6 Biggest Moments Cut From the ‘Scream VI’ Script

Scream VI

Although Scream VI was a clear-cut critical and financial success in theaters, its reputation among Scream fans has definitely lowered a little as we’ve had time to think about it. Why did the movie have so many fake-out deaths? Why did it give Gale so little to do outside of her big chase scene? And why do many of the killers’ actions not seem to make much sense? It’s not that the movie was a disaster or anything, but it’s easy to wonder how much better it could’ve been with just a few little changes here or there.

That’s why the recently released Scream VI script was so fascinating. It gives us an extra glimpse into the moments that could’ve (or should’ve) been in the movie, but were cut for one reason or another. There are a million different reasons why a line of dialogue could be scrapped in production—maybe it just doesn’t work on screen as well as it does on paper. But regardless, here are six of the biggest moments cut from the script. 

The Ladder Scene is Longer

Although this sequence is terrifying enough in the Scream VI we got, the script includes some extra moments that heighten the suspense, make the characters look a little smarter, and help make newcomer Danny (Josh Segarra) work a little better as a red herring. 

Most notably, when only Mindy and Anika are left to climb across the ladder to escape Ghostface, Danny stops them from climbing one right behind the other, telling them, “It can’t hold you both. You have to come out one at a time.” Later in the scene, when Mindy tries to get back on the ladder to help save a bleeding-out Anika from getting tilted off to her death, Danny stops her: “It can’t hold you both. You’ll die.”

It’s an interesting detail to omit because it covers the obvious question of why Anika would wait until Mindy’s all the way across the ladder before attempting her own escape. It also raises another question: is Danny actually telling the truth here? The script covers that the ladder dips a little in the middle, giving credence to his claims. But Danny’s confident assertion that a professionally made ladder couldn’t handle the weight of two short, thin college girls is definitely suspicious. It’s exactly the kind of thing a second killer might do to subtly help his partner out. 

In a movie where the three killers are all pretty obvious, putting in a little more work to make Danny seem genuinely suspicious might’ve gone a long way. Then again, Danny’s role as Sam’s dependable, empathetic boyfriend was genuinely sweet and refreshing to watch, so maybe the omission helped more than it hurt. 

We See Detective Bailey Mourn His Daughter

One of the biggest complaints about Scream VI is the absurdity of Quinn’s fake death. We can sort of believe that her fake corpse would be enough to fool the Core Four in the heat of the moment. But to fool a whole forensics team? It seems insane that Bailey and Quinn could’ve pulled off this sleight-of-hand. 

It’s still insane in the script, but at least there’s a scene thrown in to make it slightly more believable. After the chaos with the ladder scene unfolds, we’re treated to a short scene of Bailey mourning his daughter’s fake corpse at the crime scene. When “a forensics team appears at the door,” he tells them to go back downstairs. When they push further, he screams, “Nobody touches her but me!”

The benefit is clear: the movie’s big twist makes more sense if we’ve seen how Bailey, playing the role of a grieving father, managed to convince the forensics team to leave him alone with the body long enough to pull a switch-a-roo. Using real-world logic, none of this quite checks out, but at least this version is a little less sloppy. 

We Get More Kirby Backstory 

For long-time fans of the series, the news of Hayden Panettiere’s return as Kirby Reed was the most exciting part of the wait for Scream VI. She was such a fun character in Scream 4, and considering she was (arguably) supposed to live and become the new final girl in the series, Kirby fans were clamoring to let the character finally get her due. But what Scream VI delivered was, admittedly, a little underwhelming. Most of her scenes were just fan service; we never got a proper sense of who Kirby is now as her own person.

That’s why it’s so noticeable that the script included a nice moment between her and pre-reveal Bailey, where he asks her about her life post-Woodsboro and she gives some surprising answers. She tells him she’d been married once, but was now divorced. (“One and done,” she calls it.) When Bailey tries to console her by saying, “I’m sure there’s someone special out there for you,” Kirby “stares at him in disbelief.” She says, “Seriously, what planet are you from?”

It’s an interesting bit of information because it’s far less predictable than the backstory she gives to Tara. This moment paints a far more complicated picture of her off-screen life. It implies that Kirby has lingering trust issues and PTSD from what happened to her, something that both destroyed her marriage and led her to think she’s fundamentally unloveable. Or at least fundamentally unsuited to a healthy long-term relationship.

This one detail reveals that Kirby’s dealing with the same general issues Sidney was dealing with back in Scream 3: she’s started defining her life in relationship to the horrors that have happened to her, not quite ready to move on. This one line would’ve done a lot to lessen the complaints of Scream VI’s Kirby being a little one-note, a little lacking in depth. Then again, perhaps the movie deliberately decided to hold Kirby at arm’s length, so that her fake-out killer reveal would be more convincing later on.

Gale Gets to Be More Introspective

A little after the gang goes into the Ghostface shrine for the first time, Sam and Gale have a nice moment together. It helps clarify that Gale has not in fact completely reverted to her old, Scream 2-era self, as her early scenes implied. When Sam complains that she’s not beloved like Sidney was, Gale tells her, “Sam, I know this from experience—comparing yourself to Sidney is not a good use of your time. And besides, you’re more like me anyway.”

It’s a sweet moment that deepens their relationship, and it tells us something about Gale we haven’t known yet: She too has struggled with not being like Sidney. Of course, Gale has always been a little colder, a little meaner, and a lot more detective-oriented than Sidney. That’s part of what we love about her. But it’s also what’s made her the brunt of so many insults in the Scream universe. 

If someone punched Sidney on live TV, the other characters would be furious. When Sidney or Tara punches Gale on live TV, she doesn’t get in trouble because everyone kind of knows Gale had it coming. So far, Gale has brushed off all of this hatred with apparent ease, but it’s only here that we get some hint that yes, all this backlash hurts her feelings. The burden of being the ruthless reporter does get to her sometimes, even if she knows it’s a necessary role. 

This cut moment may not seem like much, but considering how little the movie gives her to do, its omission is borderline insulting. Gale doesn’t get much of a coherent character arc in Scream VI, so the movie should’ve made the most out of every little scene she got. 

Bailey’s Actions Post-Reveal Make a Tiny Bit More Sense

The biggest fan complaint about Scream VI is that the final act is incredibly sloppy. Characters are surviving major knife and bullet wounds like it’s nothing, the three killers are a little too cartoonish, and Sam and Tara’s decision to take the time to torture Bailey at the end is particularly insane. (Not only were Chad, Kirby, and Tara actively bleeding out the whole time, but Sam let the killer keep his gun beforehand.)

It’s still pretty sloppy in the script, but at least the most ridiculous part was addressed there. Before Bailey’s knocked unconscious, there’s a scene where he points his gun at Sam. He tries to shoot her first, but “Before he can fire, Sam runs at him and spears him in the midsection!”

It’s a moment that makes far more sense than the movie’s version, where Bailey has his own loaded gun, knows Sam’s gun is empty, but doesn’t shoot her. Instead, he points the gun at her and runs toward her, allowing her to tackle him off the balcony. It’s a bafflingly stupid way for Sam to get the best of him, made more confusing by the fact that the script had already addressed this. 

The only real possible justification for the film’s version is that this was intended as a joke. Bad guys charging with their guns (despite shooting from a distance clearly being the safer option) is a well-known trope in action movies, which the new Scream films seem more interested in satirizing than the horror genre. Perhaps Bailey’s stupidity in this scene was made in the same vein as Chad’s absurd survival, where the writers sacrificed realism for the sake of meta-humor. Still, the joke just doesn’t seem worth it. Having Sam disarm him first would’ve not only made more sense, but it would presented Sam as even more of the dangerous killer the movie wanted her to be. 

Sidney Gets More Shout-Outs

In the finished version of the movie, the big elephant in the room was the lack of Sidney. “She deserves her happy ending,” Gale says at one point, explaining how Sidney was staying out of town with her loving family this time around. It’s a nice line, but one that rings a little hollow considering the pay dispute that led to Sidney’s absence. The movie can tell us what it wants about why Sidney’s not here, but of course, we all know the real reason. 

Maybe it was the movie’s awareness of this dissonance that led to them cutting most of the mentions of Sidney from the script. Maybe that’s why Sam’s mentioning of Sidney in Gale’s scene was erased, as was the part in Bailey’s monologue where he talks about planning to go after Sidney next. “We’re going to fly to Seattle and pay Sidney a visit,” he says. “Carve her little girls up in front of her…. Everyone who had anything to do with the death of my son suffers and dies.”

Do these mentions add much to the actual plot of this movie? No, not particularly. But it does serve to make it clear to viewers that the series hasn’t forgotten about Sidney, nor has it moved on from her entirely. The constant mentions of Sidney imply that the series plans to return to her soon, that there’s some sort of long-term plan going on here that’ll make up for her current absence. It would’ve helped to reassure viewers that, regardless of any conflict going on between the studios and Neve Campbell, there’s zero bad blood between the writers and the actress. 

Admittedly, none of these six changes were huge ones that would’ve massively elevated the film. For the Sidney shoutouts and the ladder scene in particular, it’s not even clear if these script moments would’ve helped more than they hurt. Still, it’s hard not to dwell on all these little moments that could’ve been, imagining how the actors could’ve brought them to life on-screen. Every film has moments from the script that were taken out, but for a fandom that’s always arguing over every decision the writers make in each new sequel, there’s something almost agonizing about reading what could’ve been. On the bright side, the merits of these script changes—or lack thereof—should give us plenty to talk about until more Scream 7 news starts rolling in. 

Which of these scenes would’ve been better off included, and which of them were rightly discarded? Let us know on Twitter @DreadCentral. 



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