SCREAM Filmmakers on Easter Eggs, Cameos and Return [Redacted]
Scream (2022) is a scintillating Fabergé egg of self-referential horror homage. Using the trappings and tools created by the franchise’s original masterminds, Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven, the fifth entry in the series delicately balances scares and meta-humour. It has always been the key to Radio silence, the team behind the film (co-directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and producer Chad Villella). In light of the film’s release and successful box office opening, nerdist sat down with the crew to dig deep into spoiler territory.
Scream (2022) brings back an original cast member no one expected to see, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Before that, we have a question from another fan favorite, Kirby Reed. Portrayed by Hayden Panettiere in Cry 4, many fans had speculated that Kirby had survived and Scream confirmed that it was. For the creators, revealing Kirby’s fate was always the plan. “We wanted to answer the Kirby question one way or another from the beginning,” explained Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. “We just didn’t really know what it would be. There was a period during pre-production where we thought we might even have him in this movie. We had a Zoom with her and she was lovely. And she was like, ‘I love Kirby, I wish I was in it.'”
Alas, it didn’t work. But thanks to one of the film’s many shiny Easter eggs, we learn that, thanks to a cleverly placed YouTube video, Kirby survived.
Stu lives (maybe)…. But not in this movie
That’s not the only easter egg the crew slipped into this webpage, though. It also has a hilarious nod to a popular fan theory that proliferated before the movie was released: Stu Macher lives! Another YouTube video on the page questions whether or not Stu Macher lived through the original Woodsboro murders. “I feel like this specific Easter egg is really just a joke with one of our writers, Guy Busick,” Bettinelli-Olpin laughed. “He is a strong supporter of Stu Lives.”
Although they never intended to bring Stu back, the team grew closer to Matthew Lillard, who played the iconic original killer. “He is one of the greatest living human beings. We are all Stu Lives believers now! Bring Stu back! Gillett added.
Bring back Billy Loomis
Although Stu may not have made a comeback in the new Scream, his former partner in crime, Billy Loomis, did. Although he died at the end of the 1996 film, Skeet Ulrich returned to the role in a ghostly new way, as a dark passenger for his illegitimate daughter Sam Carpenter. The public was shocked at the revelation, as was the Radio Silence team. “We were all in the same room at the same time reading a hard copy of the script,” Bettinelli-Olpin explained. “And you just saw each of our heads look up and we’re looking at each other like, ‘Holy shit, they brought Billy back! This is amazing.'”
connect their Scream the return to the original was felt by the creators, even though it was an unexpected twist. It also helped establish their final new daughter, Sam. “She’s the complete opposite of Sidney,” Bettinelli-Olpin explained. “Someone who comes from a damaged background with a damaged psyche and deals with all these types of issues. It was a different track for a Scream movie, that’s how we knew it was the right choice.
For Gillett, there was another aspect that spoke to them as well. “The thing that blew us away the most about the script and that we hope to see in the movie is that there’s something heroic about Billy’s character,” the co-director told us. He’s the part of her that allows her to do the thing in the end – that thing she’s running away from. We get to have that great fun Hollywood moment of having him in the mirror pointing at the knife. Finding a way for this villain who was the start of everything, to have that kind of heroic arc in the movie, we were like, ‘F**k that’s crazy.’
Speaking of Sam, who is his mother?
Along with the revelation that Sam Carpenter is Billy’s daughter comes the mystery of her mother. The film left viewers with plenty of questions about who it could have been, but for now, the creators’ lips remain sealed. “She was definitely in the script,” Bettinelli-Olpin teased. “But it never made the cut. It felt like we opened up the film too much and didn’t focus it so much on the sisters. As to whether we’ll ever get answers, Bettinelli-Olpin is coy.” is hard to say, but it looks like there’s an interesting story there…”
Rewrite the rules and present the requel
The escape character in Scream is Mindy Meeks-Martin of Jasmin Savoy Brown. The niece of Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) is the new horror female dog who, in an unforgettable scene, spells out the new rules of the film. It’s a signature Scream moment and one that the creators of the new film were eager to dig into. “It was something that we were really passionate about,” Bettinelli-Olpin said. “In what other films do the characters sit and describe the film in real time? It feels like it speaks to the audience, but it also happens for a reason in the film. It’s not a wink on camera. It’s a huge speech, a huge run, and Jasmine pulled it off every time. It really sold the movie. It’s something you can look back on every time and find new things.
Randy was originally to be played by Who? !
Speaking of Randy, one of the funniest Easter eggs in the movie—Randy’s Cry 2 prediction that he would be played by a less famous actor in the Stab films that come true – was actually a stroke of luck. Because, as the team revealed, he was originally going to be played by Seth Green, which is perfect casting. Alas, thanks to the pandemic, that never happened. Instead, villainous Christopher Speed plays Randy in Stab.
Other Easter Eggs and Cameos You Might Have Missed
Before we wrap up, Gillett shared some of her favorite Easter eggs that fans might have missed. “Drew Barrymore (who plays Casey Becker in the original Scream) is the voice of the high school principal. Matt Lillard is there both as Flamethrower Ghostface and he has a party line. We had a ton of cast coming back to give the big toast at the end. This toast was a dedication to the original Scream director, Wes Craven. And as the teens say “For Wes” in memory of Wes Hicks, they’re also toasting Craven, which is why it made sense to bring back other former cast members including Jamie Kennedy, Henry Winkler, Adam Brody, plus cast and crew.
And if the reveal that Matthew Lillard was in the movie after all as Flamethrower Ghostface excites you, then the team has good news. “We sent him so many lines,” laughed Bettinelli-Olpin. “What’s the dumbest thing we can make this Ghostface say?” And he gave them all to us… I really want to release the recording.
The featured image: Paramount Pictures