Scream: Wes Craven nearly got fired for Drew Barrymore’s opening scene

Today it’s a cult scene, but Drew Barrymore’s phone call at the opening of Scream risked getting director Wes Craven fired.

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Wes Craven he has risked being fired gives Scream due to one of the most famous scenes in the horror franchise, the phone call from Drew Barrymore at the opening of the film.

Drew Barrymore in Scream (1996)

Editor Patrick Lussier revealed the episode to the Hollywood Reporter, explaining that the studio behind the film, Dimension Films, hadn’t loved the dailies at the film’s memorable opening in which Drew Barrymore is taunted by the film’s villain, Ghostface, in a long phone call culminating in his death. According to Lussier, Wes Craven risked being fired precisely because of that scene:

“The first sequence that was shot was the Drew Barrymore sequence. The studio hated dailies. They sent him dailies from their Nightwatch remake and said ‘You have to watch this. That’s how a movie is made.'”.

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Scream writer Kevin Williamson also recalled the episode by revealing:

“I’ll never forget, we were sitting in the parking lot of the grocery store and we were shooting the scene where Liev Schreiber walks out, is pushed into a car and taken away. Wes got a call from the studio, I was sitting behind him in my chair and I saw his back collapse. They didn’t think the footage was good. They didn’t understand the lack of footage and they didn’t grasp his vision for that scene. “.

Studio executives, most notably Bob Weinstein, asked to make changes to the opening sequence, according to THR. The Scream producers set to work proving Drew Barrymore’s opening scene by showing a pre-cut to Weinstein to make him understand exactly how the scene would unfold on the big screen.

The bet paid off as the producer Marianne Maddalena recalls: “After showing Bob the edited sequence of the opening scene, he said ‘What do I know about the dailies? Keep it up.'”

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