In 1996 a horror film originally entitled Scary Movie began filming. Later on, the title inevitably changed to the film we all know and love today, Scream. Although no one could have predicted the huge success, franchise, and following the film would garner, Scream is still one of the best horror films not only from the 1990s but one of the best horror films of all time. At Walker Stalker Con Atlanta this year, fans were able to attend the Scream panel including Matthew Lillard, Elise Neal, and Chris Durand. Needless to say, this panel did not disappoint.
Matthew Lillard did take the time to ask fans, “I’m not on The Walking Dead, do you know that?” at the very beginning of the panel. This might have a little something to do with the crowd’s reaction to them coming on stage. A very loud and positive reaction to the cast members fans have admired and watched over the last twenty plus years. One of the moderators mentioned this and asked if the actors were surprised by how much clout the film has today. Lillard remarked:
“Yeah I mean I would say that going into that film at that time nobody expected that movie to be anything. At the time that movie was made, Wes was coming off seven films that didn’t work. It starred two women that were on television shows, Courtney and Neve. And Neve’s show had just started the year before. It was that thing where you don’t expect and I think that is why we all love that movie so much because nobody expected it.”
Lillard also explained the reason why he felt the original Scream worked so well. In the later films “a bunch of executives there telling people how to make a movie. And when we did Scream one nobody was there. And nobody had any expectations.” When asking if the film still works, I am not sure that Lillard anticipated the reaction from the crowd. Nor do I think he expected that anyone had seen the film in the last three weeks. However, with it being October, of course, those die-hard fans have watched at least one of the films in the franchise. That is just part of being a horror fan.
Elise Neal explained perfectly why this franchise still works. “What I loved about reading the script initially is the fact is that he found the perfect mix of comedy and horror in a way that I had never seen before.” And much like the moderators pointed out, Scream created a new sub-genre really of young adult horror films. Neal also explained that she “felt that it worked so incredibly, weird and awesome, and magical that it was really a blessing to be a part of this film and this franchise. Just a lot of fun.”
One of the moderators asked Chris Durand how it felt playing the man in the franchise. Durand went on to say:
“What was very interesting was that it is like we said it became a hit after the first one and I stepped in on part two. I just got a call from a friend to come play Ghostface. And what an honor to come and do that and have fun and bring a different energy to it because from my point of view when you’re playing Ghostface and you’re in that mask as fun as the show is and as silly as the show is my part has to be serious. And I have to bring that same energy and be the killer for those moments.”
Many fun moments occurred on the various sets of the franchise. The cast members shared various tidbits about the majority of the films in the franchise. For instance, Elise Neal’s character Hallie was originally going to be the killer in Scream 2. The ending had to change due to someone leaking the film online. Durand agreed and said that there were four copies of the script when he stepped on. All of this to make sure that none of us would know the ending. I enjoy the twist of Billy’s mother, Mrs. Loomis (Laurie Metcalf) and Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). One of the biggest shocks of the panel though was learning that Stu was set to be the killer in Scream 3. Lillard went onto explain:
“I got an offer to play the killer in Scream 3 and the idea was that my character took a TV to the face and was in prison and was running a bunch of killers in high school. And a month before production started Columbine high school happened. So they changed the script, rightfully so, and I never made an appearance again.”
Needless to say, this would have been a completely different end to the trilogy as fans know it today. A more intriguing ending than the original ending of the trilogy back in 2000. Although some nineties films have not held up over time, Scream is one of those films that will always hold a special place in our hearts.
What is your favorite movie in the Scream franchise? Who is your favorite Scream killer? Let us know in the comments below.
Michelle Patterson prides herself on her random pop culture knowledge. She finds great joy in all things horror related and tries to enjoy movies on a weekly basis. If she’s not at the theater, she can be found at a convention or a concert. To connect with her more, check out her Instagram page, Twitter Page, Facebook Page, or her website.