven (Image to the left), Character Wes Hicks in Scream. Image credits: Tinseltown/Shutterstock, Dimension Films

Craven was the director of the initially Scream trilogy. He resumed the worked in 2011 for the fourth sequel but passed away in 2015 because of a brain tumor. 

The new character, Wes Hicks, the Woodsboro High student introduced in the movie, is played by Dylan Minnette. Just before the credits appear, a card emerges in the movie reading “For Wes.: It is dedicated to the director Wes Craven and his contribution to the franchise. (1, 2)

4 The iconic Scream mask was found during a location scout. It was a simple, off-the-shelf Halloween mask that Craven and a producer found at a house they were scouting. 

Image credit: Dimension Films

Settling on the mask wasn’t a smooth journey. On a location scout, the mask was found inside a box of stuff in a garage. When the director, Craven, came across the piece, he wanted to use it as the basis of their mask. 

Part of the reason why he wanted to use the particular item was that he thought it resembled Edvard Munch’s famous The Scream painting. 

The owner let him take the mask, but it was a long time before it could be used in the filming. Even after presenting 20 different revised versions, the studio kept rejecting them. 

This is when everyone agreed to just use the original version of the mask and get the rights to use it. (source)

5 The title of the film Scream was inspired by a Michael Jackson song. Bob and Harvey Weinstein were not satisfied by the title Scary Movie, so they approached the director and the crew. Harvey was listening to a song, “Scream,” by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson, and it became the inspiration for the title of the movie. 

Image credit: Satellite Films

The Weinstein Company found the original title, Scary Movie, to be too comedic. On the other hand, producer Kathy Conrad liked it. 

Bob was a strong advocate of changing the title. Ultimately Harvey decided to name it Scream after the newly released duet by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson. 

Although the crew didn’t like the change very much, they couldn’t imagine any other title. Nonetheless, it suits the movie since it represents the idea of an offbeat horror film. (source)

6 The veteran voice actor, Roger L. Jackson, is behind the masked killer in Scream. Whenever Drew Barrymore and Neve Campbell are talking on the phone to the killer, they’re talking to Jackson. The cast never met the voice actor because the director, Craven, thought that it would be better to bring out the astonishment he needed from everyone after hearing the voice. 

Roger L Jackson (Image to the left), Drew Barrymore. Image credits: finalfantasy.fandom.com, Dimension Films

Jackson was behind the voice of Ghostface all along, starting from the first Scream movie to the latest one. He was auditioned for Scream based on his work in Tim Buton’s Mars Attacks.

The fact that the cast could never see Jackson freaked them out which helped in their acting. They didn’t have a visual image of the person behind the creepy Ghostface, but he was watching them all along. (source)

7 In Scream, Drew Barrymore who plays Casey was originally supposed to play Sidney. It was only her idea to be the first person to die at the hands of Ghostface. 

Image credit: Dimension Films

The main character of Sidney was eventually played by Neve Campbell. In her show, Barrymore mentioned that Scream was a project she was “silently producing.”

Her idea that she should die first in the movie came from her experience of consuming horror films. When she approached the producers, Barrymore said that while watching horror movies, you always know the hero is going to make it. She knew this, and thought “What if I die?” She thought it’ll be like all the bets are off. (source)

8 While filming Scream, Drew Barrymore, who played Casey, accidentally called 911 for real multiple times. It was prop master’s fault that he skipped unplugging the phone before filming. In one instance, the police called back since they were confused and asked why they kept calling. 

Image credit: Dimension Films

Barrymore, or the character Casey, kept calling the police desperately. She called, screamed in a high-pitched voice, and hung up. After receiving several frantic calls, police became worried and called back to know the situation. 

Only after this event, did the crew become aware of the prop master’s mistake of not unplugging the phone. (source)

9 Courtney Cox who played Gale Weathers had to convince the director Wes Craven to let her be in the film. She was rejected by the producers because of her “too nice”0 image created by working in Friends

Courtney Cox in Scream (Image to the left), Courtney Cox in Friends. Image credits: Dimension Films, Warner Bros.

Cox was specifically interested in playing the “bitch” character of Gale to offset her nice image created by playing Monica in Friends. However, this exactly was the reason why producers rejected her first. 

She wrote a letter to Wes assuring him that being “a bitch” wouldn’t be a stretch at all. She also, continued to pay visits to the studio as she strongly believed she could play the role. Her efforts succeeded eventually. (1, 2)

10 Wes Craven has a cameo in Scream that is a tribute to his other movie, A Nightmare on Elm Street

Image credit: Dimension Films

The 1984 film directed by Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street, was one of his best-known creations. In 1996, 12 years later, Craven came up with another slasher genre hit, Scream.

In Scream, the director appears in a cameo in the role of Fred who is the resident janitor of Woodsboro High. He has a very short screen time where he is wearing Freddy Krueger’s hat, striped sweater, and black pants.

It is difficult to notice Craven since he wears a long wig and mustache. (source)

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