Drew Barrymore’s death in the opening minutes of the 1996 smash-hit slasher film Scream is rightfully regarded as one of the most iconic movie murders in recent history.
What made it all the more surprising is that, at the time, Barrymore was one of the most popular actresses in Hollywood, and most definitely the biggest name in Scream’s ensemble.
Barrymore recently explained why she was so adamant about taking on the role of high school student Casey Becker in Scream, telling First We Feast’s Hot Ones on Thursday that she wanted to play with the expectations of horror fans.
“In the horror film genre, my biggest pet peeve was that I always knew the main character was going to be slugging through at the end, but was going to creak by and make it. What I wanted to do is to take that comfort zone away. So I asked if I could be Casey Becker so we would establish this rule does not apply in this film.”
This decision by director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson, as well as Barrymore’s bravery to take on the part, proved to be a masterstroke. The shocking death of Becker caught the attention of fans, who helped spread the word about Scream, which ultimately went on to gross around $173 million worldwide from just a $15 million budget.
Since then there have been three more Scream movies, each one of which has proven to be incredibly profitable. So much so that a fifth installment to the Scream franchise is already in development, and will actually start filming once the Coronavirus stranglehold subsides.
Of course, Barrymore will be unable to return, but we do know that David Arquette and Courtney Cox will be reprising their roles, and Arquette is working very hard to try and convince Neve Campbell to play Sidney Prescott again, too.