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Scream Wiki
I don't know about homicide, but you've definitely got me for raising my voice in a public library.

–Cotton Weary in Scream 2

Cotton Weary was a main character in Scream 2 (1997 film). He also makes a cameo appearance in the original film, and is the opening kill victim of the third film.

A resident of Woodsboro, he had a secret affair with an older woman, Maureen Prescott, and was falsely accused and arrested of her rape and murder in late-September 1995. Gale Weathers felt strongly about his innocence, feeling Maureen seduced Cotton and the killer planted incriminating evidence in his car to frame him, including his coat.

Maureen's daughter, Sidney Prescott, was the key eye-witness in sending Cotton away to await execution. However, he was released from prison a year later when it was revealed that Billy Loomis and Stu Macher were the ones that killed Maureen and framed Cotton.

Opportunistic, he sought fame and fortune with Gale's help and finally achieved it after saving Sidney's life at Windsor College in 1998, even though he was a chief suspect during the second murder spree. His name would be cleared and he would be proven innocent again. He parlayed the media coverage into his own show in Hollywood, 100% Cotton, before finally falling prey to a new Ghostface whose quest was to locate Sidney.

Craig Bierko portrayed him in the original Stab trilogy. Cotton himself was the second character to fall victim to the third Ghostface killing spree in Scream 3 (2000 film).


Early Life[]

Maureen Cotton Affair

Cotton and Maureen

Cotton had a secret affair with Maureen Prescott. She was murdered one night after they had sex and the killers (Billy Loomis and Stu Macher) framed him by one of them wearing his coat while leaving the house. Sidney saw the figure in Cotton's jacket and assumed it was him.

Over the course of his trial TV reporter, Gale Weathers, frequently defended Cotton, saying he was innocent and that Sidney was lying. Going as far as writing a book about it, Gale insisted that Cotton was framed and subsequently falsely identified as the killer. Sidney's testimony was key in his conviction, which caused him to go to prison for Maureen's rape and murder for at least a year.

The Woodsboro Murders[]

Cotton on TV

Cotton on TV in Scream

Sidney watched video footage of Cotton after he was sentenced. Cotton has now been sentenced to death and has been scheduled to be put in the gas chamber according to Gale. Sidney argues with Gale over Cotton's innocence. In the climax of the film it is revealed that the true killers of Maureen Prescott, Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, had framed Cotton for the murder. Between the first and second film, he was made a free man for the first time in a year.

The Windsor College Murders[]


After being released from custody, Cotton became a regular news feature. However, he expected more fame than he got. He agreed to accompany Gale to Windsor College for an interview and recorded meeting with Sidney after the double homicide of Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens. Sidney refused to participate, which particularly irritated Cotton, because Gale told him Sidney had known about it. Although innocent and compassionate, Cotton also proved to become quickly angered due to his wrongful imprisonment.

Cotton Weary and Sidney-Prescott

Cotton infiltrates the college to talk Sidney into a joint interview

After Sidney was threatened in an instant message in the library, while the police were searching for its source, Cotton caught a freaked-out Sidney and demanded an interview with Diane Sawyer in an almost threatening way. Such an interview would finally clear his name but would only work if Sidney appeared on the show with him. Due to his rash actions, he became a suspect yet again. There was nothing to hold him for regarding harassment of Sidney so he was released. It was made obvious that he would not drop the matter and leave her alone. That night he found Dewey Riley bleeding in the film department and tried to save him. Gale ran into Cotton after just narrowly escaping the killer and found his hands bloody. She assumed he was the killer. He tried to explain but she refused to listen and ran away. He eventually found Sidney and the real killer, Nancy Loomis, fighting to the death in the theater department. He picked up a gun and stopped the two.

Cotton shoots

Cotton Weary about to shoot Mrs Loomis

Sidney explained Mrs. Loomis and Mickey Altieri were the two killers. Cotton was disappointed, Mrs. Loomis wasn't really a reporter named Debbie Salt but she argued that she could still help his career. Mrs. Loomis seemed to gain Cotton's loyalty by reminding him that Sidney sent him to prison for a year. However, Sidney finally gave in to the Diane Sawyer interview, so he took Mrs. Loomis by surprise and shot her. He assured Sidney, that he would never hurt her and handed over the gun. Gale revealed she was alive and the three left the building.

IMG 1530

Cotton responds to reporters

Reporters swarm around Sidney outside, mostly leaving Cotton alone, until Sidney, in order to cancel the debt she had over her erroneous testimony against Cotton, told them, they should get the story from him, adding that he was the hero. He finally got the attention he sought, understood Sidney's actions and told her silently, the debt she had with him was settled and that she can go in peace.


Cotton became quite famous and moved to Hollywood over the next two years. He spun his fame into his own talk show, 100% Cotton. His personal life flourished as well. He started dating Christine Hamilton.



Cotton gets a call

While driving home from work one night, Cotton argued with his agent, Andrea, about scripts and stopping to do a cameo in Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro.

Scream 3 (2000) Cotton

Cotton then received a phone call while caught in traffic on his drive home one night. During the phone call, a girl deceptively tried seducing him and Cotton chose to play along. When the woman asked if his girlfriend knew, what he was up to, Cotton questioned her on, why she thought he had one. The voice on the other end then changed to Ghostface, proclaiming he knew Cotton had a girlfriend, because he was standing outside her bathroom door, watching her. The killer demanded to know Sidney's whereabouts. When Cotton refused to answer the question, Ghostface informed him that Christine would pay dearly for his silence, then hung up the phone.


Cotton before his death.

Angry and fearing for Christine's safety, Cotton rushed through traffic, trying to get home in time to save her. When Cotton entered his house, he found Christine was still alive but Ghostface tricked her into thinking that Cotton was her assailant. He was confused when she claimed he wanted to kill her. She wouldn't trust the real Cotton and attacked him with a golf club when he tried to warn her about Ghostface being behind her.

Cotton's death scene

Cotton's death

Not trusting him, she swung at him with the golf club and Ghostface snuck up behind her and stabbed her in the back. Cotton attempted to fight back but Ghostface stabbed him as well. The killer glared down at Cotton before unveiling his multi-voice changing box (which has Cotton's voice built into it) and says, "It was a simple game, Cotton. You should've told me where Sidney was. Now, you lose." After stating this, Ghostface stabbed Cotton in the face.

Kill Count[]

The following is Cotton's Ghostface kill count:

NancyDeath Nancy Loomis Shot in the chest (Stated in Scream VI) Scream 2






Cotton Weary was a self-centered young man. Unjustly convicted, he craved fame to clear his name and gain notoriety.

He was willing to go to great lengths by any means necessary (including not the most honorable) to get his way. Like Gale Weathers, he was an opportunist, but despite this, he is also a morally ambiguous person, who was also not devoid of any vestiges of nobility.

Despite an initially strained relationship with Sidney, he saves her life and they develop a mutual respect and solidarity for each other. He also tried to help Dewey after the killer attacked him, attempting to stop his bleeding (which later saved Dewey's life and allowed him to survive until the ambulance arrived).

During the beginning of the Hollywood murders, being already a successful and well-known figure, he also refused to give up Sidney's whereabouts to the killer, despite the fact that he most likely did not know where she was. He died during a fight with Ghostface, having been lured into his home and trying to rescue his lover Christine.


Scream 2

  • "I don't know about homicide, but you've definitely got me for raising my voice in a public library."
  • "I guess that interview with Diane Sawyer is looking pretty good right now!"
  • "Jeez, Gale, you've got more lives than a cat!"
  • "Well, uh, I'll tell you one thing. It'll make a hell of a movie. Thank you."

Scream 3

  • "You got me, look I've got someone on the other line, can you hold on one second? I'll be right back, I promise."
  • "You listen to me, you fucking psycho. You lay a finger on Christine, and I swear to God, I'll kill you."


Kevin Williamson and Liev Schreiber (Scream 2)

Liev Schreiber with Kevin Williamson on the set of his cameo in Scream 2.


Scream 3 (2000) Cotton's Death - SCREAM 4 - In Theaters April 15, 2011.

Cotton became the first (and so far only) recurring character[2] to be killed off in the opening scene.

  • He was described as "a once handsome man, now haggard and worn" in the Scream script.
  • Character Error: Cotton states he won't shoot a cameo for less than one million dollars for a "cheap slasher flick", referring to Stab 3, then after his death, the reporter states he already shot the cameo.
  • Scream 2 draft: Nancy Loomis planned on framing Cotton for the murders. He stabs her to death then has a change of heart. Proving to be extremely opportunistic, he stabs Gale to death and tells Sidney he can have his revenge and make money off it by being the victim. He and Sidney fight then the film fades out on their dying bodies after they've repeatedly stabbed each other.
  • Liev Schreiber asked to take his coat off in Scream 3 once he enters his home because he'd recently been working out and wanted to show off his muscles.
  • After arriving at Windsor College, Cotton dons the college's sweatshirt to better fit in.
  • Cotton tells Gale he tried to save Dewey's life after he found the former police officer stabbed in the film department. Dewey does survive so it may be in part to whatever first aid Cotton performed.
  • Before Ghostface reveals himself, Christine thinks Cotton is messing with her. She mentions Cotton playing a Stab game, alluding to a game he played with her that she didn't like.
  • While on the phone in Scream 3, he says to Ghostface 'I'll be right back'.
    • Following the rules of a horror film, you won't survive if you say 'I'll be right back'.
  • While their relationship has been rocky from the start. It is possible that near the end of Scream 2, Sidney and him have finally let go of the past and formed a friendship. One example, would be in Scream 3, despite the torture Ghostface put him through, Cotton still refused to reveal her true whereabouts.
  • He is the first surviving character to die in the opening scene of a sequel film.
  • Cotton and Christine's death scene was shot three different times before the result. The alternate opening was shot with the idea of there being two killers in mind, as Cotton arrives home and finds Christine already dead, before being attacked and killed by Ghostface. The alternate opening would suggest that Angelina killed Christine while Roman killed Cotton. In the final cut, it's rather apparent that Roman killed them both.
  • He's the only major character in the franchise who's been on TV for all of his appearances.
  • One of three character in the franchise to be framed for murders, the other two being Brandon James and Anna Hobbs.
    • Cotton is the only one whose innocence was proven while the 94 Lakewood Slasher's true identity still remains a mystery, but the showrunners of the TV series confirmed Brandon was innocent and never killed anybody. Noah Foster theorized that Anna Hobbs was innocent and framed by Reginald Whitten and she killed him in self-defense before scumming to her injuries, but this was never proven and legend states that she is the Shallow Grove Slasher.
  • According to Liev Schreiber, he personally asked Kevin Williamson to kill Cotton in the threequel (but he seems to regret it now): "All I remember was thinking, 'You know, this guy's kind of a ham. Cotton. He likes attention.' I think that was the piece that Kevin was interested in and sort of ran with. I think I said something like, 'Everybody gets their 15 minutes. Cotton wants an hour.' At that point in my career, I didn't really fully understand the value of being in a franchise. To be frank, I was like, 'Let me get out of this while I can. Get out while things are going well.' And I just thought it would be fun to be one of the iconic kills from the top. I was working and doing a lot of stuff, a lot of other stuff in New York, and theater, and I was like, 'How many times can I play this character?' And now, I realize, that you can play that character as many times as they want you to."[3]
  • In Scream VI, Cotton's portraits can be discerned in the shrine.
    • Also kept there is a promotional sign for the "100% Cotton" show.


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Cotton Weary has a Photo Gallery.


Character Guide[]

  1. According to Scream 3 DVD Bonus — Michael Neithardt played Cotton in Stab 2; continuity error.
  2. And also a de facto legacy character.