One version of Scream 2 could have featured a credibility-straining 4 killers. The original Scream was a shot in the arm for the waning horror genre back in 1996, thanks to Wes Craven’s direction and Kevin Williamson’s meta screenplay. The movie would go on to spawn three sequels – all directed by Craven – and a television series, plus a series of copycat movies like Urban Legends and I Know What You Did Last Summer.
Scream 2 famously had its original script leaked online before going into production, which revealed key twists and the identity of the killers. The production then had to scramble to rewrite the story while filming, and Williamson had to write a number of alternate drafts in order to preserve the surprises. Security was so tight that even the cast was kept in the dark about the real ending up until filming.
Williamson discussed working on the Scream 2 script in a new article on Dread Central, revealing he wrote a few alternate endings in order to keep the real finale a secret. One ending turned David Arquette’s lovable Dewey into the real villain, while yet another featured Sidney’s boyfriend Derek and her best friend Hallie as the killers.
The Hallie and Derek ending was a dummy draft. At the time the script was written, the studio was determined to keep the plot details under wraps.
They were worried the killer’s identity would be leaked, so we wrote several endings. Three in all, if memory serves, and when actors and potential crew members asked to read the script, we would send the script with the dummy ending.
One draft of Scream 2 featured a very twisty, complex third act, where heroine Sidney discovers just about everyone is out to kill her. This script initially reveals Derek and Hallie as the killers, only for Mrs. Loomis – the true villain in the final movie – to turn up, revealing they’re only her accomplices. She then shoots them both and explains her plan to frame Liev Schreiber’s Cotton for her killing spree. She says he’s the perfect foil since he’s bitter about being wrongfully sent to prison by Sidney in the past, but Cotton then breaks free and kills Mrs. Loomis – only to turn against Sidney anyway, since he agrees with Mrs. Loomis’ argument that she ruined his life.
This alternate version of Scream 2 would have certainly kept audiences guessing, but it featured one twist too many. While the sequel is considered a worthy follow-up to the original, the final two entries suffered from a case of diminishing returns, with the third film in particular being considered a series low point. Still, the Scream franchise was groundbreaking at the time for its deconstruction of the horror genre, and for being genuinely entertaining mystery thrillers.
Source: Dread Central