The cast were not informed of the identity of the killer until the last day of principal photography. Also, the cast did not receive the last ten pages of the shooting script until it was time to film the scenes contained therein. Furthermore, the last ten pages of the shooting script were printed on gray paper in order to deter illicit duplication of them. All cast members were required to sign confidentiality clauses as parts of their respective contracts that precluded them from discussing the outcome of the story and the killer's identity.
Usually when making a motion picture when an actor is heard on screen, but not seen, such as a voice on a telephone, the actor records his part during post production, which takes place after the completion of principal photography. However, Wes Craven had Roger Jackson, The Voice, on set and actually speaking to on-screen actors by practical, not merely prop, telephone in order to create reality and fear for them. When Jackson was on set he was kept out of sight of other actors so they could not put a friendly face to The Voice. Jackson said that the actors were intimidated by him, and would not talk to him any more than was absolutely necessary, with the exception of Sarah Michelle Gellar, who would converse amiably with him on the telephone between takes.
Kevin Williamson had the idea for a sequel while writing the script for Scream (1996), discovering there was more to the story. Scream 2 (1997) began principal photography just six months after the release of Scream (1996); and it was released less than a year after its predecessor.
The plot twists were all a matter of top secrecy throughout production. The screenplay was heavily guarded and restricted to only the most crucial personnel. Certainly none of the cast knew how the film ended as the last 10 pages were withheld from them. Consequently when the first 40 pages of the script were leaked onto the Internet, Kevin Williamson was forced to do some hasty rewrites. This meant that the film went into production without a completed script.
In Scream (1996), Tatum asks Sidney, "If they make a movie about you, who's gonna play you?" Sidney answers, "With my luck, they'd cast Tori Spelling." In "Stab," the movie-within-a-movie of Scream 2 (1997), Tori Spelling plays Sidney.
When Randy and Dewey are talking about the Stab movie, the character of Dewey is played by David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox's on-screen brother in Friends (1994) (although Schwimmer does not appear on screen in the part).
The rules for a horror-movie sequel as stated by Randy are: 1. the death total is always greater; and 2. the murder scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore. The third rule to surviving a sequel was cut from the movie, but appears in its trailer, "And number three, never, ever under any circumstance assume that the killer is dead."
The scene of "Stab," the movie-within-a-movie of Scream 2 (1997), that recreates Casey Becker's death also recreates, and exaggerates, an apparent error of Scream (1996). In Scream (1996) Casey (Drew Barrymore) was stabbed in the chest with an obviously prop, retractable knife, and the wound did not bleed until the shot following the stabbing in which Casey falls to the ground. When Casey (Heather Graham) is stabbed in "Stab," the knife almost leaves her chest, revealing the sweater undamaged.
The Gothic statues that appear on the college campus are set decorations, not real statutes at the filming location, Agnes Scott. Although the Agnes Scott students on campus during filming were instructed to not tamper with or vandalize the set decorations, and although there was a security guard assigned to the statues, students at least once succeeded in evading the guard and dressing up the statues as a prank.
In the scene where Randy corrects his class mate over the line from Aliens (1986) "get away from her you bitch/stay away from her you bitch" Randy claims it was the latter when it was actually the former.
One of the extras leaked the script to the internet (one of the first major film leaks ever). As a result, the script was almost entirely rewritten, with pages often being completed the day they were to be filmed. Security was tightened, with everyone required to sign NDAs, and underwent many reshoots. The script itself was reprinted on specialty paper to prevent photocopying and was often destroyed after use.
According to a rumour, the identity of Ghostface was changed after the original script was leaked on the internet - it was Derek and Hallie in the original ending. This was referenced in the next film where all the actors on Stab 3 were kept in the dark about the script for this reason.
In the movie trailer and television advertisements for the movie, the scene in which Sidney talks to the killer for the first time on the Lambda house telephone is altered. In the trailers, the killer replies to her question, "It's time, girlfriend!"; and in the theatrical-release version of the movie, the killer says, "I want you. It's show time."
Eager to avoid the problems with censorship that the first film had, Wes Craven attempted to manipulate the MPAA by sending them a version of the film that had been edited to focus on and enhance the gore and violence present beyond what they actually wanted in the film, including reusing a clip of Omar Epps' character being stabbed in the ear three times, instead of only once as seen in the final film, and an extended scene of Randy Meeks death that showed his throat being slashed. Craven's reasoning was that the parts of the film they wished to keep would be more acceptable when viewed with the enhanced violence and so the MPAA would force them to remove the footage they already did not want to keep while passing the content they did want. However, the MPAA granted Scream 2 an R-rating for the more violent cut as they believed the underlying message of the film was significant enough to warrant the violence.
Excerpts from Hans Zimmer's score from Broken Arrow (1996) appeared in the film, in particular guitar work by Duane Eddy, for Dewey, replacing the tracks that had been developed for the character from the original Scream score. Marco Beltrami would explain in an interview that the Zimmer piece was used as a placeholder for Beltrami's incomplete score during a test screening. The test audience reaction to it influenced the studio keep the Zimmer piece, reducing "Dewey's Theme", which Beltrami had composed to fill its place, to minor use during more serious scenes involving the character.
Cici was originally meant to appear in the scene with the sorority sisters inviting Sidney to the party. The scene which she does appear in - the film class discussion - had a different student giving her lines.
After the first draft of the script was leaked on the internet, many changes were made and characters were fully rewritten. Randy was originally Gale's new cameraman and Joel was a med student friends with Sidney. Derek was the film student shooting a documentary who walked around with a camera, not Mickey. Debbie Salt was more aggressive and bitchy as in one scene she asks Sidney if she "finally snapped and is the one doing the killings", being punched in the face by Gale as a result. The scene Sidney slaps Gale never happens. Mickey was the one who sang in the cafeteria (to Hallie, not Sidney) and a different song ("I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston). The killers were Derek, Hallie and Debbie Salt (Mrs. Loomis). Loomis ends up shooting Derek and Hallie but then gets stabbed by Cotton before she can shoot Sidney and Gale. Cotton has a change of heart and decides to get even on both of them for destroying his life. He stabs Gale, killing her and then runs after Sidney. Kevin Williamson stopped the writing there but left some notes in the script "That's all I've written so far" and then describes in a few words how the story is supposed to end. Cotton and Sidney would eventually stab each other and die lying side by side. Williamson probably intended this film to be the end of the franchise at that point.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The play that Sidney is in is Agamemnon, the first in The Oresteia, a trilogy of Ancient Greek tragedies. A running theme in this trilogy is murder and revenge. Clytemnestra kills Agamemnon for sacrificing their daughter and having an affair, and Orestes, their son, seeks revenge for his father's death and mother's affair by killing Clytemnestra, his mother. In this movie, Mrs. Loomis is seeking revenge from Sidney for the death of her son, who killed Sidney's mother for having an affair with his father. The climax of this film about familial murder and revenge plays out on the set of the play about familial murder and revenge.
Matthew Lillard who played Stu in Scream (1996) is seen in the background at the sorority party that Sidney and Hallie attend (when sisters Lois & Murphy are telling Sidney about the sorority's dedication to promote safe sex). He gives a friendly hug to a guy who has his back to the camera. The guy he is hugging is Mickey who turns out to be the second killer (you see Derek in the background too which indicates that he and Mickey have just arrived at the party after Cici is killed). So you have the second killer from the first film subtly interacting with the second killer in the sequel.
The first draft of the screenplay was titled Sequel to Scream, and it had three different killers than the final draft: Derek, Hallie, and Ms. Loomis. Cotton, after the Killer's reveals, attacked Sidney.
Before Randy is killed, The Killer states that he wont "get the girl." Randy stated earlier in the film that if he could change something about the movies it would be that "the Geek would get the girl." Indicating that the Killer must be a fellow classmate of his.
The 10 deaths in the movie go as follows: Phil Stevens, Maureen Evans, Cici, Randy, Bodyguard 1, Bodyguard 2, Hallie, Derek, Mrs. Loomis (2nd Killer) (it is revealed that she killed Randy), Mickey (1st Killer).
Seeing as this film focuses on name dropping sequels and specially mentions that Mickey "has a hard-on for Cameron," it's no shock that in the scene in the audio/video lab, when Gale is being chased by Ghostface, that he throws a chair at unbreakable glass much like Ripley does in Aliens (1986).