scream 2 ending

Want to feel old? Scream 2 was released 20 years ago. The sequel to the massive hit that changed the horror genre as we know it attempted to keep the hype alive, with diminishing results. In honor of the film’s birthday, writer Kevin Williamson revealed some fun, alternate Scream 2 endings that never made it into the final film, including different identities for the killers.

Let’s take a trip back to the innocent time of 1997. The ’90s were drawing to a close, the Y2k bug was still a possibility, and we had no stinking clue about the horrors that would await us in the 21st century. Instead, we got our horror fix from the wealth of ironic, self-referential slasher films that began sprouting up in the wake of the blockbuster hit Scream. Wes Craven‘s film changed the horror landscape and inevitably spawned Scream 2 in ’97. In honor of that sequel’s anniversary, Dread Central sat down with Scream and Scream 2 writer Kevin Williamson, who revealed some details about alternate script endings.

If you need a refresher, Scream 2 ends with the reveal that the murderers stalking Neve Campbell’s character Sydney are Debbie Salt, played by Laurie Metcalf, and film student Mickey, played by Timothy Olyphant. Debbie turns out to be the mother of one of the murderers from the first film, and wants revenge against Sydney for killing her son. It’s a really stupid ending, all things considered, especially since Olyphant’s character Mickey is barely in the film to begin with. But there was an alternate, unused ending that might’ve worked better: Dread Central dug up a draft that featured almost every supporting character in the film being in on one big conspiracy to kill Sydney. In this draft, the killers included Debbie, Mickey, Sydney’s boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell) and best friend Hallie (Elise Neal). What a twist!

Now are you ready for another twist? This alternate ending wasn’t actually real at all, but part of an overarching plan to keep the film a secret. Williamson’s original Scream 2 screenplay draft was leaked online during production, revealing the film’s ending and causing the studio to quickly order rewrites. To keep the same problem from happening all over again, Williamson went ahead and wrote three different endings to better keep the final twist under wraps:

“The Hallie and Derek ending was a dummy draft. At the time the script was written, the studio was determined to keep the plot details under wraps…They were worried the killer’s identity would be leaked, so we wrote several endings. Three in all, if memory serves, and when actors and potential crew members asked to read the script, we would send the script with the dummy ending.”

Williamson goes on to say that another alternate (fake) ending involved a twist that would reveal David Arquette‘s character Dewey as one of the killers as well:

“There was even a fake ending where Dewey was the killer. They existed as a decoy and nothing more. Extreme measures, but we really wanted to keep the killer’s identity a secret!”

Of course, none of these endings were ever intended to be used, and instead the film ended with the Debbie/Mickey twist, which was ultimately a huge disappointment anyway. Would any of these alternate, fake endings have worked better? Perhaps, but we’ll never know. At the very least, we can take solace in the fact that Scream 2 is better than Scream 3, which is just terrible.

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