While the new “Scream” is currently in theaters, focus on 9 things you (perhaps) don’t know about this saga that revolutionized the horror genre.
Warning, the following article contains spoilers on the films of the saga.
BEFORE NEVE CAMPBELL, THERE WAS…
She embodies the flagship heroine of the saga. In the guise of Sidney Prescott, Neve Campbell signs the role of her career. However, many actresses were approached before her, such as Reese Witherspoon and Molly Ringwald, the star of Breakfast Club. Aged 27 at the time of filming, the latter did not wish to play the character of a high school girl.
Finally, the production turns to Drew Barrymore who, despite a complicated adolescence, continues to chain projects. Shortly before the first clapperboard, she decides not to play Sidney Prescott, preferring the minor role of Casey Becker, who only appears in the opening sequence.
More famous than the rest of the cast, Drew Barrymore wanted to surprise the spectators, who did not expect to see her disappear so soon. To create the illusion, the actress even appears on all promotional posters, which feature her as the film’s main protagonist.
HOW SCREAM 2 WAS SAVED
March 1997. The Screammania took over America (the first film will not be released in France until July 1997, editor’s note). Faced with this immense success, the Weinstein brothers gave the green light for the sequel.
While filming is in full swing, the production falls victim to the first exploits of the Internet: the outline of the script is revealed on the Web, revealing the identity of the original killers. These were to be Hallie (Elise Neal), Sidney’s best friend, and Sidney’s boyfriend, Derek (Jerry O’Connell).
Of course, even without social media, information quickly spreads. The team continues its work, while Kevin Williamson, the screenwriter, decides to rewrite a good part of the film. Despite these last-minute changes, Scream 2 experienced no delays and was released, as planned, on December 12, 1997 in United States.
Below is an excerpt from the original script of scream 2 :
ROGER JACKSON, AN INVISIBLE ACTOR
Behind the voice of the masked killer hides Roger Jackson, a comedian specializing in theater and sound effects. Invisible in the four films of the saga and the derived series, its role is no less important in the construction of the myth of Ghostface. Present on the spot during the various filmings, the actor remained, however, hidden in neighboring rooms so as not to be seen by the other actors while he gave them the reply.
In an interview granted to the media Splinter in 2015, Roger Jackson explains that he only met three actors in the film in the flesh: Jamie Kennedy, by accident during the filming of scream 2, then Neve Campbell and Skeet Ulrich, years later at a convention.
INSPIRED BY A TRUE STORY ?
To write the film, screenwriter Kevin Williamson was inspired by Danny Rolling, a serial killer, who murdered five young students in the space of four days during the summer of 1990. The author of these crimes, who would later admit the existence of three other victims, was arrested in September 1990 in the city of Ocala, Florida.
Four years later, he was sentenced to death by the American courts. In front of the authorities, Danny Rolling explained that he wanted to become as famous as Ted Bundy, another criminal who raged during the Seventies.
MANY MISCELLANEOUS FOLLOWING THE FILM
One of the main themes of the Scream saga concerns the power of images, the influence that the violence of horror films can have on the behavior of those who watch them. The creators of the franchise were certainly far from suspecting that their own concept would inspire unbalanced fans.
One of the most publicized cases took place in Belgium, in 2001. The young Allison C. was murdered with 25 stab wounds after her murderer donned the famous black costume of the film. She was fifteen.
A year later, in France, during the year 2002, a seventeen-year-old teenager kills, in turn, a fifteen-year-old friend. The latter was stabbed more than forty times. In an article published in 2004, The Obs announced that the young man was sentenced to twenty-five years of criminal imprisonment.
THE ORIGINAL STORY OF SCREAM 3
The third installment in the saga is the only one not scripted by Kevin Williamson. Unappreciated by fans, the film is still directed by Wes Craven, but this time written by Ehren Kruger. After the success of scream 2, Kevin Williamson had planned a nice conclusion for the trilogy.
In his first script, the character of Stu, interpreted by Matthew Lillard, returned to the saga, after having survived the events of the first opus. From his prison cell, the murderer was to be in charge of a network of film-obsessed fans stabilizer and willing to kill for sudden notoriety.
The Columbine shooting, which killed fifteen people in April 1999, prompted the Weinstein brothers to completely change history and no longer portray teenagers. Kevin Williamson will reuse, thirteen years later, his idea of a murderous network with his series Following.
ROBERT RODRIGUEZ BEHIND THE CAMERA
In the saga Scream, movies stabilizer are inspired by the massacre – supposedly real – of the first opus. The visible sequences of this fictional feature film were directed by Robert Rodriguez, to whom we owe, among others, the recent Alita: Battle Angel. The scenes reproduce, with a few minor details, the opening scene of the first part with actress Heather Graham, who replaces Drew Barrymore. In scream 2, another clip from Stab features Tori Spelling and Luke Wilson as Sidney Prescott and Billy Loomis.
A SUCCESSÈS RECORD
It’s one of the highest-grossing horror franchises in movie history. In total, the four episodes have grossed nearly $915 million worldwide (calculated by taking into account the inflation of the dollar, editor’s note). Also very popular in France, the films have all exceeded the symbolic bar of one million admissions. It was the third opus, released in 2000, which had the most success, with 2,654,418entries.
THE WEIGHT OF PARODY
A few months later Scream 3, the comedy Scary Movie arrives in theaters. A true phenomenon in turn, the parody film gathered millions of spectators and became almost as popular as the original film.
Although the saga launched in 1996 itself plays with the codes of horror to better divert them with a little humor, Keenen Ivory Wayans’ pastiche taints Wes Craven’s films by caricaturing the masked killer. The same year, another parody of Scream, titled Scary Scream Movie in France, released directly on video. Already in 1997, actor Mike Myers had fun reinventing the opening scene during a fun sequence for the MTV Movie Awards.
The trailer for the latest “Scream”, currently in theaters: