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SYFY WIRE I Know What You Did Last Summer

One of Scream 2's Best Scenes Was Actually Cut from I Know What You Did Last Summer

Writer Kevin Williamson took one cool slasher sequence and moved it over to another movie.

By Matthew Jackson

The film I Know What You Did Last Summer (now streaming on the SYFY app) remains one of the most successful slashers to emerge in the post-Scream boom of the late 1990s and early 2000s, but did you know that one of its original sequences actually made its way to another franchise?

Just like Scream, I Know was scripted by Kevin Williamson, one of the hottest screenwriters in town at the time who'd go on just a year later to create one of the defining TV series of the era, Dawson's Creek. But Williamson's success did not mean his scripts were absolute Bibles for filmmakers. The sequences still had to work onscreen, and in the case of I Know What You Did Last Summer, director Jim Gillespie ran into a problem with one of the film's key sequences.

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That Time Kevin Williamson Used a Cut Scene from I Know What You Did Last Summer in Scream 2 

For the scene in which Helen Shivers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is being driven home by a police officer only to encounter the Fisherman killer along the way, Williamson had originally written an elaborate sequence in which the Fisherman kills the cop, gets behind the wheel of the car, and starts driving with Helen trapped in the back seat. Eventually, the car would crash, and Helen would have to find a way to escape the busted-up vehicle with an unconscious Fisherman behind the wheel. 

In an interview with TooFab in 2022 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Gillespie explained why the sequence just didn't work within the constraints of his particular film. 

"In the back of the car, in the very beginning of the sequence when the car stops, Kevin had written a scene in which the fisherman gets into the car and he drives off and they have a fight in the car and a car crash," Gillespie said. "But you never see the fisherman's face throughout the whole sequence. I just said, 'Dude, this is impossible to do.' Because the confines of the police car, for us to stage the action with the fisherman's hat and not see him, I said, 'It's just gonna restrict the sequence so much.' I said, 'I'm not gonna do that. We'll do something else.'"

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Scream 2 (1997)

In Gillespie's version of the sequence, Helen manages to kick out the glass in one of the police car's windows and crawl out, continuing the chase without the police car involved. It's a simpler way of handling it, but Williamson's idea didn't die.

As Gillespie noted, the screenwriter "repurposed" a version of the same sequence for Scream 2 the same year. In that sequence, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her roommate Hallie McDaniel (Elise Neal) are riding in the back of a cop car when Ghostface interrupts, kills the two officers driving the girls to a safe house, gets behind the wheel, and then crashes. What happens next is one of the most tense sequence in the history of the Scream franchise, so it's a good thing Williamson didn't give up on the idea.

I Know What You Did Last Summer is now streaming on the SYFY app and the through the SYFY Movies hub.