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The Character Reese Witherspoon Almost Played In Scream

Although Wes Craven's "Scream" is a deconstruction of the slasher-horror sub-genre, it quickly became a classic in its own right thanks to being incredibly witty with its approach to Ghostface and his victims. The film aims at typical horror tropes and flips them on their head. There's no final girl here, as Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), Dewey Riley (David Arquette), and Gail Weathers (Couretney Cox) all make it out alive. One of the film's most memorable moments features Randy explaining the generic horror movie rules to a bunch of partygoers — right before Ghostface starts hunting Sidney and her friends through the house.

Although writer Kevin Williamson and Craven took a subversive approach to "Scream," it doesn't mean that there's no guts or blood in the film — because it certainly revels in some gory moments throughout the story. But what really makes "Scream" (and its subsequent sequels) so much fun is the huge array of popular actors who show up as victims, villains, or both. Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard are behind Ghostface in the first film, while later films added stars like Timothy Olyphant, Liev Schreiber, Carrie Fisher, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Emma Roberts, and many more.

However, "Scream" almost looked very different as Reese Witherspoon was considered for one of the film's most important roles.

Reese Witherspoon could've led the franchise

Although it's impossible to imagine Sidney Prescott being played by anyone other than Neve Campbell, Reese Witherspoon was considered for the role when Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson were developing the project with Dimension Films. She was among a shortlist of other actresses like Molly Ringwald, Brittany Murphy, Melissa Joan Hart, and Tori Spelling, but the role ultimately went to Campbell. But why didn't Witherspoon land the role? According to Digital Spy, she didn't even audition for the film because she allegedly didn't want the main part in a horror movie. 

Campbell was actually a last-minute replacement for Sidney, as Drew Barrymore was forced to exit the role thanks to a scheduling conflict. She still appears as Casey Becker in the harrowing opening scene where Ghostface stalks her at home. It's a shame Witherspoon didn't take a chance on "Scream," but the missed opportunity didn't harm her career as she's still an excellent actress who brings an extraordinary amount of depth to her work.

There's still time for her to show up in 2022's "Scream 5," at least, but we'd highly doubt that. The new film reunites Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette again following 2011's "Scream 4" and also stars Jack Quaid, Hayden Panettiere, and Heather Matarazzo.