Throughout Scream 3 (2000) the actors of "Stab 3", the movie-within-the-movie, complain about rewrites and three different scripts. The complaints actually originated with the actual cast of Scream 3 (2000), because of frequent rewrites and three different endings.
Neve Campbell was concurrently shooting Drowning Mona (2000) and Party of Five (1994) during the production of Scream 3 (2000). Because her "Drowning Mona" character had long, streaked hair, Campbell had to wear a wig to play Sidney Prescott, which required two hours application time each morning.
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.
The rules for a continued horror-film sequel as stated in Scream 3 (2000) are: 1. the killer must be superhuman; mere stabbing or shooting will not be enough to kill the killer; 2. anyone can die, including the main character; and 3. the past will come back to haunt someone. Later in Scream 3 (2000), Detective Mark Kincaid warns, "All I know about movie trilogies is in the third one all bets are off".
Gale mentions Jennifer's relationship with Brad Pitt. Courteney Cox's Friends (1994) costar Jennifer Aniston was married to Pitt. Ironically, the character Jennifer's last name is Jolie - the last name of Angelina Jolie, whom Pitt would later become involved with.
The bathroom in which Sidney finds Angelina on the set of "Stab 3" is the same one in which Sidney was attacked in Scream (1996), as evidenced by the position of its doors and its soap dispenser design.
Matthew Lillard has stated that he was originally going to be the killer in Kevin Williamson's version of the script, but that story was scrapped after complications with the script due to the Columbine High School shootings.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) argues with Roman Bridger (Scott Foley) about him refusing to take responsibility for his murders, instead blaming others, and he refuses to listen. This is a representation of director Wes Craven's frustration with people who use horror films as scapegoats for murder motives, as the series has been plagued with people who blame violence in movies for violence in real life. Craven makes direct nods to this in the first and second Scream films (Mickey says he wants to "blame the movies" and Billy says that "movies don't create psychos).
David Arquette and Courteney Cox met on the set of Scream (1996), dated while shooting Scream 2 (1997), and married a month before principal photography of Scream 3 (2000) began. Cox added 'Arquette' to her name, as seen in the credits of Scream 3 (2000). Arquette and Cox cut short their honeymoon in order to film Scream 3 (2000).
The green outfit worn by Parker Posey while on set is the same one worn by Courteney Cox in the first movie. All sets for "Stab 3" were replicas of the originals since the sets were destroyed after Scream (1996) wrapped.
It was only after English actress Emily Mortimer had been cast that the production discovered that she didn't have a permit to work in the States. Mortimer was flown to Canada where she was able to obtain the correct permit just as production got underway.
Roman Bridger (Scott Foley), the director of the 'movie within the movie', complains that he had to make a horror film before he was allowed to make a classic love story. Something similar happened to director Wes Craven himself: he had to agree to do Scream 3 (2000) before he was allowed to make the musical drama Music of the Heart (1999).
Lance Henriksen's director character shares the same name as the famous 17th century English writer. The author John Milton is best known for the poem "Paradise Lost". In "Paradise Lost", Satan deceives Adam and Eve to choose temptation over God's Eden. Their decision leaves them expelled from Eden and forever corrupted. Director 'John Milton' in Scream 3 (2000) dupes Maureen Prescott into believing that she can become successful in Hollywood by performing sexual favors. In a fashion similar to Adam and Eve, Maureen loses her innocence to false promises of grandeur, receiving only bit parts in Milton's films. As a result of her corruption by Milton, Maureen embraces promiscuity as revealed in the "Scream Trilogy".
Sidney's attack on the Woodsboro set of "Stab 3" is similar to her first attack in Scream (1996). As Sidney looks out of the window by the front door, the killer comes out of the coat closet and stabs the door, narrowly missing Sidney, and then he chases her up the stairs.
Kate Hudson was cast in Scream 3 (2000), but replaced prior to the commencement of principal photography. Scream 3 (2000) is listed among Hudson's credits on the back cover of the VHS box of Desert Blue (1998). The role in which Hudson was cast is unknown, but speculation is that it was either Christine or Sarah.
Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith:
Jay and Silent Bob, the popular drug dealer characters from Clerks. (1994) and other movies, appear as tourists visiting Sunrise Studios who spot Gale Weathers and mistake her for Connie Chung.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
Tyson Fox says that Cotton Weary's murderer was "probaby some "Stab" fan pissed off they killed Randy in "Stab 2", which is a reference to "Scream" fanatics being upset that Randy Meeks was killed in Scream 2 (1997). Wes Craven got hate E-mail at his official web site 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.
According to the commentary by Wes Craven, Angelina Tyler (Emily Mortimer) was supposed to be the second killer, as Roman Bridger's girlfriend and ex-classmate of Sidney from Scream (1996), but the producers didn't like the idea.