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Kevin Williamson on why he regrets killing Randy in 'Scream 2,' reveals how they used fake scripts
The writer behind the Scream franchise shares the stories behind some of the film's biggest choices.
Scream 2 turns 25 this year, which means we're all taking a closer look back at the first sequel in the long-running slasher franchise, which releases its sixth installment in theaters next spring. For writer Kevin Williamson, who created the franchise alongside director Wes Craven, that means looking back at several key developments in the life cycle of the sequel, from fake scripts to one very memorable character death.
The legend goes that Scream 2's ending was changed at the last minute, because the script leaked online as one of the earliest examples of such a leak on the web, leaving Williamson and Craven scrambling to come up with something that viewers wouldn't see coming. But according to the writer, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, that was actually never the case. Mrs. Loomis and Mickey were always set up to be the killers in his mind. It was just a matter of "protecting" that secret from eager eyes who wanted to know everything about the follow-up to the biggest horror film of 1996.
So, all those leaks that fans remember were in large part dummy scripts, crafted specifically to throw everyone off the scent.
"Yeah, we leaked the first one because we knew we couldn’t hold it in; everyone was interested," Williamson recalled. "We were also casting the actors. So we were sending the script out without the last 75 pages, but then Wes [Craven] was like, 'No, you’ve gotta come sit in the room and read it in front of us.' And so Wes would make the actors come and read it before they auditioned, and we just knew that people would start talking. There was such an interest in what was going on with Scream 2 that we wrote a dummy script and leaked it. And then we had a second dummy script that we also leaked, but that one didn’t really get out too far. And then the real one got out, but no one seemed to care by the time the real one got out."
According to Williamson, despite all those leaks and the rumors that the ending was changed to throw fans off after said leaks, once he wrote Mrs. Loomis and Mickey as the real killers, that's the way it stayed.
Williamson also opened up about another key decision in the making of the film, one that still sticks with fans 25 years later: The decision to kill horror movie buff and overenthusiastic slasher taunter Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy). For Williamson, the decision was all about raising the stakes through the killing of a "legacy" character from the first film, and was actually inspired by a last-second decision to let Dewey (David Arquette) survive the first movie.
"And so the very second that Dewey lived in Scream one, it was R.I.P. for Randy in Scream 2, because we had to kill a legacy," Williamson said. "We had to kill someone that was involved with Scream one, and that was done halfway through so that we could up the stakes. I also wanted to upset the audience and make them mad at the killer."
He continued, "But had I known now that these movies were going to live forever and that they were going to go on … I do think that there was a lot more life left in the character. So I’d love to have seen him as an adult. I’d love to see what he became. I’d love to see how he turned his love of horror films into a career. I’d love to see what his trauma was like after surviving, but unfortunately, I killed him."
Maybe one day we'll get a Scream alternate universe that shows us Randy's long life preaching the horror movie gospel to the masses. For now though, we've got his niece and nephew alive and well for Scream 6 on March 10, 2023.
Looking for more horror movies? Check out The Black Phone, They/Them, Halloween Ends and more streaming on Peacock.