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Trivia / Scream 4

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  • Acting in the Dark: At a table reading the actors were told to stop the script at page 75, so that those already cast would not know the film's climax.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Emma Roberts's character, Jill, not only shares her last name, she also shares the fact of having a famous relative (Emma's aunt Julia, Jill's cousin Sidney). It certainly casts Jill's villainy in a much more twisted light.
  • Box Office Bomb: Domestically, it only made $38 million on a $40 million budget. Worldwide, it came close to $100 million, but it was still enough to halt plans for future films.
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  • Creator Backlash: Kevin Williamson had some, due to constant clashes with producers. Ehren Kruger, who had written the script for the third film, was brought on to do some rewrites behind his back.
  • The Danza: Emma Roberts' character is named Jill Roberts.
  • Executive Meddling: The film apparently underwent a lot of this from the Weinsteins before its release, including most of the script changes. The DVD Commentary alludes to this on several occasions, particularly on noting that the movie was originally due to end with a "We got a heartbeat!" scene involving Kirby.
  • Franchise Killer: This film failing in American cinemas gutted the Sidney Prescott-centric version of Scream after it tried to double its film count. The TV adaptation is a reboot, and no attempts at further movies have materialized (plus Wes Craven died), meaning the Prescott/Neve Campbell era is likely over.
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  • Hostility on the Set: The film was made while Courteney Cox and David Arquette were going through a very bad patch in their marriage. They split up shortly after the film was finished, ironically having fallen in love on the set of the first.
  • No Export for You: You want to hear more of Wes Craven, Hayden Panettiere, and/or Emma Roberts? Luckily, they're on the DVD Commentary track (as is Neve Campbell, who literally phones in her contribution)... what's that? You live in the UK? And it's not included on the Region 2 release there, either on the DVD or Blu-Ray? Well, if you don't have a multiregion player... or if you can't be bothered to import the French R2 release (which does have the commentary — and an English language track)...
  • The Foreign Subtitle: Titled Scream 4: Next Generation in Japan, possibly in reference to the long Sequel Gap.
  • The Other Marty:
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    • Lauren Graham was cast as Jill's mother Kate, and even appeared on Jay Leno to promote the film. She was later dropped due to script changes and replaced by Mary McDonnell.
    • Lake Bell was cast as Judy Hicks but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, with Marley Shelton taking over the role.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Subverted in hindsight. At the time, Emma Roberts was an out-of-the-ordinary choice to play a serial killer, given that she was best known at the time for the Nickelodeon Kid Com Unfabulous and for assorted family films and teen comedies. Nowadays, though, she's best known for her Alpha Bitch roles on American Horror Story and Scream Queens (2015), meaning that newer audiences are more likely to expect her to be the killer. The film marks something of a turning point in Roberts' career, in fact, as she began taking on these Alpha Bitch roles immediately after this one, to the point where they are now her type. By now, her family-friendly Teen Idol career is all but forgotten.
    • To a lesser extent, Hayden Panettiere — at the time known for being heroic Woobies (this being before her turn as an Alpha Bitch on Nashville) — playing The Lad-ette Deadpan Snarker Kirby.
  • Reality Subtext: The in-universe Stab movie has the caption "A Robert Rodriguez Film". Rodriguez indeed directed the footage shown.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Perkins's death - where he walks around for a while after being stabbed in the head - was inspired by a news report Wes Craven watched. A man was stabbed in the head and took himself to the hospital.
  • Scully Box: Emma Roberts (who is 5' 2") had to wear seven-inch-high boots in order to avoid her being towered over by the rest of the cast. Given that she plays the killer, her not looking like she could be bowled over by any of her co-stars was paramount.
  • Sequel Gap: Scream 4 came 11 years after its predecessor (which, incidentally, is longer than the time it took to make and release all three previous films), and thus takes shots at basically everything that happened to horror films in-between.
  • Stillborn Franchise: This was intended to start another trilogy of Scream films. However, low box office numbers and Wes Craven's death in 2015 put a stop to those plans. The Scream TV series is a reboot that uses a differently designed killer costume and has no connection to this or the original trilogy.
  • Those Two Actors: This marks the third film Emma Roberts has made with Rory Culkin (after Lymelife and Twelve). And the second film where they become a couple - this is also the case in Lymelife, although her character doesn't kill his there. It also marks the second film with Hayden Panettiere and Mary McDonnell (both were in the Made-for-TV Movie Chestnut Hill).
  • Troubled Production: The film was stuck in Development Hell for a long time, and Williamson had repeated clashes with the Weinsteins, resulting in them once again hiring Kruger and Craven for rewrites, and the script varied heavily from the original drafts. Also, Cathy Konrad (who produced the first three films) sued the Weinsteins over not approaching her for the film. Filming went relatively smooth, though it ran on a couple weeks longer than planned, and there was tension on set between David Arquette and Courteney Cox, whose real life relationship was falling apart (and subsequently ended in divorce). The film was released to mixed reception and disappointing box office, putting Williamson's plans for a new trilogy on hold and leading to the franchise being rebooted as a television series on MTV.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The roles of Chloe and Rachel (Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin's cameos) were written with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in mind.
    • Wes Craven was going to have a cameo, and on his Twitter account asked fans what they thought it should be. It ended up cut from the film.
    • Selena Gomez and Ashley Greene were considered for the role of Jill before Emma Roberts was cast.
    • An early script idea had Dewey and Gale now having a baby. This was dropped, as bringing a baby into the film would have made shooting "impossible."
    • Hilary Duff was attached for a while in an unspecified role.
    • The original opening would have taken place at a party for Sidney's book. The killer would jump out and badly stab her. The rest of the film would take place three years later. Producers vetoed this, feeling the Time Skip hurt the flow of the film.
  • Word of God:
    • A Deleted Scene reveals that Sidney's father Neil Prescott had passed away sometime after the events of the third film - and that this is the first time Sidney has returned to Woodsboro since.
    • When the DVD released, Wes Craven claimed that Kirby didn't die. A deleted scene would have shown a "we got a heartbeat" moment with her.

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