After the third movie, Wes Craven and the cast had promised to never come back for another sequel. The thing is... Never say never, especially if screenwriter Kevin Williamson comes up with the idea of a new trilogy, a decade later. In a unique chance to redeem his absence on the closing of the first trilogy, it made sense to make a reunion...
One day I’m just sitting around and I go, 'Oh wait — I think — oh my God, I think I have it.' And then I started thinking about Scream 4. And I kinda worked it all out and what the story was and who generates the plot. I had written this treatment for Scream 3 that was not what they filmed. It was a return to Woodsboro. Scream 3 was supposed to take place in Woodsboro. You know how they’re making a movie in Hollywood? I had an entire film crew going to Woodsboro. So then, I always wanted to go back to Woodsboro. Once I figured out where Sidney was today, who dies and who doesn’t, I said, 'Okay maybe now I can have a conversation with Bob [Weinstein, producer and co-chairman of Dimension Films].' I called him up and I pitched him. Of course, he just heard Scream 4. [Laughs] Literally, after I pitched the first scene, I think he just stopped listening and was just like, 'Write it, write it, write it.' Kevin Williamson, Entertainment Weekly
The movie was officially announced in July of 2008 by The Weinstein Co./Dimension in a press release.
In July of 2009, after years of rumors and negotiations, David Arquette and Courteney Cox signed up to reprise their roles. Neve Campbell was confirmed in September 2009.
On March 22, 2010, Variety reported that Wes Craven was officially signed on as director.
After missing a Thanksgiving and January 4th deadline, Kevin Williamson delivered the first draft of the script in mid-February 2010.
Originally planned for an October 2010 release date, but after writing delays the scheduled release date is April 15th, 2011.
Ironically and sadly, this was the last movie of Cox/Arquette as a couple. They've met during the filming of Scream.
There wasn't a large search for new talents during the casting of this movie. Not reportedly, at least.
Ashley Greene was offered the role of Jill, Lake Bell was to play Deputy Judy Hicks and Lauren Graham was cast as Kate Roberts - but dropped out a few days into principal photography.
Lucy Hale was supposed to play a different role, but due to scheduling conflicts, the producers gave her a minor part.
Some internet rumours say that the Kirsten Bell/Anna Paquin scene was imagined with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
Charlyne Yi, Kevin Pennington, Scout Taylor-Compton and Shane Dawson auditioned for roles.
All the process of the filming was covered here, on HelloSidney.com, but here is a long story short...
On a budget of $40 million, principal photography began on June 28, 2010. Filming was scheduled to end on September 6, after a 42-day shoot, but instead concluded on September 24.
In the middle of this, there was a need for rewrites and polishing on Kevin Williamson's script. Because of a contract to the hit TV show The Vampire Diaries, Williamson was unable to make these modifications and the studio brought Ehren Krueger again - to Williamson and the fans despair. Krueger is blamed by most of the trilogy fans as the guy who wrecked Scream 3.
For one reason or another, Bob [Weinstein] kept ultimate control of the script, and he had much more contact with Ehren Kruger, but then they're close friends. By the time Ehren was writing, I was already kind of shooting. It was a difficult script to figure out, but Kevin was the one who laid out the master plan and all the characters and scenes, the beginning and almost all of the ending. What we had to figure out was the relationships of the characters, how Courteney and David would intermingle with the kids. That was the tricky thing. I also didn't have Courteney for more than a month, so I had to figure out how to use all of her time in places where we didn't even know what was going to happen yet, like in the ending. But you know, that's not unusual for the Scream series, with the exception of the first one. There was always a process of working on the script all the way through the picture.Wes Craven, Vulture
After the test screening in January, Craven and Weinstein did not think two scenes played well for the audience. Aimee Teegarden and Alison Brie returned to Detroit in late January and early February of 2011 for four days of additional shooting. The scenes involved Teegarden's character who is stalked at her home and Brie's character who is attacked in a parking garage.
- In May of 2010, Cathy Konrad, the producer of all three previous movies in the Scream series, filed a lawsuit against the Weinstein Company stating her production company had a first-rights deal with the Weinstein Company to produce all films in the Scream series. The lawsuit was eventually dropped. It was reported that the Weinsteins had settled out of court with Konrad, the details remaining confidential, though it was claimed that she would receive a cash payment plus a percentage of the profits from Scream 4.
- For the first time in the series, a CGI-added knife was used because Wes Craven wanted to avoid using prop knives that are rubber, cardboard and collapsible.
The horror genre scenario has changed quite a bit since the events of Scream 3. What we found nowadays is a ridiculous amount of remakes...
Cause all there are now are remakes. Only horror studios green-light. I mean, there are still rules, but the rules have changed. The unexpected is the new cliche. Charlie Walker, Scream 4
Halloween, uh, Texas Chainsaw, Dawn of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes, Amityville Horror, uh, Last House on the Left, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare On Elm Street, My Bloody Valentine, When A Stranger Calls, Prom Night, Black Christmas, House of Wax, The Fog, Piranha. It's one of those, right? Right? Kirby Reed, Scream 4
By looking at this perspective, Scream 4 is at the same time a sequel, a reboot and a subversive remake. Even the new generation of characters bring a pattern to the original: Jill (Sidney), Kirby (Tatum/Randy), Trevor (Billy), Charlie (Stu/Randy), Robbie (Randy), Judy (Dewey) and Rebecca (Gale). In the end, we discover that things were nothing we've been imagining...
Williamson's script takes us back on track with the references - to the slashers and thrillers! To the very beginning actually, by referencing the first one, Peeping Tom (1960) - were the killer films his murders.
Then, the usual homage to Hitchcock, mentioning Psycho (1960) and reimagining a scene from Rear Window (1954) - that happens when Jill and Kirby witness the murder of Olivia - and finally baptizing a character after Anthony Perkins (Deputy Perkins, played by Anthony Anderson).
- The scene where Kirby says that her favorite scary movie is Bambi (1942), mirrors the scene in Scream 2 (1997) where Randy tells the killer that his favorite scary movie is Showgirls (1995).
- Charlie asks Kirby who played Leatherface first, responding with Gunnar Hansen. The killer asks Kirby what weapon Leatherface uses in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), responding with chainsaw. He also asks Freddie Krueger's weapon, referencing Nightmare on Elm Steet (1984).
- The Skip Crank's prop department also did a beautiful job by adding this like the posters of Vertigo, The Exorcist, The Hills Have Eyes, Dawn Of The Dead, King Kong, The Thing, Blood Simple, Brazil, Tremors, Troll 2, Army Of Darkness, The Green Mile, Stab 3, Final Destination 2, Wolf Creek, Feast, Death Proof, Zombie Strippers!, Hellboy II, Zack & Miri Make A Porno, Halloween II and Piranha 3D on the cinema club wall. Jill's room also have a few horror posters: Creature From The Black Lagoon and An American Werewolf In London. Kirby's room has the posters of Nosferatu and Rear Window.
- DVDs of the following movies can be seen: Suspiria, Rush Hour 2, Cabin Fever, Clerks II, Automaton Transfusion, Teeth, Meet The Robinsons, Final Destination, Avatar and Die Hard.
- The following TV Show are mentioned: Top Chef, Punk'd, Dateline, Today and The View.
- Dewey's ringtone is the theme of Beverly Hills Cop (1984). Axel Foley's Theme even made into the soundtrack!
Stab is the wrong franchise for her, it should be Final Destination. Olivia Morris on Sidney Prescott, Scream 4
I think we can account the appearances of Kirsten Bell, Anna Paquin, Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes as the cameos of Scream 4.
Nancy O'Dell - who also appeared on Scream 2 and Scream 3 - does a cameo as a reporter.
Scream 4 was met with mixed reviews, with some reviewers criticizing the film's "dated" formula, but was considered a huge improvement over Scream 3. Released in 3,305 theaters on 4,400 screens and grossed over $1 million in its midnight opening. According to "industry experts", the film's $19.3 million opening weekend was "disappointing". Scream 4 has grossed $101,314,194 at the worldwide box office.
Announced as a new trilogy, apparently the studios have no immediate plans to go on with another movie.
When I pitched Scream 4, [...] I pitched a whole new trilogy. I guess Scream 4 never took off in a way they hoped, and so…. Kevin Williamson, Cinefilles
- Sheriff Riley and his deputies wear six-point stars as a badge, yet on the sleeves they have seven-point star patches. In any real Sheriff's department one or the other might be used but never both. The uniform insignia would match the badge.
- At the beginning of the movie, when Gale is sitting in front of her 6th generation Apple iMac, instead of OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, it's got OS X 10.4 Tiger installed. Every 6th gen iMac came preinstalled with Snow Leopard.
- When Gale is typing at her computer, she continues to press keys even though the screen shows that she had finished the sentence she was writing.
- During the "Stabathon", when "Stab" is playing, the scenes are out of sequence. The first scene shown is the popcorn burning, then the shower scene. The shower scene is supposed to be in the opening sequence, before the popcorn burning scene.
- When the girl crawls away from Ghostface while bleeding, he moves to the garage door controls to close the door while she's crawling under it. We see a shot of the girl crawling, and in the last second before the camera shifts, the garage door starts to go down seconds before the camera switches to Ghostface hitting the "Close" button on the controls.
- When Jenny hangs up and goes toward the stairs to check what happened to Marnie, she's holding her phone on her left hand. In the next shot, her phone had disappeared.
- When deputy Hoss gets stabbed in his back, there is no sound of the knife being taken from his body and the knife which appears in the next clip has no blood stains on it.
- During the opening, when Jenny is talking with the killer (just before Marnie is thrown through the back-porch door) she is clearly standing in the kitchen and by the stairs, but when Marnie's body flies through, Jenny is back in the living room by the door.
- When Jill and Charlie reveal themselves Jill has a knife in her hand. Then she goes to Charlie and it's gone and he hands her a knife to stab him with.
- When Charlie shows Sydney the footage of Ghostface stabbing the girl in her bed on the cell phone, it completely contradicts the earlier shot of Jill removing the camera from the 1st person perspective from inside the mask.
- When Gale, is home working on her computer there is a plate of toast on the desk, the amount of toast changes between shots.
- When Sidney, runs to Olivia's house she walks into the blood splattered room. Sydney runs her hand down the blood covered door frame. None of the blood smudges or goes onto her hand. If the murder had just happened the blood would have went onto her hand, and smeared down the door frame
- When Kirby is on the phone to Jill, as she approaches 'Stab fest' party, Her iPhone is clearly on the contacts list and not on call mode. iPhone screens are blank during phone calls when up against the ear.
- When deputy Perkins is stabbed in his forehead and starts walking out of the police car, it is obvious that the stains all over his police uniform are not blood stains.
- When Charlie and Jill reveal themselves, Charlie points to Jill with his knife, indicating her to be the "new" Sidney. When he points to himself, you can see the ridge where the fake blade retracts, showing it to be a prop safety knife.
- When Sidney is unpacking her aunt's groceries, the box of cereal has already been opened and closed back shut.
The goof items below may give away important plot points.
- Continuity: When Chloe is stabbed, the blood coming out of her mouth appears and disappears between shots.
- Continuity: Jill is stood holding the gun and the knife and is waving the knife in Sidney's face. But, when her and Charlie go to stab each other she's only holding the gun and he passes her the knife.
- Continuity: When Charlie holds his iPhone up to Sidney to show his murder footage, he's holding it with his hand vertically with his thumb on the bottom and four fingers on top. In the next shot when Sidney watches it, he's holding it up to Sidney with his hand horizontally: using only his thumb, index, and middle finger.
- Continuity: When Jill dies, she falls face-down. However, the last shot of her face shows her body supine and face-up.
- Continuity: When Rebecca is running towards the exit door in the parking garage, there is an exit sign on the door. When she gets stabbed, the sign had disappeared, and the cars are parked in another way.
- Factual errors: When Jill comes into Sidney's hospital room she pulls out the call bell cord before Sidney can call for help. In any hospital if you pull out the cord it sounds an alarm to call for help as well, yet no alarm was heard.
- Incorrectly regarded as goofs: When at Kirby's house after Sheriff Riley interrupts the Stabathon, Charlie says he will watch Stab 7, and puts on the DVD. But when we see the film playing later, it is the girls from the opening scene, the ones with the Facebook-stalker, which was revealed to be Stab 6. Yet as discussed by Jenny and Marnie in the 'true' opening, the beginning of Stab 7 had Rachel and Chloe watching Stab 6 and criticizing it.
- Revealing mistakes: When Jill examines the blood from her cheek after using Trevor's hand to scratch it, Trevor's stomach can be seen faintly breathing, even though he has been killed.