Scream VI Filmmakers Have A Unique Way Of Telling Actors They’re The Killer, And It’s Awesome

Ghostface stands with its knife raised in a theater in Scream VI.
(Image credit: Paramount/Spyglass)

It’s an excellent time to be a Scream fan. After an eleven-year hiatus, fans have received two installments in one of the best horror movie franchises in as many years. The 2022 film and the newly released Scream VI were shepherded by the filmmaking collective known as Radio Silence, comprised of the trio of members Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella. The filmmakers behind the critically well-received slasher (who aren't afraid to ignore pieces of the mythos) are now spilling the beans on the unique way they tell the actors they will be the ones wielding the knife, and it’s so awesome.

The co-directors recently appeared on our own ReelBlend podcast to discuss the latest installment in the franchise, bringing Ghostface to New York City, making a Scream movie without Neve Campbell, and so much more. During the chat, co-host Jake Hamilton asked the movie makers what goes into shooting the killer reveals, and the group explained the fun that takes place on these particular production days. Here’s what Chad Villella had to say:

I think one of the biggest days and the most fun days are on the killer reveal days when we are doing the costumes, and we’re letting the actors know, “Oh, we have one more thing for you to try on.

It makes sense that the directors must keep the killer reveal as close to the chest as possible. It must be an exciting day of shooting for the actor to find out that they’ve been the killer the whole time! Matt Bettinelli-Olpin joked:

Yeah, we do a real Colombo on them.

Chad Villella also touched on how the actors themselves feel when they find out they’re getting to wear the classic mask and robe during the big third-act reveal. He continued:

We bring out the robe and the mask, and they’re like, 'No way!'

The performers behind Ghostface aren’t the only ones in the dark regarding the killer’s true identity and motive. Scream VI cast member Jenna Ortega who recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in promotion of the 2022 sequel, said the filmmakers gave the actors different scripts with varying endings. But for the sixth installment, none of the actors were given the script’s third act at all. 

This may all sound a bit unorthodox, but there's a method to the madness. Tyler Gillett says the deceptions are necessary to maintain the film’s killer reveal and for casting purposes. He explained: 

You can’t audition people, telling them like who the killer is, right? Because, then, you’re effectively just declaring to the town, like, this is what happens in the next Scream movie. So, we even had multiple actors read Amber’s monologue from [Scream] five, just so we could sort of learn how many gears they had, what their range was, performance-wise, and also throw people off the scent of who is or isn’t the killer.

While these are scary movies, they are also whodunnits at their core. It’s nice to see the team behind the flicks take the mysteries and the reveals seriously, even if they have to play a few tricks on their cast. Check out the filmmaker's full chat with ReelBlend down below:

This latest chapter in the saga is a brutal game-changer for the franchise, shifting the story away from Woodsboro to the Big Apple while also moving away from the O.G. characters to focus on the new “core four” established in the 2022 outing. While the sixth installment sees the return of Courtney Cox in a supporting role, Neve Campbell refused to return for Scream 6 over a salary dispute. Longtime fans will surely miss the character of Sidney Prescott, yet it’s hard to deny the love and care the Radio Silence team has put into their directorial duties on the sequels. That includes the truly wonderful way they christen actors with the Ghostface garb.

Scream VI is now playing in theaters, so check your local listings to see the filmmaker’s hard work of keeping the killer’s identity a secret pay off in this nail-biting follow-up. You can also use our guide of 2023 new movie releases to track what's headed to cinemas in the coming months. 

Ryan LaBee

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing. An expert in all things horror, Ryan enjoys covering a wide variety of topics. He's also a lifelong comic book fan and an avid watcher of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon.