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.
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.
(at around 50 mins) 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).
(at around 50 mins) 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.
(at around 51 mins) 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."
(at around 1h 1 min) Randy's reference to fake nude pictures of Gale Weathers on the Internet was inspired by fake images of Courteney Cox that appeared on the worldwide web prior to production of Scream 2 (1997).
Amazingly, both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert loved this movie. Siskel never gave good reviews to horror movies, particularly not slasher movies, and he slammed the original Scream (1996). Ebert almost never gave slasher movies good reviews. The fact that both of them liked this movie is a small miracle.
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.
(at around 39 mins) 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."
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.
Neve Campbell would shoot Party of Five on Mondays and Tuesdays during the day and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Scream 2, most of which was night shoots. On Sundays she would work all night until 6 AM, go home for 15 minutes to shower off all the fake blood and immediately go to the Party of Five set to shoot all day, all without sleeping.
David Warner (Gus) was personally chosen by Wes Craven for a cameo, because Craven had been impressed with Warner's acting ever since he saw him in The Omen (1976) Warner had also audition for the main part of Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street another Wes Craven movie.
Lewis Arquette (Chief Hartley) was the real life father of David Arquette (Dewey Riley) and father-in-law of Courtney Cox (Gale Weathers). Courtney Cox was married to David Arquette from 1999-2013. Lewis Arquette died in 2001.
Cici's 'ill-conceived' boyfriend Ted is named after the titular John Ritter robot from the Buffy The Vampire Season 2 episode, which aired before the rewritten script was finalised. With the part of Casey Cooper written specifically with Sarah Michelle Gellar in mind, Williamson set up her Omega Beta Zeta murder scene to specifically pay homage to Buffy The Vampire Slayer as much as possible.
When Randy and Dewey are at the cafe talking about suspects, the behind the scenes of "Stab" are playing in the background. Randy notes that David Schwimmer is playing Dewey -- David Schwimmer played Courtney Cox's brother Ross in the hit series Friends (1994).
A cut scene, lost apart from a still, featured Cici Cooper, Dawnie and another Omega Beta Zeta sister discussing Sidney with Murphy and Lois. The scene was cut as it was decided it made Cici seem insensitive.
Sarah Michelle Gellar's character goes by the name of Cici because it spells out her initials of CC (Casey Cooper). In Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997) Charisma Carpenter auditioned for Buffy Summers while Sarah auditioned for Cordelia Chase as the two actresses were switched to Sarah playing Buffy and Charisma Carpenter playing Cordelia Chase in which both initials are CC.
34 movies are viewed, mentioned or referenced throughout the movie (more movie's mentioned unlike the first) they include, Showgirls (1995), Mute Witness (1995), The Bodyguard (1992), Candyman (1992), Terminator (1984), Terminator 2 Judgment Day (1991), Cheerleader Camp (1988), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988), House II: The Second Story (1987), Cassandra (1987), Lethal Weapon (1987), Top Gun (1986) Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Splatter University (1984), Final Exam (1981), The Dorm That Dripped Blood (1982), The House on Sorority Row (1983), Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return of the Jedi (1983), Graduation Day (1981), Prom Night (1980), Friday the 13th (1980), Speed 2 Cruise Control (1997), The Godfather (1972),The Godfather Part 2 (1974), Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), He Knows you're Alone (1980), Nosferatu (1922), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Black Christmas (1974), Demons (1985), House on Haunted Hill(1959), Psycho (1960).
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Marisol Nichols who portray Omega Beta Zeta sisters Cici and Dawnie, have been a part of genre monster fighting high school to adulthood shows, that are adaptions of old Box office bomb cult classics: Gellar famously portraying the titular Buffy of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), and Nichols portraying Corinne the Desert Wolf in Teen Wolf (2011-2017).
Promotional photos for the film all featured Sarah Michelle Gellar paired with Jamie Kennedy. Their respective characters (Randy and Cici) are always in complete agreement (e.g., regarding sequels, the Rialto Theatre murders and real-life murders).
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
at around 35 mins) 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 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.
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.and also Mickey in the original script was killed by the two ghostfaces.
at around 1h 4 mins) Before Randy is killed, the killer states that he won't "get the girl." Randy stated earlier in the film (at around 17 mins) 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 classmate of his.
at around 1h 22 mins) 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).
at around 52 mins) Randy's speech about "Mrs. Voorhees was a terrific serial killer" was a hint. (Mrs. Voorhees being a vengeful mother just like Mrs. Loomis). When Debbie introduced herself as a local anchor woman (at around 19 mins) and Gale says "I thought you looked familiar", that was another hint. (This was a hint that she was concealing her identity, since Gale was actually recognizing her because of her participation in the murder trial and the events in the first movie, not for being an anchor).
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.
After the first draft of the script was leaked on the internet, several changes had to be made and characters were fully rewritten. Dewey had originally transferred himself from Woodsboro police to the security staff on campus so he could be close to Sidney and keep her safe. 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 if she's 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 suddenly has a change of heart and decides to get even on both Sidney and Gale as he consider them responsible for ruining his life. He stabs and kills Gale 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 was supposed to end. Cotton and Sidney would eventually stab each other and die lying side by side. At that point Williamson probably intended to end the franchise with this movie.
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).
at around 1h 18 mins) The scene where Gale and Dewey discover the killer has been taking videos of other victims in the movie is a clue. As Gale tells Dewey, "that's not my footage". But another reporter on campus could have easily taken the videos inconspicuously: Debbie Salt.
In Randy's death scene, Debbie is stabbing him lefthandedly. This image is mirrored in the van side mirror, so she is obviously stabbing him with her right hand. Mickey is right-handed, Debbie is left-handed. This is further proof that she is tracing everything back to Mickey, even something as trivial as to the hand used to stab victims, which is noticed in an autopsy. You can see she has less control over her right arm. In every scene Ghostface is in, he is right handed, which contributes to Debbie's lack of accuracy with stabs.
In Scream (1996), when Casey is on the phone with Ghostface, he asks her to name the killer in Friday the 13th (1980). He corrects her answer to say that the original killer was Jason's mother, Jason didn't show up until the sequel. This statement may be a hint as to the killer in Scream 2.
Mickey gives himself away as the killer. At the hospital after Derek is cut on his arm, he tells Sidney, what made him go back into the house anyway? The only people there were Sidney, Derek, and the killer. Sidney even has a strange look on her face after he says that, like, how did you know he went back in the house, but doesn't say nothing.
Rebecca Gayheart (Sorority Sister Lois) coincidentally ended up playing a homicidal killer the following year in the slasher movie Urban Legends (1998) as Brenda Bates, which featured Joshua Jackson (Windsor Film student) as a victim of hers. Sarah Michelle Gellar was also initially signed on to the film as Sasha Thomas, a victim of Brenda's before dropping out due to scheduling conflicts, leaving Tara Reid to assume the role who was considered for the Dawnie role, Cici's Omega Beta Zeta sister with her shorty before her death.
at around 46 mins) When Gale says "that was Deputy Dwight Riley, he's one of the good guys, unlike some of us", to the gang of reporters, that was a clue. One of the reporters is Debbie Salt, who is also one of the killers.
Original script read through that featured Derek and Hallie as the Ghostfaces had Sisters Murphy and Lois be final act bloodbath murders. In the final rewritten script both girls feature as self serving antagoniser co-eds and Hallie ultimately is killed by the Mickey Altieri Ghostface, whom in the original script she and Derek kill.
Mickey states that "many sequels have surpassed their original" which is meant to indicate that he intended on making his and Mrs. Loomis killing spree better then the killing spree Billy Loomis and Stu Macher orchestrated in the first film.
Timothy Olyphant who portrays the main Ghostface killer of the film Mickey Altieri would later to go on to star with the first Scream's famous opening victim Drew Barrymore, in the Netflix hit series Santa Clarita Diet as married killers.
The plot twist is very similar to the original Friday The 13th from 1980. The killer turns out to be the mother Billy Loomis, the main antagonist of the original. In the original Friday the 13th it is mother who is the killer and in the sequel it is the son who comes to avenge his mother's death and in the Scream it is the son who is killer and it is mother who comes to avenge her son's death.