25 years ago, this tiny cameo nearly changed an entire classic horror trilogy 9 months ago

25 years ago, this tiny cameo nearly changed an entire classic horror trilogy

This movie is considered to be the very first to have its production significantly impacted by an internet leak.

Spoilers for a movie that is a quarter of a century old, and also some of the other movies in the series too.


March 1997. Producers decide that the $173 million return on their $15 million investment in Scream is worth following up, so a sequel is officially greenlit.

Writer Kevin Williamson has already been working away on the script, and the original version actually ends with not one, not two, not three, but four killers: Sidney's boyfriend Derek (Jerry O'Connell), Sidney's college roommate Hallie (Elise Neal), OG suspect Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) and OG killer's mother Mrs. Loomis (Laurie Metcalf).

July 1997. The sequel, reportedly working under title Scream Again, is now in production, with the movie scheduled to arrive in cinemas in just five months time, less than a year after the first movie debuted.

Once production on the movie began, the entire script was leaked on to the internet, revealing the killers and certain huge plot points. So the movie had to continue filming while Williamson attempted to rewrite entire sections of the story, including most of the ending, the identity of the killers, and the fates of Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and Gale Weather's new cameraman Joel (Duane Martin).


12 December 1997. Scream 2 arrives in cinemas, makes almost an identical amount of movie to the original movie, and an even higher critical score (82% on Rotten Tomatoes, compared to the 80% the first movie got).

However, eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted a particular cameo that was planned to expand into something much larger over the course of the initial trilogy.

In the original movie, in what was - at the time - a massive twist, we discover that there isn't just one killer, but two: Sidney's boyfriend Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) and his best friend Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard). During the climax of that movie, Billy is shot to death, and Stu is killed when Sidney drops a TV on his head.


During a party scene in Scream 2, Lillard appears in an uncredited role as "Guy At Party", in the background of a scene between Murphy (Portia Di Rossi), Lois (Rebecca Gayheart) and Randy.

In an interview in 2009, Lillard revealed that the original plan was to have him be the killer in Scream 3, having survived his TV-on-the-head death of the original movie, and retroactively making Stu a fellow college student alongside Sidney throughout Scream 2.

However, this original script was reportedly completely trashed when, following the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, the production company wanted to sever all connections between high school and violence. In fact, in light of the Columbine incident, producers initially wanted Scream 3 to feature no blood at all, and skew into an almost entirely-comedic tone.

Released in 2000, the third movie is often considered the worst of the five so far (Scream 6 is due to arrive in cinemas in March 2023), but itself has undergone a retrospective, following the parallels of the movie's plot involving an abusive Hollywood producer (played by Lance Henriksen), and the Scream movies themselves being produced by Harvey Weinstein.


Scream 2, along with all four other Scream movies, are available to watch on Paramount+ right now.