Scream 6 Originally Had A Very Different Script, Reveals Sam Actor

Keeping with the tradition of the slasher franchise, Melissa Barrera reveals Scream 6 originally had a very different script. The latest chapter of the horror series saw the survivors of its 2022 predecessor, including Barrera’s Sam and her sister Tara, played by Wednesday breakout Jenna Ortega, leave Woodsboro behind for New York City, only to once again become the target for a new Ghostface killer. Also featuring the returns of directing team Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and writing duo James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, Scream 6 has already become a critical and commercial hit.


In honor of the film’s release, Melissa Barrera caught up with Collider for an in-depth discussion of Scream 6.

When asked about the collaborative process on the sequel, the Sam actor revealed that Scream 6 originally had a very different script, which initially caused her some concern for how it handled her character, leading to a very productive meeting with the movie’s directors and writers. See what Barrera shared in the video above and quotes below:

So the script changed a lot from the first script that I got to the movie that we made. It was, I want to say, completely different. And we had a few sit downs, [directors] Matt [Bettinelli-Olpin] and Tyler [Gillett] and I, and then with [screenwriters] Jamie [Vanderbilt] and Guy [Busick] because I really, really wanted to make sure that we explored Sam’s psyche more and we got to know her deeply because that was a reason that I wanted to play Sam in the first place. The reason that I was attracted to her in Scream 5 was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s so much potential here. Where is she going to go?’ And I wanted to make sure that in the sixth movie, we saw more layers to her. It wasn’t just the tough girl, the protective older sister that has all these walls up. I was like, ‘What happens when those walls break down?’ And we didn’t get a chance to see that in the fifth one, so I was like, ‘I want to make sure that she feels like a more real, well-rounded human. All these things, all these relationships and everything that happened to her in the fifth one, how are we going to explore that?’

And I think the thing about Matt and Tyler being so great is that when I first spoke to them after reading the first draft, I was like, ‘These are my concerns and I really want the audiences to get to know Sam more,’ you know? The fans are already in love with so many characters that you need to give them a lot and open up a lot to them for them to let you in, and I really wanted that, and they were 100% on board. And they also wanted that for all the characters. They wanted those quiet moments, they wanted the Core Four to have these intimate beats of friendship and of getting a glimpse of these four people that went through enormous trauma and how they’re all dealing with it in their own way.

Having a heart, because the fifth movie felt like — in a way, in the Scream franchise, the first four movies are incredible and Wes had his thing and his vision of Scream, and in the fifth one, that is the first one without him, we had the essence of Scream, but I also feel like there was a lot of heart. It was a very emotional movie, which is rare in Scream, and I think that that’s beautiful. That’s what attracts me to projects, the heart, the emotionality because that’s what I connect with personally, so I wanted to keep that going in the sixth movie. And I think that’s what Guy and Jamie do so well, and they did, and I’m so happy with the movie that we shot.

Related: 6 Scream Family Trees: All Relatives Of Sidney, Randy, Billy, Stu & More

Scream Is No Stranger To Major Script Changes

Though some may find it surprising to hear Scream 6 underwent a major script rewrite, those who have followed the franchise since its inception will know it’s almost a tradition for it by this point. Scream 2 memorably had to undergo a major script rewrite after the screenplay was leaked online, which also featured the original killers’ identities, while Scream 3 underwent rewrites as soon as the day of filming certain scenes with franchise newcomer Ehren Kruger.

Even Scream 4 underwent major rewrites throughout its production, with original writer Kevin Williamson briefly being replaced by Kruger for rewrites, as well as frequent Scott Derrickson collaborator Paul Harris Boardman, while the actors weren’t given their scripts past page 75 to keep Ghostface’s identity a secret. 2022’s Scream largely avoided this rewrite trend, instead employing the use of multiple scripts and differently shot scenes in order to keep both audiences and press on their toes.

Barrera’s comments seem to indicate Scream 6 similarly broke this trend of major script rewrites mid-production, with the Radio Silence team instead changing the material ahead of filming with the help of its cast. Even outside of the Sam actor’s input, the slasher sequel was poised to make major changes following Neve Campbell’s infamous exit as due to a pay dispute, though the creative group’s creative process marks an assuring sign not only for the Sidney star’s return, but also for other returning characters should the franchise continue with Radio Silence at the helm.

More: Scream VI Breaks A Wild Ghostface Record (Is It Too Much?)Source: Collider

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