Scream 3 film poster.
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Cathy Konrad |
|Written by||Ehren Kruger|
|Starring||David Arquette |
Courteney Cox Arquette
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release date(s)||February 4, 2000|
|Running time||118 minutes|
|Preceded by||Scream 2|
|Followed by||Scream 4|
Scream 3 is a 2000 horror film directed by Wes Craven with a screenplay by Ehren Kruger. It is the third installment in the successful Scream series of satirical horror films. It was originally meant to be the last installment of the Scream series, but in 2008, Scream 4 was officially announced by Dimension Films.
This is the only part of the planned Scream trilogy not to be written by Kevin Williamson, as he was busy working on his short-lived television series Wasteland. Ehren Kruger (writer of the film Arlington Road, who would later go on to write the screenplays for The Ring, The Ring Two , The Skeleton Key and Rings) was given the task of writing the script based on notes Williamson himself had sketched out.
As bodies begin dropping around the set of STAB 3, a movie sequel based on the gruesome Woodsboro killings, Sidney and other survivors are once again drawn into a game of horror movie mayhem.
Having experienced the trauma of the killings at Woodsboro and at Windsor College,
Sidney Prescott now lives in a secluded area of California where she works as a women's crisis counselor from her home. Her home has a security gate around it and she is now practically an agoraphobic, only leaving her house to walk her pet Golden Retriever. Her whereabouts are unknown even to her surviving friends (save for Dewey and her father). Gale Weathers has become a largely successful news reporter (of a sensationalist style), thanks to the books she wrote revolving around the murders of the first two films and subsequent films based on the books. Despite the success, it has affected her personal life, as Dewey has apparently given up of any chance of their relationship and is instead beginning to be the bodyguard for actress Jennifer Jolie. Gale questions if everything she has done for her career is worth the prices she has paid.
The film begins when Cotton Weary, the man wrongly convicted of killing Sidney's mother prior to the first film, is murdered along with his girlfriend Christine Hamilton for refusing to reveal information about Sidney's whereabouts. Suspected of being related to the original killings, Los Angeles Police Department detectives led by
Mark Kincaid inform Gale Weathers of Weary's murder, asking if she may know anything about a picture found at the murder scene. When she identifies it as a picture of Maureen Prescott, Sidney's mother, it becomes apparent the killings are linked to her murder.
Sidney, Gale, and Dewey become involved in investigating. The cast and crew of the latest Stab movie (based upon the events of the previous movie Scream 2) are systematically being killed off one by one; the actors are being killed in the order in which they die in the script.
Sarah Darling is the third victim of the killer when she is tricked into coming to an emptied office by the killer and is knocked through a glass window and then stabbed in the back. Steven Stone (Jennifer's bodyguard) gets a phone call from Dewey while rummaging through his trailer. After delivering an insult about Tatum, Ghostface emerges from a back room, having used Dewey's voice via the voice changer and stabs Stone in the back. Although Stone fends him off, Ghostface kicks him back into a cupboard, plunging the knife deeper in his back before bludgeoning him several times with a frying pan. Stone manages to muster up enough strength to walk to the front door of Jennifer's house, dying in front of Dewey, Gale, Angelina, Tom, and Jennifer.
As paranoia sets in, a menacing fax is sent. Tom Prinze flips a lighter to read the message in the blacked-out mansion, unknowingly falling into the killer's plan, as the fire ignites the leaked gas and blows up the house, killing him and throwing the rest of the cast down the hill. The killer attacks Gale but is deterred by Dewey's shooting.
Gale and Jennifer Jolie meet archiver Bianca Burnette as they investigate Maureen's murder. Sidney meets Angelina Tyler at the movie set, before wandering onto the set and being attacked by the killer, though it seems as if she imagined the whole incident.
Producer John Milton invites the cast to a party at his house. Director Roman Bridger and Jennifer check out the basement while Tyson Fox and Angelina explore the house. After realizing that the killer has tricked them into congregating at the house, Dewey and Gale split up to round up the cast and escape. Gale stumbles upon Roman's body in a chest, but she meets Jennifer and Angelina. Appearing to be extremely scared, Angelina runs off alone and is "murdered" by Ghostface. The killer brazenly attacks the remaining four and wounds Dewey and Tyson. He chases Tyson and throws him over the balcony, killing him. Meanwhile, in the shuffle, Jennifer falls into a hidden passage which happens to be connected to the room where Dewey and Gale are hiding by a one-sided mirror. She meets the killer and becomes the next victim in an ironic twist where Jennifer is banging on the mirror from her side to escape her attacker. Dewey then shoots the mirror but is too slow and she is stabbed to death. The killer next attacks Gale and knocks out Dewey. He holds them hostage to draw Sidney to the house. Sidney preempts his moves and shoots him, but before she can release Gale and Dewey, he escapes. Kincaid arrives on the scene and saves Sidney from an attack by the killer, but Kincaid is rendered unconscious.
The killer chases Sidney to a room, and he reveals himself to be Roman (who had faked his own murder), the connection is that he is Maureen's illegitimate son and Sidney's half-brother. He brings out John (who had been gagged and stuffed at a corner of the room) and kills him in front of Sidney. It is further revealed that Roman is a product of rape, which occurred during Maureen's brief stint as a B-list movie actress. Roman tells Sidney that her mother left her father and cheated on him with Hank Loomis, causing Nancy Loomis to leave her husband. Roman managed to track down Maureen and revealed himself to be her son but she slammed the door in his face. Swearing revenge, Roman told Billy Loomis why his mother had left his father, and convinced him to kill Maureen. Roman also told Billy to have an accomplice who was weak and easily willing to help him out, which turned out to be Stu Macher which ultimately triggered the events of the first movie and that of the second.
Tired of hearing another killer blaming the circumstances of their life on her. Sidney berates Roman who gets angered enough to attack her leading to a fight. Roman manages to gain the upper hand but a distraction by Kincaid allows Sidney to grab his knife.
He, however, finds Kincaid's gun and shoots her, knocking her down. He shoots her in the chest to be certain in killing her. But Dewey and Gale on the verge of breaking into room distracts him for a moment, when he turns around, Sidney is gone. Roman tears the room apart trying to find her before going to use his cell phone to locate her. Sidney beats him to punch using a phone to catch him off guard before popping up from behind the bar, stabbing him several times in the back before stabbing him in the heart. As Roman dies, Sidney reveals she had a bulletproof vest on as well, commenting they weren't so different. The two siblings seem to reconcile. But just as Dewey and Gale arrive, Roman jumps up to attack them again. But Dewey stuns him with several shots to the chest before, on the advice of Sidney, finishes Roman with a headshot, killing him for good.
At Sidney's secluded house in the woods, Dewey surprises Gale with a wedding proposal, of which Gale agrees. Kincaid, still recovering from his injuries, invites Sidney to join him, Dewey, and Gale for a movie. Sidney closes her front door, but it creaks open a few moments later. Sidney walks away realizing her long-time fears have diminished and she has new found freedom.
Cast & characters
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott: A 21-year-old recluse living in Monterey, California. She legally changes her name to Laura, and becomes a counsellor who works at the California Women's Crisis Counseling hotline. She suffers traumatic nightmares amid the killing spree, and reunites with Dewey and Gale to learn the truth about her mother and the killer's identity.
- David Arquette as Dwight "Dewey" Riley: The 28-year-old technical advisor on the set of Stab 3. He is hostile towards Gale after she abandoned him after his recovery and their brief time together in Woodsboro after the Windsor College Murders. He is possibly involved with Jennifer Jolie, whose house he stays in, to fill the void left behind by Gale. He teams up with Gale once more to unmask the new killer. They reconcile and get engaged.
- Courteney Cox Arquette as Gale Weathers: The 36-year-old reporter for Total Entertainment following a failed stint on Sixty Minutes II. She is recruited by Mark Kincaid to assist with the investigation of Cotton Weary's murder. She soon reunites with Dewey and Sidney; the trio investigate the new murders together. This includes a connection between Maureen Prescott and John Milton which leads to the killer's identity. At the end of the film, she gets engaged to Dewey.
- This is the only Scream film where Cox is credited by her double-barrelled name through marriage. After production wrapped on Scream 4 (2011), Cox announced the end of her marriage to Arquette, and Cox's name credit was restored to its maiden name.
- Patrick Dempsey as Detective Mark Kincaid: A detective around age 30 with the LAPD who, along with his partner J. Wallace, is assigned to investigate the murder of Cotton Weary. He enlists the help of Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers to solve the new murders and develops romantic interest in Sidney.
- Scott Foley as Roman Bridger/Ghostface #5: The 29-year-old director of Stab 3 who is unhappy with the position of his life as he is about to turn 30. It is revealed that he is the new Ghostface killer and the half-brother of Sidney Prescott as a result of Maureen Prescott's gang rape at one of John Milton's Hollywood parties when she was an actress at his studio.
- Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie (stage name)/Judy Jurgenstern: The actress who portrayed Gale in Stab and Stab 2, now returning for the fictional film entry, Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro. She views technical advisor, Dewey Riley as a secondary bodyguard to her, and in the role of Gale, is hinted to show romantic feelings for him, but is aware of his love for the real Gale.
- Emily Mortimer as Angelina Tyler/Unrevealed Ghostface: An actress cast as Sidney in Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro after Tori Spelling quit the role. After falsifying an ingénue persona, she "reveals"/claims to have slept with John Milton to get the role in the climax.
- However, her deception may go further; Wes Craven shot the majority of the film with the intention of Angelina being the second killer (and attack scenes confirm the impossibility of a sole killer). The DVD trilogy boxset and collections omit Angelina, despite her attack (which may have been staged), as one of the deceased.
- Matt Keeslar as Tom Prinze: An actor cast as Dewey in Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro after David Schwimmer departed the role. He is hostile towards Gale's tabloid journalism and her false reports of his substance abuse issues. Tom is ultimately killed by Ghostface when Jennifer's house is blown up with him inside.
- Jenny McCarthy as Sarah Darling: An actress cast as Candy in Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro. She is unhappy with her role as a 35-year-old, playing 21-year-old and is killed by Ghostface after being lured to the set by Roman Bridger. Her character is a parody of Sarah Michelle Gellar during the production of Scream 2.
- Deon Richmond as Tyson Fox: An actor cast as Ricky, a Randy Meeks homage, in Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro. He is hesitant to quit the movie as he struggles to find work and is ultimately killed by Ghostface at John Milton's mansion.
- Lance Henriksen as John Milton: The president of Sunrise Studios who raped Maureen Prescott when she was younger and working as an actress in Hollywood. He is the father of Roman Bridger who kills him as a result of him hurting his mother and abandoning him.
- Kelly Rutherford as Christine Hamilton: Cotton Weary's girlfriend who is murdered by Ghostface in their house in order to get Cotton to tell him where Sidney is hiding.
- Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary: A former Woodsboro Resident who now hosts his own talk show after gathering fame after the Windsor College murders. He is taunted by Ghostface who demands to know where Sidney is and he is ultimately killed when he doesn't confess.
- Patrick Warburton as Steven Stone: Jennifer Jolie's bodyguard who is hired after the murders start on the set of Stab 3. He is caught off guard by Ghostface and killed before Jennifer's house is blown up.
- Heather Matarazzo as Martha Meeks: Randy Meeks's sister who shows up on the set of Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro with a video tape Randy made at Windsor College with the rules to survive a Horror Movie Trilogy.
- Lawrence Hecht as Neil Prescott: Sidney's father who worries about her amid her agoraphobic isolation.
- Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks (Credited as "Special Appearance By"; Cameo Video)
- Carrie Fisher as Bianca Burnette
- Kevin Smith as Silent Bob
- Jason Mewes as Jay
- Matthew Lillard as Stu Macher (Uncredited, Archive Voice-Over)
- Skeet Ulrich as Billy Loomis (Uncredited, Archive Voice-Over)
Rules for a Horror Trilogy
A signature device, started in Scream and continued in future films, was the typical "rules" for that type of horror movie being stated by the characters. In Scream 3, Sidney, Dewey, Gale and Randy's sister (Heather Matarazzo), watch a video made by Randy (Jamie Kennedy, in a cameo role) before his death in Scream 2; he states that if the third movie is just another sequel, then the standard rules for a sequel (given in Scream 2) apply.
However, "If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected backstory, and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules do not apply. Because you are not dealing with a sequel, you are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy." The rules for the final concluding chapter of a trilogy are different:
- 1. "You've got a killer who’s gonna be superhuman. Stabbing him won’t work, shooting him won’t work. Basically, in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up."
- 2. "Anyone, including the main character, can die. This means you, Sid."
- 3. "The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you."
Although, in the first few drafts, there was a fourth rule: "Never be alone", but this was taken out because Gale immediately goes off alone afterward.
Once again, Scream 3 uses self-aware characters and generally references itself as a movie most of the time.
Most of the story is set in Hollywood and focuses on the making of Stab 3, the film franchise within the story that is based on the events of the trilogy. For instance, actors (Parker Posey and Matt Keeslar) are playing characters that are actors (Jennifer Jolie and Tom Prinze) playing characters based on Gale and Dewey respectively. There is a constant comparison between the "movie Gale" played by Jennifer and the "real" one.
The character name "Jennifer Jolie" is a combination of Jennifer Aniston and
Angelina Jolie. "Angelina Tyler" is a combination of Angelina Jolie and Liv Tyler. "Tom Prinze" is a combination of Tom Cruise and Freddie Prinze, Jr. "Tyson Fox" is probably derived from the names of Tyson Beckford and Jamie Foxx.
Jenny McCarthy's character Sarah complains that she is playing a big character in Stab sequel who is killed after two scenes. This is exactly what happens to Sarah, and the number of scenes she has in Scream 3.
The characters believe Randy's rules about surviving a trilogy, and by the end, even Sidney herself believes she is in a trilogy. Several scenes take place on movie sets which are actually sets of the first film. The climax takes place in a producer's house, with various movie props and filming equipment figuring prominently. Finally, the movie literally ends with "the door being left open" for future installments.
There are also celebrity cameos (such as Carrie Fisher, Nancy O'Dell, Jay and Silent Bob), and general Hollywood references (including Brad Pitt, Connie Chung, Seinfeld).
In the climax of the film, Neve Campbell is wearing a green top and brown leather jacket, similar to the outfit she wore in the climax of Scream 2.
- Jay and Silent Bob, the popular characters from Kevin Smith's movies, appear as tourists visiting Sunrise Studios. In the original Scream, a VHS copy of their first film Clerks can be spotted in Stu Macher's house. Kevin Smith would later go on to include Wes Craven in a cameo as the director of a fictitious Scream 4 in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; in addition, a copy of Scream 3 can be seen in the background of a scene taking place within a video store in Smith's 2004 film Jersey Girl.
- Wes Craven makes a cameo dressed as a tourist walking behind Jay and Silent Bob, outside the Stab 3 set.
- Carrie Fisher plays Bianca Burnette, an employee of the studio making Stab 3. Talking with Gale and Jennifer, she says that when she was young she tried to win the casting to play Princess Leia, but the role went to a girl who slept with George Lucas.
- Roger Corman appears as a studio executive in an early scene on the Stab 3 set.
References to people
- The name on the empty cinematographer's chair on the set of the fictitious Stab 3 is the name of the real film's actual cinematographer, Peter Deming.
- Jay and Silent Bob, who makes an appearance, mistake Gale for TV reporter Connie Chung. They also ask her about Maury Povich. To return the favor, Kevin Smith, who plays Silent Bob, let Wes Craven be a part of his movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He plays himself, who is on set directing the then fictional Scream 4.
- Patrick Dempsey was hired one day before shooting began at a real North Hollywood police station. He received his pages in the morning. Craven and Maddalena praised Dempsey's professionalism for short notice preparation.
- Producer Marianne Maddalena expressed slight frustration at the police station scenes being shot first due to the fact that scripts were being written day-by-day, and they were the most exposition and plot-direction heavy.
- The second day of filming featured Sidney and Mark's exchange at the police station, which Wes considered his favorite scene of the film. He called it "Beautifully textured" and "scored", praising both "Patrick and Neve’s skill"; the scene had very little cut from it.
- "As soon as I thought, I had more secrets", Neve forgets to deliver a comma between 'thought' and 'I' as noted by Patrick Lussier. (1:14:16)
- Wes Craven points out a continuity error stated by J. Wallace, "Ten more murders, we’ll have a calendar year". There have been three murders thus far (Christine, Cotton, and Sarah), therefore it would be nine murders, as he says. (33:10)
- Patrick Lussier points out re-shoots, where Christine was previously dead impacting the mistake. However, Wes later amends his point by pointing out Christine dies either way. Lussier suggests they are possibly referring to the photos left behind in correlation, and not necessarily body count. (33:53)
- Wardrobe continuity error: Dewey wears his Act 3 outfit in one of the earlier scenes.
- Sidney's call with Ghostface was shot twice. One version was film-oriented, and Scream 3 shot it both ways. One version was orientated towards film trivia, and the other was creating a more psychological thriller element with Maureen, and Sidney's sanity being of question, which they used instead.
- The news reporter reporting the death toll was shot twice to accommodate a change of continuity with scripts being re-written day-by-day.
- Matt Keeslar and Emily Mortimer did have an extended scene at the porch where Tom asks Angelina out, later referenced by Jennifer later. It was cut for practicality/time reasons.
- When Gale is caught "slinking" at Jennifer's, the scene was originally shot more elaborately. It originally showed David frisking Courteney before Gale shows Maureen a photo of Maureen as an actress.
- Shot twice: Steven Stone's pre-death scene call with Dewey. Originally, Dewey was angry and reprimanding. This changed to a more melancholy, hurtful tone and tentative attitude. The three in the commentary agreed it was one of the best jump scares of the film, because the hurtful tone was more reminiscent of the actual Dewey.
- Streamlined break-up: Dewey and Gale's break-up was much more elaborately explained in some of the scenes shot that were chopped down in re-editing. Sidney subtly admonishes Gale somewhat because of the break-up in their first interaction in the film; this scene was shot but was cut out, and they worked a way around it to re-focus suspicion on Mark in the scene, and simply reduced the interaction between Sidney and Gale into an awkward hug.
- Patrick Warburton's sideburns: the three discuss how they knew of this issue during production, but the costume and wardrobe department were somewhat dismissive of it. (35:04)
- The scene with Heather Matarazzo outside was the hottest day of filming, with the crew being "faintly". Wes credits "movie magic" for the day looking much colder than it actually was.
- The producers were "pesky" about finding a successful way for Randy to return alive. It became inconceivable that he survived, and that led to the video tape. It evolves from a messenger to a sister.
- David Arquette wanted to eat tamales during the video tape but they needed it to be a serious scene.
- They originally had an explanation for how Martha Meeks showed up on set, despite high-security. They briefly recall a game show she was attending, though it was cut.
- Wes Craven calls Jennifer Jolie "half-ditzy, half-smart".
- Scenes with Jennifer Jolie and Gale Weathers going down the stairs to see Bianca were a nod to the script being declared Scooby Doo-esque.
- Harvey’s idea for a Carrie Fisher cameo.
- “Fifty dollars? Reporter for Woodsboro High?” is an ad-lib by Parker Posey.
- There was a “Be right back” bathroom scene before Sidney enters the bathroom; she says this to Dewey.
- The three note how Courteney accidentally calls Sarah Darling "Setareh Darling".
- Wes Craven notes Mark Kincaid leaving the room after his interaction with Sidney is to show he is either suspicious or negligent.
- The "My Gale would be aggressive" scene, followed by Roman using Sidney's voice for the voice modifier was re-shot, because Wes felt the actors were more alive at night and ready to resolve the mystery in that version of the way it was shot. They called this one of the luxuries of the re-shoot.
- The scene where Roman slows his pulse was something Wes tried very hard to explain in-dialogue, with how you can put pressure on the artery to mask symptoms of lifelessness, but they could not find a way for it to come off as natural. One attempt was when Sidney reveals her bulletproof vest after stabbing and defeating Roman. (01:22:00)
- Lussier notes Angelina being "dragged away", after she dies, asking, "Is she really dead?"
- They tried to confirm Angelina as the second killer, but could not "sell it to the studio". (01:22:50)
- The scene where Dewey has to figure out Gale is the real Gale, and not a voice modifier was originally much more elaborate. It was trimmed down significantly. (01:26:00)
- When Roman throws a knife to Dewey's head and he falls, it was originally supposed to be his arm, but they discovered they had already done that before.
- Neve lent a childhood photo to appear as Young Sidney. (01:28:00)
- A whole sequence where Sidney steals a police car and the police discover one of their vehicles missing was planned, but never shot. They felt "You follow directions well, Sidney" was a better way to resolve it without going too into detail or overcomplicating it for pacing reasons.
- In the version where Angelina would be revealed as the second killer, Tyson, Jennifer and Angeline were hung up. Dewey and Gale are in the screening room and bust through at the end. Sidney goes in, and Angelina is alive. (01:32:46)
- On the planned incestuous subtext, "Sick! We love the sickness." Marianne Maddalena strongly desired a vulgar and disturbing explanation as part of Roman's motive.
- They note Josh Pais' absence.
- Wes' idea to do a triple costume unveiling from "Mother" in the bodybag to Ghostface to the bulletproof vest. He worried it was "too looney" but managed to pace Roman's reveal to be more graceful and natural. (01:36:00)
- Mark wears a wig in the re-shoots in Act 3 (which he was originally absent for) because Patrick cut his hair off. He did not inform production, and the wig was found in 12 hours. (01:40:00)
- Scott Foley also wore a wig for re-shoots. There is a difference in his sideburns. (01:43:00)
- The original climax was shot in August 1999, and the re-shoots were in January 2000, but they also state it occurred "three months apart".
- Sidney walking in during the epilogue with Cherokee was re-shot to capture the "magical light" of sunrise.
- "Sometimes you do think you know everything" was ad-libbed by David Arquette.
- An amplified, triumphant version of Sidney’s theme used in the epilogue.
- Backup power of the fax machine is how the fax machine works, despite the power being out. A line confirming this was removed in the final product because it came off unnatural.
- Steward Besser shot Maureen's affairs.
|Scream 3 has a Photo Gallery.|
- Shot over a period of twelve weeks.
- At one hour and fifty-six minutes, this is the second longest film in the Scream franchise.
- This film's ending reveals the true mastermind behind the Woodsboro Murders.
- Stu Macher was originally gonna be the villain of the movie, having survived his death from the first. He was the mastermind behind a plot of new killings from prison and then targeting Sidney. But this idea was scrapped due to the Columbine High school Massacre incident. Matthew Lillard said this in an interview.
- In Scream 3, when Sidney jumped over the bar and stabbed the killer in the back with an icepick, Neve Campbell missed the pad that she was supposed to plunge the pick into and actually hit flesh. scream is genuine.
- Scream 3 is the first and so far the only film in the franchise to only have one killer in the movie, if you don't believe the theory that Angelina is the second killer).
- If you don't, then Roman is the only killer in the franchise to have acted alone. All of the other "Ghostfaces" in the franchise have had an accomplice.
- Patrick Dempsey was hired the day before shooting began. He had one night to learn three big dialogue-heavy scenes.
- Wes Craven filmed three different endings and didn't tell the cast which one he was going to use.
- Neve Campbell's contract allowed her to be on the set for just twenty days, which is why Sidney has less screen time than in the other films. As a result of her role being reduced, more emphasis was put on the supporting characters.
- Wes Craven was briefly considered for the role of John Milton.
- The publicity stills of young Maureen Prescott, or "Rina Reynolds", are actually early modeling photos of a young Lynn McRee, the actress who portrayed the adult Maureen Prescott.
- Scott Foley's feature film debut.
- Scott Foley did not know he was going to be the killer until halfway through shooting the film.
- Jamie Kennedy, despite appearing in each of the first three films, has never appeared on any of the movie posters.
- The rules for a continued horror film sequel as stated in the movie are: The killer must be superhuman. Mere stabbing or shooting will not be enough to kill the killer. Anyone can die, including the main character. The past will come back to haunt someone.
- This is one of two films in the franchise not written by Kevin Williamson, the other being Scream (2022).
- Liev Schreiber insisted that Cotton Weary should remove his jacket in the opening sequence. Schreiber had been working out a lot at the time and wanted to show off his physique.
- Different endings were shot concerning the fate of Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey), as the producers were unsure about whether he would die or not at the time.
- In Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) was punched in the face by Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). In this movie, Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey), who is playing Gale Weathers in "Stab 3", is punched in the face by the real Gale Weathers.
- Kevin Williamson wrote a script for this movie until they hired a new writer and disregarded his draft.
- Wes Craven encountered repeated conflicts over censorship with the MPAA regarding violence, with Craven stating in an interview that the issues made him consider leaving the horror genre.
- Because of the Columbine massacre, the producers were pressured into toning down the film's violence. (At one point, the studio attempted to demand no blood to be seen in the film at all). As such, the film is a bit more satirical and comedic than the first two.
- Some versions of the script had Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey) getting killed in the finale.
- If Courteney Cox and David Arquette look a little tanned in the film, it was because they had just honeymooned in the Bahamas.
- Scott Foley, Neve Campbell, and Patrick Dempsey appeared on Grey's Anatomy (2005).
- Jenny McCarthy turned down a role in Scary Movie (2000) to make this movie. However, she appeared in Scary Movie 3 (2003).
- Throughout the film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) can be seen to be wearing the Greek letters around her neck that were given to her by her boyfriend Derek (Jerry O'Connell) in Scream 2 (1997), shortly before he was killed.
- Another idea for Jamie Kennedy to reprise his character Randy Meeks was to have him survive the stabbing in Scream 2 (1997), his family having rescued him secretly. This was ultimately deemed to be too far-fetched so Randy was resurrected via a post-mortem video appearance instead.
- This is the only Scream movie where Sidney (Neve Campbell) doesn't know nor meet the killer personally. The killer in Scream (1996) was Billy (Sidney's boyfriend) and Stu (Billy's friend). In Scream 2 (1997), the killer was Mickey (Sidney's college friend) and Debbie Loomis (Billy Loomis' mother). But here, Sidney never met Roman nor talked to him before he revealed himself. That being said, she did briefly talk to Angelina in the film, who is implied to be the second killer.
- Sarah (Jenny McCarthy) complains about her "Stab 3" character, Candy, only having two scenes before she is killed. Sarah only has two scenes in this film before she is killed, too.
- Tyson Fox (Deon Richmond) says that Cotton Weary's (Liev Schreiber's) murderer was "probably some "Stab" fan pissed off they killed Randy in "Stab 2", which is a reference to "Scream" fanatics being upset that Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) was killed in Scream 2 (1997). Wes Craven got hate e-mail at his official website because the character was killed. It was the fans upset that led to the idea of Randy surviving Scream 2 (1997) as a twist, later via a video recording.
- Roman Bridger is the only character not to be seen killed on-screen. This is to trick the audience, as it is later revealed that he is the killer.
- The ten deaths in the movie in order are: Christine (Kelly Rutherford), Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), Sarah Darling (Jenny McCarthy), Steven Stone (Patrick Warburton), Tom Prinze (Matt Keeslar), Angelina Tyler (Emily Mortimer), Tyson Fox (Deon Richmond), Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey), John Milton (Lance Henriksen), and Roman Bridger (Scott Foley).
- In Scream (1996), Tatum (Rose McGowan) argues that a woman could be the killer, referencing Sharon Stone in Kôri no bishô (1992). The guys reply that an ice pick is not the same thing. At the end of this film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) stabs the killer with an ice pick.
- Originally, Angelina's (Emily Mortimer's) odd behavior was intended to end with her revealing she was Roman's (Scott Foley's) accomplice. Sidney (Neve Campbell) would have recognized her as Angela Crick, a girl from college who became obsessed with her. Roman manipulated the situation to get her cast as Sidney to fulfill his psychotic, incestuous fantasies. Gale (Courteney Cox) fights with Angelina (Emily Mortimer), who is later shot by Sidney. However, she survives, only to be shot to death by Sidney, mirroring Mickey's (Timothy Olyphant's) death. She then turns around and remembers Randy's (Jamie Kennedy's) advice that Roman is superhuman, only to shoot him in the head, in turn mirroring Mrs. Loomis' (Laurie Metcalf's) death. The producers found the reveal too bizarre and last minute, as well as too similar to the ending of Scream 2 (1997), so they changed the ending. However, this version explains her oddities in the final version, and clues still remain in the film that she is the second killer.
- When Sarah (Jenny McCarthy) is reading the script with Roman (Scott Foley) over the phone, there is a hint to the killer's identity when Roman's voice changes to Ghostface.
- The Killer took eighteen shots to the body and one to the head. The body shots were five .38 Special rounds and thirteen .9 millimeter rounds, and was quick enough to dodge six .357 Magnum rounds from a Python. This would cause heavy arterial bleeding (if not death).
- This is the first film where Ghostface has a new voice changer.
Two alternate openings exist for Scream 3. The first alternate opening played out almost exactly the same way as the theatrical opening however in this version Cotton attempts to escape through the skylight in his office and is then stabbed in the leg by Ghostface and dragged back down into the house where he is killed.
The second alternate opening was similar to the theatrical opening however Cotton only speaks to Christine through the phone and upon finding out that the killer is in his house, he races home and receives a call from Christine that she is at the Starbucks and is racing home to meet him. Cotton searches the house and is called again by Christine who tells him she is home and to open the door. She then instructs Cotton to open the hall closet to get a bat and when he does Christine's dead body falls out of the closet. Revealing that the voice on the phone was Ghostface who then kills Cotton.
The alternate ending was fairly similar to the theatrical ending albeit some different dialogue from Ghostface before he rips his mask off as well as different dialogue during the scene where Roman looks for Sidney in the screening room. Additionally, Sidney has the idea to call Roman and calls his phone before he gets a chance to think of the idea himself.
There are rumours that there is an extended ending where Sidney, Mark, Dewey and Gale sit down to watch a movie which is a continuation of Randy's tape with a fourth rule for trilogies. There is said to be another ending that was filmed with our Mark Kincaid in the event of his character being killed off or his fate being left unknown.
The film set a record in its opening weekend for the number of screens in the United States: 3,467. This was later surpassed by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) with 3,762.
The film had a sizable opening weekend of over $34 million. It grossed $161 million worldwide.
The film received generally mixed reviews from film critics; according to Rotten Tomatoes' general consensus from critics, Scream 3 became what the series originally started out spoofing, and concluded that it fell back on the typical horror movie clichés.
In a positive review, the Los Angeles Times called the film, "Genuinely scary and also highly amusing", and the BBC stated that "as the conclusion to the trilogy it works more effectively than anyone had a right to expect". Variety also praised the film as the end of the Scream trilogy, saying "Aficionados will be the best able to appreciate how wittily Craven has brought down the curtain on his much-imitated, genre-reviving series" while Empire called it "satisfying" though believed the premise of the series had worn thin.
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