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Scream 6 Wanted Its Opening To Take Fans Of The Series By Surprise

The "Scream" films are known for subverting expectations with their opening scenes, beginning with 1996's "Scream," in which Casey Becker was killed off within minutes — a major shock considering big-name star Drew Barrymore was heavily featured on the posters. 

Most recently, "Scream VI" opens with film studies professor Laura Crane (Samara Weaving) being lured into an alleyway while talking on the phone to someone that she thinks is her Tinder date who is running late (notably, the voice on the phone is not Roger L. Jackson, who has provided the voice of Ghostface for all the "Scream" films). After Ghostface kills Laura, something unprecedented happens: Ghostface takes off his mask, revealing himself as Jason Carvey (Tony Revolori), one of Laura's film students. Jason and his roommate are planning to continue killing as Ghostface — but then a second Ghostface calls Jason and begins taunting him in the usual Ghostface way before revealing that Greg's roommate is dead. Then, that second Ghostface appears and murders Jason.

That opening certainly shocked plenty of viewers, which was the exact intention of writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Speaking to MovieWeb, the "Scream VI" writers revealed that they both came up with the idea separately before coming together and realizing they had the same twist in mind. With the plan of having Ghostface take off his mask, the writing duo became enthusiastic about the notion of throwing viewers for an unexpected loop. Vanderbilt said, "We love the idea of taking your knowledge and maybe weaponizing it a little bit against you as a fan, to sort of surprise you or do different things with it. That became a real sort of focal point of, how can we sort of do this? So it was super exciting [and] we came to it relatively early."

Vanderbilt and Busick wanted to venture into uncharted waters

James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick elaborated on their thought process during an interview with Comicbook.com. Vanderbilt explained that they knew that they wanted "Scream VI" to focus on the sister relationship of Tara (Jenna Ortega) and Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), but liked the idea of first tricking the viewer into thinking that they would be in for a different kind of ride. 

Vanderbilt said, "We definitely wanted you to think that we might be having a 'Scream' movie from either Ghostface's perspective, or at least knowing the identity of one of the killers, because that's just a fun idea and it's also shocking. That's never been done before. That's making you lean forward a little bit."

But then, they wanted to take it even further and push the film beyond the boundaries of any other "Scream" film with Jason's death at the hands of the real Ghostface to really keep viewers on their toes going into the rest of the film. Vanderbilt continued, "We did want to then pivot back and have a twist or a reveal on a reveal, and have the Ghostface get a call from the actual Ghostface of our movie, who does not care about movies. We're in uncharted waters at that point, and it's like, 'Well, then what is this movie about? How is this going to work?' That was it, that was the intent."