13 Seriously Effed Up Facts About 'Scream'

Dear Drew Barrymore, never change. Love, MTV.

Do you like scary movies? Because the horror genre is having a serious resurgence right now due to tantalizing genre films like "It Follows" and "The Babadook," and of course MTV's own new slasher series "Scream," based off the classic horror franchise of the '90s.

In fact, the slasher genre owes a lot to "Scream," Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven's 1996 hit. The gory R-rated horror film was groundbreaking at the time. It was a slasher flick that successfully crossed over into the mainstream, spawning three sequels and one of the most iconic killers in movie history. Without the success of "Scream," the horror genre wouldn't be much of a thing these days (sorry, Babadook).

So we decided to go back to the beginning of the franchise to uncover some of the seriously f--ked up things you probably didn't know about "Scream."

It was originally titled "Scary Movie."

drew barrymore scream

Not to be confused with 2000's horror comedy spoof "Scary Movie."

"Scream" was partially inspired by a real-life event.


Stuart Scream

"I was watching this Barbara Walters special on the Gainesville (Florida) murders," Williamson told CNN back in 1998. "And I was getting so spooked. I was being scared out of my mind. During the commercial break, I heard a noise. And I had to go search the house. And I went into the living room and a window was open. And I'd been in this house for two days. I'd never noticed the window open. So I got really scared. So I went to the kitchen, got a butcher knife, got the mobile phone. I called a buddy of mine."

That buddy of his, David Blanchard, started asking him about scary movies, and the opening scene of "Scream" was born.

"One thing led to another," Williamson added. "I went to bed that night so spooked I was having nightmares, and I woke up at like three or four in the morning, and I started writing the opening scene to 'Scream.'" RIP Casey Becker.

Williamson wrote the screenplay over the course of three days.


After his middle-of-the-night burst of inspiration, the aspiring screenwriter developed a full-length script, as well as two separate five-page outlines for potential sequels, over the course of three days. Who the eff has the time and energy to do that? What kind of meta human are you, Williamson?!

Due to the amount of gore and violence, Williamson's agent told him the script would be "impossible" to sell.

scream billy

As if! Miramax bought the script after a serious bidding war, but asked Williamson to remove much of the gorier content -- graphic depictions of the internal organs, severed body parts, etc. However, director Wes Craven, a horror buff himself, was able to add a lot of the gorier bits back.

Speaking of directors, Wes Craven wasn't the first choice.


Blasphemy, we know. Other directors were initially approached to take on the film, including Danny Boyle, Robert Rodriguez and Sam Raimi, but Craven was the only one who didn't see the project purely as a comedy, and therefore, got the job. Don't worry, Rodriguez later got to "direct" the "Stab" franchise, based off Gale Weathers' book, "The Woodsboro Murders."

Reese Witherspoon was originally approached to play Sidney.


Scream - Sidney

We can't imagine anyone other than Neve Campbell in the lead role, but actresses including Alicia Witt and Brittany Murphy auditioned for the part. The producers also approached Reese Witherspoon, but she never officially auditioned. And Williamson's top choice, Molly Ringwald, declined the role, saying -- at 27 -- she was too old to play a high school student. Funny enough, Drew Barrymore signed on to play Sidney early on in the production but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. She was later given the small, yet iconic, role of Casey Becker.

Barrymore cried legit crocodile tears on set.

Dimension Films


OK, so maybe Barrymore wasn't crying over crocodiles, per say, but Craven told her real life stories about animal cruelty during filming to "keep her upset and crying." That's pretty much the most Drew Barrymore thing we've ever heard.

Craven also donned the iconic Ghostface costume during that terrifying af opening scene.


So when Casey hits Ghostface in the head with her giant-ass phone, she actually hit Craven. That was the only time in franchise history that Craven has donned the nightmare-inducing mask. He also made a brief cameo as a janitor.

The voice of Ghostface was never allowed to meet the actors IRL.


Roger L. Jackson, who provided the haunting vocals for the Woodsboro killer, was never allowed to meet the actors, although he was present on the set and spoke to actors by phone to help their performances. Craven wanted to prevent the actors from associating a face with the menacing voice.

Around 50 gallons of blood were used on set.


Fake blood, of course.

Rose McGowan dyed her hair blond to contrast Campbell's dark hair, natch.

Tatum Scream

When McGowan found out she was cast as Sidney's best friend Tatum, she dyed her hair blond to contrast Campbell's dark hair. Tbh, it perfectly matched Tatum's personality -- and McGowan agrees. "I hated that color," she later told EW. "It was perfect for the role."

McGowan wasn't actually stuck in that doggy door.

Tatum Death Scream

Tatum's death is one of the most iconic scenes in the entire franchise, and it was all a big fat lie. McGowan was so small that she kept falling out of the doggy door. So, production had to nail her shirt to the inside of garage door to prevent her from falling out -- and thereby, eliminating any chance of her showing up in the sequels.

Neve Campbell and Matthew Lillard totally dated while filming.

Stu Scream

Sidney and Stu?! Now that's messed up. Campbell and Lillard became an item while filming "Scream" and dated for two years.

MTV's "Scream" airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. ET.

Latest News