How Wes Craven Messed With The Scream Stars While On Set


Much like the iconic Ghostface, the Scream franchise has proved hard to kill. After the 1996 smash hit original, we quickly saw two sequels. A fourth followed in 2011 and a fifth installment (the confusingly titledScream is due out in January 2022. The new movie is being billed as both a sequel and a relaunch, bringing back Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox. But one person who sadly won’t be returning is horror icon Wes Craven, who directed the first four outings and died in 2015.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have some big shoes to fill, especially as Craven threw every last bit of his expertise into the series. One particularly cool thing that they should emulate, though, is how he kept his cast on their toes.

In the director’s commentary for Scream, Craven reveals how he got that amazing opening scene performance from Drew Barrymore via some slightly cruel trickery. Earlier in the day, Barrymore told Craven that she’d been upset by seeing a news story about someone who’d burned a dog to death, so when it came time to shoot her scene, he simply said: “Drew, I’m lighting the match.” Sadistic maybe, but you can’t argue with the results.


Another technique he used was to have Roger L. Jackson, who voiced Ghostface in all four movies, hidden somewhere on the set but never meeting the rest of the cast. The actors knew he was watching them, but had no idea where he was. Jackson later explained that:

“They never introduced me to the rest of the cast when filming. They wanted to keep me away so the other actors didn’t have a visual image to associate with this weird voice they were hearing.”

The next movie in the franchise has a lot to live up to, but 11 years after Scream 4, there’s a whole generation out there who need to be introduced to Ghostface. And they will be when Scream hits theaters on January 14th, 2022.