Scream’s David Arquette Recalls The Moment He Learned Dewey’s Fate In The Film

David Arquette as Dewey Riley in Scream
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Big SPOILERS are ahead for the latest Scream movie (which is now streaming with a Paramount+ subscription.)

After over decade after Ghostface's last rampage, the masked killer returned for Scream, the fifth installment in the horror franchise and the first entry without the now late Wes Craven at the helm. The well-loved slasher sequel saw the return of the original cast, including Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette, alongside a number of new faces. But sadly, not all of the iconic characters came out of the recent Scream unscathed. 

In a surprising moment in the second half of Scream, David Arquette’s Dewey Riley was murdered by Ghostface in a brutal kill that saw two knives being punctured through his skin, one in the front and one in the back. Following the big moment, which looks to solidify Dewey’s exit from the franchise, Arquette has shared the moment he learned his beloved character would die: 

I haven’t talked about it much. It’s a very fresh wound. They had not given me a heads-up, so I was like [mimes thumbing through the script], ‘Wow, Dewey’s got some good stuff to play this time!’ And then, ‘Oh, that’s why!’ I had to put it down, I had to walk around and kind of process it. I understood where they were coming from, as far as gutting their audience. It was hard. It’s been such an ongoing film series throughout my life, 25 years of my life, so it definitely cut deep.

Can you imagine? As the actor told Empire, when he read the script for the first time ahead, he had no idea he’d see Dewey’s last moments on the page. At first, he was really impressed with Dewey’s particular role in the new film but, once he got to the fateful scene, he understood the movie was planning to send off his character. 

After 25 years playing the role, it’s understandable that the actor would need some time to digest the idea of the character dying. While he wasn’t particularly happy about it, he did understand the moment’s place in the story and ultimately the scene becomes pivotal to the ending of the fifth Scream movie. He also said this about filming the scene: 

That morning, I got up, cooked myself some breakfast, and then I went to work and did the scene. I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. We amped up the fight scene a little because I’m a professional wrestler. We made it a little more intense. If you have a lot of action, you’re going to get banged up a little, and if you have blood on you, the longer it goes it’s just kind of sticky and uncomfortable. So you’ve got to get into a Zen place, so you’re not angry. And I was angry anyway. So I just had to get into a real Zen place, just breathe through and know that this will be over soon. But it was emotional. I did it, and I hopped in my car, drove home, washed all the blood off, and that was it. I packed up a few things and then hit the road.

David Arquette has been in every Scream movie made thus far, with his first outing being in the 1996 movie that started it all. Arquette once recalled almost being killed off in the first movie but, thanks to Wes Craven, he chose to have the character survive. The films are particularly important to Arquette because it’s where he met Courtney Cox, who he went on to date, marry and have their daughter, Coco, with. The Scream couple have since divorced, but it’s more than safe to say that Arquette’s life would have been much different if he had never played Dewey Riley. 

Following the success of the latest Scream film, another sequel has already been greenlit and is set to be released on March 31, 2023. In the meantime, though, you can check out all the upcoming horror movies (as well new movie releases in general) coming up in the immediate future. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.