Cici's (Sarah Michelle Gellar's) "ill-conceived" boyfriend Ted is named after the title John Ritter robot from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996) season two episode, which aired before the re-written script was finalized. With the part of Casey Cooper written specifically with Sarah Michelle Gellar in mind, Kevin Williamson set up her Omega Beta Zeta murder scene to specifically pay homage to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996) as much as possible.
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.
Kevin Williamson had the idea for a sequel while writing the script for Scream (1996), discovering there was more to the story. This movie 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 ten pages were withheld from them. Consequently, when the first forty pages of the script were leaked onto the Internet, Kevin Williamson was forced to do some hasty re-writes. This meant that the film went into production without a completed script.
According to a rumor, the identity of Ghostface was changed after the original script was leaked on the internet, it was Derek (Jerry O'Connell) and Hallie (Elise Neal) in the original ending. This was referenced in Scream 3 (2000), where all of the actors and actresses on "Stab 3" were kept in the dark about the script for this reason.
Usually when making a movie, when an actor or actress is heard on-screen, but not seen, such as a voice on a telephone, the actor or actress records his or her part during post-production, which takes place after the completion of principal photography. However, Director Wes Craven had Roger Jackson (The Voice) on-set and actually speaking to on-screen actors and actresses 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 the other actors and actresses so they could not put a friendly face to The Voice. Jackson said that the actors and actresses 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.
(At around fifty minutes) 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, Tori Spelling plays Sidney.
Amazingly, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert loved this movie. Siskel never gave good reviews to horror movies, particularly not slasher movies, and he slammed Scream (1996). Ebert almost never gave slasher movies good reviews. The fact that both of them liked this movie is a small miracle.
(At around fifty-one minutes) The rules for a horror movie sequel as stated by Randy (Jamie Kennedy) are: 1. The death total is always greater. 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."
Neve Campbell would shoot Party of Five (1994) on Mondays and Tuesdays during the day, and spent Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on this movie, most of which were night shoots. On Sundays, she would work all night until 6 a.m., go home for fifteen minutes to shower off all the fake blood and immediately go to the Party of Five (1994) set to shoot all day, all without sleeping.
(At around one hour and one minute) Randy's (Jamie Kennedy's) reference to fake nude pictures of Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) on the Internet was inspired by fake images of Courteney Cox that appeared on the worldwide web prior to production of this movie.
(At around thirteen minutes) Like in the first film, you can find a reference to Freddy Krueger's (played by Robert Englund in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise) iconic sweater in Hallie's (Elise Neal's) and Sidney's (Neve Campbell's) dorm room in the beginning of the film.
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 re-written, with pages often being completed the day they were to be filmed. Security was tightened, with everyone required to sign non-disclosure agreements, and underwent many re-shoots. The script was reprinted on specialty paper to prevent photocopying, and was often destroyed after use. Additionally, Mickey (Timothy Olyphant) was killed by the two Ghostfaces in the original script.
Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar) was originally meant to appear in the scene with the sorority sisters inviting Sidney to the party. The scene in which she does appear, the film class discussion, had a different student giving her lines.
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.
Lewis Arquette (Chief Hartley) was the real-life father of David Arquette (Dewey Riley) and father-in-law of Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers). Courtney Cox was married to David Arquette from 1999 to 2013. Lewis Arquette died in 2001.
(At around thirty-nine minutes) 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 theatrically released version, the killer says, "I want you. It's showtime."
Early in the film, Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and a classmate are having a discussion about sequels and Aliens (1986) comes up. The classmate says Ripley's (Sigourney Weaver's) line correctly, "Get away from her, you bitch!" while Randy corrects him and says it's, "Stay away from her, you bitch." The classmate is indeed correct, but the script called for him to say Randy's line instead. Jamie Kennedy ad-libbed and covered up the mistake.
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 Scream (1996)'s score. Marco Beltrami explained in an interview that the Zimmer piece was used as a placeholder for Beltrami's incomplete score during a test screening. The test audience's 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.
As Halloween (1978) was likely instrumental in the "Sex equals death" rule in horror films stated in Scream (1996), its sequel Halloween II (1981) may have inspired the rule from this movie that horror sequels always have death scenes with much more blood and gore. While Halloween had very little blood and on-screen violence, the sequel was purposely made to contain much more of it, as the horror genre had become much more explicit by that time.
In Scream (1996) Tatum said the killer could easily be female by mentioning Basic Instinct (1992) which starred Sharon Stone as the killer and was directed by Paul Verhoeven, when Randy is asked by the killer in this what his favorite scary movie is, he replies Showgirls (1995) "absolutely frightening", another Paul Verhoeven movie starring Elizabeth Berkley who also auditioned for the part of Gale Weathers but was turned down.
Laurie Metcalf guest stars with Jerry O'Connell in an episode of Big-Bang Theory as Sheldon Cooper's mother and older brother (respectfully). The episode is the season 11 finale "The Bow-Tie Asymmetry"
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 (regarding sequels, the Rialto Theatre murders, and real-life murders).
Sarah Michelle Gellar's character goes by the name of Cici because it spells out her initials of C.C. (Casey Cooper). In Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996), Charisma Carpenter auditioned for Buffy Summers, while Sarah auditioned for Cordelia Chase, as the two actresses were switched to Sarah playing Buffy, and Charisma playing Cordelia Chase, in which both initials are "C.C."
A leaked version of the script prior to filming ended with the killers being Derek and Hallie. This script is still widely available and frequently noted in the movie's trivia. However, screenwriter Kevin Williamson revealed in 2017 that the leaked script contains a "dummy" ending specifically because they were worried about leaks. The Derek and Hallie ending was available to cast and crew prior to shooting but was always intended to be switched out for a different ending.
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 minor box-office hits turned cult classics: Gellar famously portrayed Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996), and Nichols portrayed Corinne the Desert Wolf on Teen Wolf (2011).
Before the killer calls Gale's phone, her assistant says someone named "Bob" wants to talk to her, a reference to Producer Bob Weinstein, who is the brother of fellow Producer Harvey Weinstein, who both co-founded Miramax.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
(At around thirty-five minutes) Matthew Lillard, who played Stu in Scream (1996), is seen in the background at the sorority party that Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Hallie (Elise Neal) attend (when sisters Lois (Rebecca Gayheart) and Murphy (Portia de Rossi) 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 (Timothy Olyphant) who turns out to be the second killer (you see Derek (Jerry O'Connell) in the background too, which indicates that he and Mickey have just arrived at the party after Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is killed). So you have the second killer from the first film subtly interacting with the second killer in this movie.
The play that Sidney (Neve Campbell) 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 (Laurie Metcalf) 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.
(At around one hour and four minutes) Before Randy (Jamie Kennedy) is killed, the killer states that he won't "get the girl". Randy stated earlier in the film (at around seventeen minutes) 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 one hour and twenty-two minutes) Seeing as this film focuses on name dropping sequels and mentions that Mickey (Timothy Olyphant) "has a hard-on for Cameron", it's no shock that in the scene in the audio-video lab, when Gale (Courteney Cox) is being chased by Ghostface, that he throws a chair at unbreakable glass, much like Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) did in Aliens (1986).
After the first draft of the script was leaked on the internet, several changes had to be made and characters were fully re-written. Dewey (David Arquette) had originally transferred himself from Woodsboro Police to the security staff on campus, so he could be close to Sidney (Neve Campbell) and keep her safe. Randy (Jamie Kennedy) was originally Gale's (Courteney Cox's) new cameraman and Joel (Duane Martin) was a med student and friends with Sidney. Derek (Jerry O'Connell) was the film student shooting a documentary who walked around with a camera, not Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf) 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 in which Sidney slaps Gale never happens. Mickey was the one who sang in the cafeteria (to Hallie (Elise Neal), not Sidney) and a different song ("I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston). The killers were Derek (Jerry O'Connell), Hallie, and Debbie Salt (Mrs. Loomis). Loomis ends up shooting Derek and Hallie, but then gets stabbed by Cotton (Liev Schreiber) 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.
Eager to avoid the problems with censorship that Scream (1996) had, Director 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 re-using 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' (Jamie Kennedy's) 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 this movie an R-rating for the more violent cut, as they believed the underlying message of the film was significant enough to warrant the violence.
(At around fifty-two minutes) Randy's speech about "Mrs. Voorhees was a terrific serial killer" was a hint. (Mrs. Voorhees was from Friday the 13th (1980), and was a vengeful mother, just like Mrs. Loomis). When Debbie introduced herself as a local anchor woman (at around nineteen minutes) 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 Scream (1996), not for being an anchor).
In Randy's death scene, The killer (Debbie Salt) appears to be stabbing him with their right hand. This image is mirrored in the van side mirror, so she is obviously stabbing him with their left hand. Mickey is left-handed, Debbie is right-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. In every other scene Ghostface is in, he is left-handed, which contributes to Debbie's lack of accuracy with stabs.
A subtle hint that Billy's mother is the killer, is the scene from "Stab" that Dewey and Randy watch. Other than the opening scene, it's the only other scene from "Stab" that is shown. This scene in particular, reiterates the fact that Billy's mother left town. She isn't dead. It seems unlikely that this, of all scenes, would have been chosen at random.
Rebecca Gayheart (Sorority Sister Lois) coincidentally ended up playing a homicidal killer in Urban Legend (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 role of Dawnie, Cici's Omega Beta Zeta sister with her shorty before her death.
(At around thirty-six minutes) When at the mixer, Derek (Jerry O'Connell) sits down next to Sidney (Neve Campbell), and is drinking a stubby bottle of beer made by "Mickey's". Possibly alluding to the identity of one of the killers, Mickey (Timothy Olyphant).
In a 2018 interview Jada Pinkett Smith revealed that she was determined to make her on-screen death one for the record books. "I remember saying to the director at the time, 'I want to die the most horrific death that has ever happened in a horror film,'" recalled Jada on an episode of PeopleTV's Couch Surfing. "'I want it to be long and excruciating'", Smith told host Lola Ogunnaike. "And he's like, 'Cool.'" Of course, the director in question was maestro macabre Wes Craven, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that Smith's request was honored in epic fashion.
Mickey gives himself away as a killer. At the hospital after Derek is cut on his arm, he asks 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 anything.
The killers (Mrs. Loomis and Mickey) behind the mask for the following murders: Maureen and Phil's murders: Ghostface kills Phil and wears his jacket to trick Maureen into thinking he's her boyfriend. She touches him and isn't suspicious, pointing at Mickey being Ghostface here. His body is similar enough to Phil's to fool her, while Mrs. Loomis would be obvious. Cici's murder: We know there's two killers because when Cici's friend is talking to "Ted" on the phone there is a killer sneaking in behind Cici without a phone at the same time "Ted" is talking. Mickey didn't arrive at the party until the scene that followed the murder of Cici. However, Mrs. Loomis was in front of the house after Cici was murdered. Mickey films and calls Cici while Mrs. Loomis sneaks and kills her in the house. The caller needed to know somethings about Cici like who's her boyfriend and know if her house has an alarm, pointing the caller being Mickey as they are in the same class. When Ghostface jumps out of the closet, you can hear noises coming from him. However, it couldn't be Mrs. Loomis or Mickey's voice as they do not sound like that. This could only mean that it was Ghostface making those noises. You can hear a women's grunt when Cici throws a bike at Ghosface making Mrs. Loomis being the killer. Sidney's Greek house attack: Mrs. Loomis, because she told Gale she had a deadline after the scene where Cici was murdered. Mrs. Loomis also wanted revenge on Sidney and Gale for killing her son, Billy. The killer was eager to attack Sidney during the attack, making the killer being Mrs. Loomis. Sidney's theater scare: This was Mickey because right after Ghostface came in front of Sidney, Ghostface immediately goes to the exit. Also, Mrs. Loomis seems to have little knowledge of the stage during the end of the movie. Derek even told Sidney that he and Mickey swapped right after Ghostface scares Sidney giving Mickey a better chance of being Ghostface. The Ghostface seemed to know what to do in the play and how to scare Sidney, making the killer being Mickey as he goes to that school. Randy's murder: Mrs. Loomis takes credit for taunting Randy on the phone and killing him (Randy spoke poorly of Billy and I got a little knife happy) she says later to Sidney's IM: Mickey, as he would have access to the college's computers and have a reason to be in the library, which Mrs. Loomis would not. Gale and Dewey's attack: Both were there. The one who pops up behind Gale and later attacks Dewey is Mrs. Loomis, as just after Dewey was stabbed, the killer constantly waves the knife around while trying to barricade into the room so that he could kill Gale, which is more like Mrs. Loomis. Mrs. Loomis also said that she wanted revenge of her son's death. the one recording the murders and filming Gale and Dewey was Mickey because their is already another killer behind Gale, which is Mrs. Loomis, becuase you can hear a womens grunt when Ghostface failed to stab Gale. Ghostface seemed to have about the same height as Gale, but Mrs. Loomis is shorter than Mickey. Mrs. Loomis is about the same height as Gale, but Mickey is taller than both of them. Meaning the killer to be Mrs. Loomis. Detectives Andrews, and Richards, and Hallie's murders: Gale's locked in the room and Mickey and Mrs. Loomis can't get to her, and they know Sidney is leaving town, so Loomis sends Mickey like a good boy to go stop her. No way in hell Mrs. Loomis would risk going up against two armed cops, let alone kill anyone besides Sidney and Gale since she was the killer who only wanted "good old fashioned revenge". Also, when Mickey reveals himself as one of the killers, you see a large cut on his forehead which indicates that he was the one driving the cop car and then crashing it, killing Officer Richards, and knocking himself unconscious.
(At around one hour and eighteen minutes) 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.
The plot twist is very similar to Friday the 13th (1980). The killer turns out to be the mother of Billy Loomis, the main antagonist of Scream (1996). In Friday the 13th (1980), it is the mother who is the killer, and in the sequels, it is the son who comes to avenge his mother's death. In the Scream franchise, it is the son who is the killer, and it is the mother who comes to avenge her son's death.
The original script read-through that featured Derek and Hallie as the Ghostfaces, had Sisters Murphy and Lois being the final act bloodbath murders. In the final re-written script, both girls feature as self serving antagonistic co-eds, and Hallie ultimately is killed by the Mickey Ghostface, who in the original script, she and Derek kill.
In Scream (1996), when Casey (Drew Barrymore) 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 Pamela Voorhees, Jason's mother, Jason didn't show up until the sequel. This statement may be a hint as to a killer in this movie.
Hallie (Elise Neal) is the last person to be killed by a masked Ghostface (Mickey (Timothy Olyphant)). Both her and Kenny Jones, the last victim in the first film who was killed by a masked Ghostface (Stu) in front of Sidney (Neve Campbell) who has the same facial expression at both murders.
(At around forty-six minutes) When Gale said "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.
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Casey "Cici" Cooper) is most famous for her starring role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996), a genre show concerning a hero battling supernatural forces along with their friends, while progressing into adulthood. Here, Gellar shares her final scene prior to her death with Marisol Nichols (Dawnie), an actress who starred in Teen Wolf (2011) as the Desert Wolf, a show with many striking similarities in plot, characters, and genre combinations to Gellar's most prominent acting credit. Tyler Posey Tyler Posey, the lead title star of the show Teen Wolf (2011), who in career, and the show, has many parallels to Gellar and her show's character, appeared in the 2018 third season of Scream: The TV Series (2015), where his character would fell victim to a killer with the same Ghostface get-up of this film franchise, and ultimately Gellar's Cici.