2022’s Scream — aka Scream 5 — blew fans away when it premiered back in January as it didn’t just settle for reheating familiar elements from past films and wasn’t afraid to drop some big twists. Most notably, it made the bold move of killing off one of the franchise’s main trio. Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox), and Dewey (David Arquette) had managed to survive four other Ghostface murder sprees, but sadly Scream 5 proved to be the end of the line for one of them. Spoilers incoming for the movie, if you’ve still not seen it yet…
Yes, the one who bit the bullet — or, more specifically, met the stabby end of the butcher’s knife — was fan-favorite former Woodsboro sheriff Dewey Riley. While Dewey’s death midway through, in a standout hospital chase sequence, was thrilling, it was also heartbreaking as fans weren’t ready to say goodbye to the horror icon. Neither, it turns out, was Arquette himself. The star opened up about his Scream fate to Empire, admitting that it was “hard” to process his character’s demise.
“I haven’t talked about it much. It’s a very fresh wound,” Arquette explained. “They had not given me a heads-up, so I was like [mimes thumbing through the script], ‘Wow, Dewey’s got some good stuff to play this time!’ And then, ‘Oh, that’s why!’ I had to put it down, I had to walk around and kind of process it. I understood where they were coming from, as far as gutting their audience. It was hard. It’s been such an ongoing film series throughout my life, 25 years of my life, so it definitely cut deep.”
In the same interview, Arquette revealed that the final confrontation between Dewey and Ghostface was actually reworked on the day of filming, thanks to the actor’s handiness in a fight. “We amped up the fight scene a little because I’m a professional wrestler,” he said. He also revealed that he had to get into a “real Zen place” to shoot the difficult sequence. “But it was emotional,” he continued. “I did it, and I hopped in my car, drove home, washed all the blood off, and that was it.”
While it was probably the right decision for this film, Dewey’s death sadly means that Arquette can’t be invited back for Scream 6, which was quickly announced to be in the works following the fifth’s success. Well, having said that, Skeet Ulrich managed to return as the deceased Billy in Scream ’22, and Jamie Kennedy came back as the slaughtered Randy in Scream 3, so anything is possible in this franchise.
Scream is out on disc and digital now, while Scream 6 hits theaters on March 31, 2023.