It’s not every day a new Scream film comes out on home video, so let’s break down all the juicy details from Scream VI‘s 4K, Blu and DVD release.
Plot Synopsis: Following the events of Scream (2022), the survivors of the Ghostface killings leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter in New York City.
Credit to Rob Hunter (FilmSchoolRejects) for an amazing template for this post
Scream VI (2023)
Commentators: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (directors), James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick (writers), and Chad Villella (producer)
- Tony Revolori was one of last actors cast. He wound up in the film in part because he’s good friends with Core Four cast member Mason Gooding (Chad)
- Blackmore University is a reference to John Blackmore, a name the production used during Scream (2022) auditions rather than referencing Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), whose connection to Sam they were trying to keep under wraps.
- The opening sequence with Jason (Revolori) and film professor Laura Crane (Samara Weaving) was the last week of principal photography. The rest of the film had already wrapped.
- All the needle drops are in the first 35 minutes of the film, then it’s just Red Right Hand.
- The creative team knows how funny the “who the fuck is Paul?” line is. The guy who did the audio (referenced as Paul 2.0) as Quinn Bailey (Liana Liberato)’s hook-up gave them so much content that they could have had him doing commentary through the entire scene, but ultimately it was too distracting.
- As a subversion of the usual Scream film, Vanderbilt and Busick decided to front load the film with a 15 minute house party sequence rather than wait until the end. The creative team likes this because it plays as “just a nice College film, not a Scream film”.
- The character hitting on Tara (Jenna Ortega), Date Rape Frankie (Andre Anthony) was originally going to return during the park stakeout in Kirby’s FBI van. He would have been tased in the balls (by Tara this time) and Chad would have said “Oh no, your balls again.”
- Between the party and the walk through the park, Ethan (Jack Champion) and Anika (Devyn Nekoda) switch the hats on their costumes. It was improvised by the actors, but it communicated how well the cast (and these characters) got along.
- There’s a brief shot of Tara using her inhaler before she makes out with Chad, in part because Ortega remembered how vital it was to the character in Scream (2022). The actress apparently asked “Where’s my asthma?” when she first read the script for VI.
- Actress Melissa Barrera (Sam) contributed two vital suggestions in the film: rather than have them fall in love over the course of the film, Barrera believed Sam and Danny (Josh Segarra) should be secretly dating. She also suggested that Sam throw a beer can to distract Ghostface in the bodega sequence.
- Jack Quaid was thrilled to come back to record all of the inserts (pictures, phone images, etc)
- The team refers to this iteration of Ghostface as Terminator Ghostface, in part due to the use of a shotgun in the bodega scene (Jurassic Park is also referenced a few times). Everyone was pleased – and intimidated – by the physicality that stuntman Max Laferriere brought to his performance as Ghostface.
- No one drives a car in the film.
- They wanted to bring back Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) in Scream (2022), but that film “was too overstuffed.”
- Arguably the most “deep cut” reference from the commentary is the acknowledgement that the sound effect used for the knock on Doctor Stone (Henry Czerny)’s door is actually from Ti West’s Pearl.
- The shortest shooting day was Jasmin Savoy Brown‘s “rules” of the franchise monologue, even though it features between four to seven pages of dialogue. Savoy Brown was so pumped to perform that this was completed far ahead of schedule. The actress also didn’t know any of “the rules” of horror before accepting the role of Mindy.
- Neither Champion nor Liberato knew they were the killers until the costume fitting (both apparently lost their minds). Veteran actor Dermot Mulroney did know: it was how the production sold him on the film, reassuring him “You have to trust us; it’s a great third act.”
- It took a lot of time to structure the Ghostface murder board, in part because every actor had to sign off on their headshot. Apparently there are very few photos of Timothy Olyphant (Scream 2) available from that era.
- Everyone on the commentary jokes about how the Core Four (and Anika) were able to make a dinner with no knives (by this point in the film’s narrative, they had already been removed by Ghostface).
- That is Jack Champion in the Ghostface robe for the initial part of Quinn’s bedroom attack.
- Blocking in the apartment sequence overall was a production headache due to the number of actors. Apparently editor Jay Prychidny required four days to figure out the blocking for the dinner sequence alone. The most complicated discussions, however, involved which way the doors to the ‘Jack & Jill’ bathroom opened to accommodate all of the action.
- Savoy Brown added the kiss between Mindy and Anika before she crosses the ladder. She also later added the “fuck this franchise” line after her character is stabbed on the subway.
- Nekoda did 34 falls off the ladder, though not on the original 10 ft high on-location alleyway. Her stunts were on a 4 ft soundstage that was painstakingly recreated by production designer Michele Laliberte and her team.
- Originally there was a brief scene where Mulroney’s Detective Bailey stands over Quinn’s body in order to convince the audience “See? She’s really dead”, but it was cut. A throat slash was added in post instead.
- The sheer number of conversations between characters in the alley after Quinn’s murder was a concern for the production. Adding to the stress: when Chad throws Ethan against the van, Gooding and Champion accidentally shattered the window. Per the production crew: Mason is really strong.
- The shrine is an actual working movie theatre, but there were initial concerns that it was too reminiscent of Scream 2. Changes were made by the production designer to introduce more of a “warehouse feel” to the theatre to give it its own distinct character.
- Originally they weren’t going to go to the theatre until the last act, but everyone realized that that would preclude Mindy and Gale from seeing it.
- Ritchie’s movie was filmed by assistants Adam Stand and Adriana King. These scenes were shot independently by the pair on weekends and King is the girl featured in the film.
- There’s a guy in the park wearing shorts and bunny ears and it is one of Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett’s favourite beats.
- Like the narrow alleyways featured in the opening and after Quinn’s murder, Gale (Courteney Cox)’s open loft space was hard to find (the group praises Montreal as a shooting location, but acknowledges that certain key NYC geographies were challenging to replicate). For Gale’s chase, they could only shoot at night, requiring the production to do four “splits” (shooting from 2-3pm in the day to 2-3am at night). Stunt coordinator Alex Cadieux also coordinated a version of the chase that was three to four times longer.
- Gale’s (not) death scene was Cox’s last day of shooting and she had mimosas for everyone on the balcony.
- Writers Vanderbilt and Busick’s first thought upon moving the location to New York was that they had to include a subway scene. Legal gave the production the okay to feature all of the iconic slasher characters on the train “as long as they don’t do the thing they’re famous for.”
- The production originally wanted to use a real 52 foot NYC subway car, but the weight would have buckled the sound stage. Instead Laliberte and her team built a replica from scratch. Also: all of the extras leaving the subway are chanting “Evil dies tonight!”
- There are no deleted scenes because there was so little meddling by Paramount that Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett consider this version their preferred Director’s Cut. This is the film they wanted to make.
- Danny was originally going to be part of the climax in the theatre, but there were “too many cooks” so they changed it.
- While Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett acknowledge the implausibility of everyone surviving, particularly Chad (whose knife wounds were reduced from 14 to 7), everyone survives because it’s ultimately “feel good” and it should make you feel happy. “If you’re mad at us because everyone lived? Cool. We own it. We’re fine with it.”
- Of the killer reveal, executive producer (and original Scream writer) Kevin Williamson told Vanderbilt and Busick: “It’s gotta be primal and it’s got be emotional.” They were always interested in the idea of family, hence Ritchie’s family vs the (Core Four) found family.
- Bailey is stabbed 43 times, which includes the eye stab. Of his scream, Mulroney said: “That was the first time that sound ever came out of my body.”
- The font on Ritchie’s film is from first two seasons of Twin Peaks, while Sam and Tara sitting on the stage is a homage to Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett’s own Ready or Not. “You steal from the best!” they laugh.
- Moments that they had to fight to keep include Gale describing Kirby as a zygote, and “closing the loop on Danny” (ie: when he returns to the theatre with the cops), principally because they were asked to tighten up the ending.
Champion: “This was the most fun I’ve had on a set. Sorry James Cameron”
There were concerns about Jason getting stabbed in the opening sequence: “Do you [the audience] care?”
On Kirby eating a hot dog: “She was destroying it.”
“The more they smile, the more brutal the outcome.”
On returning to the ladder sequence after briefly removing it from the script: “This is dope for a reason.”
Praising the dumpster’s performance in Anika’s death: “You’re anticipating a fall. What you’re not anticipating is how graphic the punctuation moment at the end of it is.”
“This movie more than any other Scream has a Scooby-Doo aspect to it.” (Apparently they’ve forgotten Scream 3?)
“That was the hottest day of the year in Montreal…A lot of smells in that van.”
On Ghostface’s floor crawl after Gale: “We call it the shark attack.”
“It’s Halloween so you can get away with more because of how crazy the holiday is.”
“We love to stab Chad.”
“It’s family vs family.”
Scream VI is out now on 4K, Blu, DVD and Digital.