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Scream’s Iconic Drew Barrymore Opening Scene Was Originally A Play

Scream writer Kevin Williamson reveals that he originally wrote the 1996 film’s iconic opening sequence with Drew Barrymore as a one-act play.

Scream‘s iconic opening scene with Drew Barrymore was originally intended to be a play, says the film’s writer Kevin Williamson. Released in 1996, Scream is a satirical slasher film from director Wes Craven. The film follows Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) as its main character, a high school student in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California who, a year after the murder of her mother, becomes the target of a mysterious killer in Halloween costume known as Ghostface.

The film is known for combining dark humor with a whodunnit mystery and elements of the slasher genre to satirize horror movie cliches found in popular films like Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980), and Wes Craven’s own A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). After the success of Scream, the film went on to launch a franchise that is still ongoing today. There have been three sequels to date with another on the way, releasing in January 2022.


Related: How Skeet Ulrich’s Billy Loomis Might Return In Scream 2022

Now, in honor of the original film’s 25th anniversary, Scream writer Kevin Williamson is looking back on his favorite moments from the series in an interview with Comicbook. When discussing his favorite scene, the first film’s opening sequence with Drew Barrymore and a menacing voice (Roger L. Jackson) asking her what her favorite scary movie is over the phone, Williamson revealed that he originally wrote the scene as a one-act play. This later morphed into Scream‘s iconic opening sequence. Read Williamson’s explanation below:

The opening originally started out, I wrote the movie very quickly, but what people don’t know is that opening was, I wrote it as a one-act play. It was just a young character on the phone talking to us, but could it be a killer outside? That morphed into the opening scene to Scream. For a long time, I didn’t have a career. I didn’t know anybody. And I thought, “Well, maybe I can just shoot that as a short film.” But when I decided to expand upon it and make it a screenplay, I thought that was like, “Oh, wow! This is going to turn into a movie. This is just how you do it.” And I really got serious about it.

Scream‘s opening sequence is one of the most memorable and intense scenes from the entire franchise. Considering that, it probably would have made for a great one-act play or short film if Williamson decided to go that route. However, it’s probably for the best that he decided to expand it into a full-length screenplay and team up with horror maven Wes Craven, the rest of which is history.

The original Scream from 1996 offered a new take on the slasher film, a subgenre which the 1980s had thoroughly worn out. At the time of its release, Scream was unique in the sense that it featured characters who were fully aware of popular horror movies and their various cliches, which the film sometimes subverted or fell into for comedic effect. This is now known as a staple of the long-running slasher franchise. The upcoming Scream movie will be the only installment so far not directed by Wes Craven nor written by Kevin Williamson, so it remains to be seen if it can recapture the spirit of the series. If not, fans always have Scream‘s iconic opening sequence to fall back on.

Next: How Stu Can Return And Be Reformed In Scream 5

Source: Comicbook

  • Scream 5 (2022)Release date: Jan 14, 2022

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