When it comes to horror sequels, they tend to be a dime a dozen and result in vastly diminishing returns very quickly. One such sequel that broke the mold and remains highly regarded to this day is 1997’s Scream 2. Against all odds (a very rushed schedule, numerous rewrites), it managed to be way better than anyone expected. So in honor of its 25th anniversary today, here are 25 fun facts about Scream 2!
1. Principal photography for Scream 2 began a mere 6 months after Scream was released. It even managed to debut just shy of a year from the first one’s release as well.
2. There was one scene in Kevin Williamson’s script, in which he just wrote “Wes Craven will make it scary” as his stage direction.
3. Before settling on the simple but direct title of Scream 2, other titles like “Scream Again”, “Scream Louder”, and “Scream: The Sequel” were considered.
4. Denise Richards was offered one of the sorority sisters roles, but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts with Starship Troopers.
5. For the role of Derek, Wes Craven had actors perform the iconic “I Think I Love You” scene for their auditions, and Jerry O’Connell won the role that way.
6. The scenes of the movie within the movie “Stab” (which featured Heather Graham and Luke Wilson) were directed by Robert Rodriguez.
7. Sidney is portrayed by Tori Spelling in “Stab”, which was a meta reference to her character mentioning that Tori Spelling would play her in the first movie.
8. All during production, Neve Campbell was also shooting episodes of Party of Five. This would often result in her doing night shoots for Scream 2 and then immediately going from there to filming Party of Five all day without any sleep.
9. In the opening scene at the movie theater, the usher who hands Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett Smith their masks was played by Paulette Patterson, who had won the small role via a contest on MTV. She would go on to have several small/background parts in other films and TV shows including an episode of True Blood.
10. During shooting, the cast had no idea who the killer was. None of them were given the final 10 pages of the script until it came time to film it. And even then, it was printed on gray paper to discourage being copied and everyone had to sign confidentiality agreements.
11. The university in which the film is set was shot at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.
12. Due to its rushed production and the need for rewrites after the script leak, several scenes were being re-written on the same day that they were being shot.
13. Despite being killed in the first film, Matthew Lillard had a cameo as a background extra during one of the college party scenes.
14. Wes Craven personally chose David Warner to play Sidney’s drama professor because he was such a fan of Warner’s performance in The Omen. Warner had also come very close to playing Freddy Krueger in the original Nightmare on Elm Street.
15. The Omega Beta Zeta sorority house was shot at the Crank House in Altadena, California. The very same house was used as Ms. Trunchbull’s house in Matilda, as well as appearing in Hocus Pocus and Catch Me if You Can.
16. The character of Police Chief Hartley was played by Lewis Arquette, the real life father of Dewey himself, David Arquette.
17. Roger Jackson was kept on set during shooting, albeit always hidden somewhere, so that when the actors were talking to Ghostface on the phone they were actually talking to Jackson doing his iconic voice. For the most part, it had the intended effect and freaked everyone out, with the exception of Sarah Michelle Gellar. Reportedly, she was casually converse with Jackson in between takes on the phone.
18. Wes Craven had to resubmit the film 8 times with different edits to the MPAA just to get its R rating.
19. Killing off Jada Pinkett Smith and Sarah Michelle Gellar was meant to mimic the way they killed off Drew Barrymore very quickly in the original film, thus demonstrating that anyone (no matter how famous) could be killed at any time.
20. Jada Pinkett Smith later revealed that she requested that Wes Craven make her death scene as brutal and gory as possible so that it would be memorable. She got her wish.
21. Received very positive reviews from critics upon release, with many arguing that it matched or even surpassed the original. In the 25 years since, it’s been highly regarded as a horror sequel for the way that it advanced the story and demonstrated how the effects of the first film still had an impact on all the characters.
22. Nominated for 3 Saturn Awards including Best Horror Film, Best Actress (Neve Campbell), and Best Supporting Actress (Courteney Cox). Unfortunately, it lost all three to The Devil’s Advocate, Jodie Foster (Contact), and Gloria Stuart (Titanic), respectively.
23. Grossed $172.4 million on a $24 million budget. This was only about $700,000 less than the first movie, although it did cost $10 million more to make.
24. In late 2022, Hallie actress Elise Neal revealed on Twitter that the character of Hallie wasn’t initially written as black, but that she was given the part because producers like her audition the most. She also revealed that in the original script, Hallie was the killer. But because this was leaked, it was changed before shooting even began.
25. The original script saw Hallie and Derek as the killers in a Bonnie and Clyde type dynamic. This is partly why Derek seems so suspicious and ends up being a major red herring. This was all because the original script used all this to build him up as one of the killers.
Which of these did you already know? Which ones surprised you? Let us know in the comments!
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