That Time Scream’s Jamie Kennedy Auditioned And Was Rejected For Wes Craven’s Original Movie

Some filmmakers help to elevate the entire horror genre, and the late Wes Craven is certainly one of those names. Craven helped to bring Freddie Kreuger to life, before reviving slashers with his acclaimed work on Scream. Although it turns out that Scream’s Jamie Kennedy was actually rejected for that original movie. Could you imagine anyone else playing Randy?

Scream is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and is being re-released on 4k (opens in new tab) for the generations of fans out there. I had the privilege of speaking with original star Jamie Kennedy about his time in Woodsboro, as you can see in the video above. I asked Kennedy what that audition process was like for Wes Craven’s original movie, where he revealed:

I was already doing Romeo + Juliet which was a big break for me. And I wanted Scream because I knew how impactful it was going to be. I had the vibe that it was just a different type of movie. But I’d been yes’d and then no’d, and then yes. And the studio kept pushing back because I really didn’t have any credits. So at some point I was like ‘It might not happen.’ I was sad… I definitely was worried and I had to make peace with it. But I’m lucky it happened.

Well, my mind is blown. Jamie Kennedy gave a legendary performance in Scream, portraying the horror nerd that so many of us identify with. But he was still relatively green as a screen actor, and therefore some studio heads didn’t want him in the role. Luckily we all know how this eventually worked out.

Jamie Kennedy’s comments about Scream help to show how the beloved slasher project came together before becoming a sensation. Getting Ghostface to the big screen for the first time had a number of challenges, and casting was only one small part. Drew Barrymore famously helped to get the movie made, and was originally up to play Sidney Prescott before shifting to her iconic role as Casey Becker.

Jamie Kennedy as Randy in Scream

(Image credit: Dimension Films)

In the end Wes Craven’s original Scream would end up elevating the star power of the entire starring cast, including Jamie Kennedy. As one of the only survivors, he’d reprise his role in Scream 2, being shockingly killed off early in the movie’s runtime. But Craven would still find a way to include Kennedy in the threequel thanks to a message recorded prior to his death by Ghostface.

Scream will soon return to theaters with the upcoming fifth movie, with the original trio of heroes returning: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette. It looks like the new sequel will also be set in Woodsboro, so I’m hoping that Jamie Kennedy’s Randy is at least referenced throughout the course of this new installment. After all, he was the one that introduced all of us to the rules of surviving a horror movie.

The new Scream movie will hit theaters January 14th, and the original movie’s 4K release is out now. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.