Jamie Kennedy Thinks His Scream Character May Have Been Based On Quentin Tarantino

Played by comedian Jamie Kennedy, film geek Randy Meeks in "Scream" and " Scream 2" is probably the most relatable character in the entire franchise. He's always the fifth wheel and probably spent more lonely nights at home watching horror movies than he'd care to admit. Perpetually single, Randy lived vicariously through the popular kids at Woodsboro High. He watched Sidney and Billy take their PG-13 relationship into R-rated territory (big mistake!), and stood idly by as Stu and Tatum bickered and flirted with each other. Randy was the class clown and the horror movie expert, so naturally, Tatum thinks he's actually Ghostface moments before her death (when it's actually Billy Loomis).

Like a lot of us, Randy learned about life through movies. Just as he watched the characters on screen behaving in predictable, formulaic ways, he also noticed how cliché and stereotypical the people in his own life were acting. Being a student of horror movies makes him become a good detective and a prime suspect in the first "Scream." In "Scream 2," Randy, not surprisingly, is a film major at Windsor College but he meets his maker before ever getting a chance to make a movie of his own.

Would Randy have been a good director? Surely, he would never have betrayed Sidney by stepping behind the camera for "Stab," but his first feature would've had to be a horror movie, right? One director that still hasn't made a horror movie (although, depending on who you ask, "Death Proof" might count) is Quentin Tarantino, who once told Vulture he "could have imagined" directing the first "Scream" if he had been asked. In fact, Kennedy thinks the Randy Meeks character may have been loosely based on the famed video store clerk turned Oscar winning writer-director.

Randy and Quentin would have been pals

In "Scream," Randy's encyclopedic cinematic knowledge aids in identifying the killer (or killers) and, more importantly, helps to establish the rules of how to survive a horror movie. Working at the local Woodsboro video store gave Randy unlimited access to beloved classics and the latest popular releases, although the Blockbuster inspired store definitely had nowhere near the amount of genre options that Video Archives in Manhattan Beach did back when a 20-something Quentin Tarantino worked there. 

Nevertheless, Jamie Kennedy did a lot of his own movie research to get into the mindset of a dedicated cinephile. Randy probably could've held his own talking movies with Tarantino at Video Archives, and Kennedy thinks their similarities weren't a coincidence, telling Bloody Disgusting in 2021:

"I believe Quentin Tarantino could have been an inspiration because I feel like he's one of our early filmmakers raised in a movie house. Then he made movies based on movies he loved, gave them his own spin, and made movies for people that loved movies."

As a wannabe filmmaker, it's a lot easier to be an original if you know the tropes and pitfalls that other films fall victim to. It's not a guarantee that someone like Tarantino became a great director just by being obsessed with movies, but it certainly doesn't hurt. "That's why his movies are so good because they're so precise because he's a super movie lover," Kennedy said about the '90s maverick who changed the film landscape with "Pulp Fiction." "I think that's what Randy is."

Sadly, we'll never see a Randy Meeks picture, unless of course he makes a stunning, improbable return in "Scream VI." Maybe Randy's niece, Mandy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), will uncover another explainer tape from Randy. Technically, that would count as a movie, right?

Which legacy death made more of an impact on the franchise?

Unless the "Scream" franchise wants to take a major risk, Randy Meeks and Stu Macher are probably better off dead. Realistically, bringing Randy back in some capacity would be more believable than resurrecting Stu, who was last seen with a television on top of his head at the end of "Scream." Fans also don't mourn Stu's death the way they lament Randy's shocking demise midway through the sequel.

Because of the ripple effects of Randy's death throughout the franchise, his death should be considered a legacy kill right alongside Dewey's death in "Scream" (2022). Randy's death, in retrospect, is more tragic because he really just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Randy is a placeholder for Gale in "Scream 2" when Billy's mother, Nancy Loomis (Laurie Metcalf), kills him unceremoniously in the back of a news van. As Ghostface, Nancy improvises and targets Randy just to take him off the board. What makes it even more affecting is how Randy's true devotion for Sidney causes him to ignore his own carefully constructed set of rules. Randy isn't a bystander in his own life anymore. He's living his life, which winds up leading to his death.

On the flip side, Dewey's death is arguably more shocking because he had survived the abuse and attempted murder of seven Ghostface killers leading up to the events in "Scream" (2022). When Amanda (Mikey Madison), another movie obsessive, brutally guts Dewey, it's an honor for her. She is trophy hunting, and Dewey is the ultimate prize. Dewey's excessively violent death is final, offering no opportunity for his character to ever return. That makes his death more impactful and cathartic, since Randy can still come back. Maybe.