As we approach the 20th anniversary of the theatrical release of Scream, we thought it would be fun to share an interesting bit of trivia from the franchise.
I had the pleasure of attending a Scream panel at Scarefest in Lexington a couple months ago, and got to listen to Scream’s madmen themselves – Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard – share anecdotes about working on the slasher classic and their relationships with the late Wes Craven, as well as discuss the industry at large. It was a fun, and at times touching hour of dialogue, and a great trip down memory lane.
Lillard, who spent the entirety of the event engaging from within the crowd itself, shared an interesting nugget of trivia, and a glimpse into what could have been. Lillard said he was originally to appear in Scream 3, with his Stu Macher character returning to the screen, and being responsible for the third installment’s round of killings. He didn’t go into a whole lot of detail about it, but he noted that the film would’ve seen high schoolers getting offed, and that the idea was scrapped because of what happened at Columbine. The infamous school shooting occurred on April 20, 1999. Scream 3 was released less than a year later in February of 2000.
This isn’t the only time Lillard has told this story, though it was the first time I had heard it. I would imagine he’s brought it up a number of times. Here’s a snippet from an interview Lillard gave on the Bob Bendick Podcast (via TheMovieBlog.com) in which he talked about it near the release of Scream 4.
Apparently, the plot of the original Scream 3 would have had Stu (having survived the events of the first film) orchestrating the new killings from prison, as he explained in the clip above:
“From jail, I was kind of masterminding this attack against Sidney – Neve’s character – and so three weeks before we were supposed to start shooting, Columbine High School broke out, and they changed everything. They kind of took the script and threw it to the side, and they bought me out, and I never did the third one.”
Scream 3 isn’t exactly the most beloved entry in the franchise, so you have to wonder how much better the movie would have been received if it went as originally planned. The sad thing is that Lillard seemed genuinely disappointed that he didn’t get to return to the franchise. Maybe one day we’ll see a cameo on the TV show.