Warning: This article contains spoilers for both Scream 2022 and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Scream star Mikey Madison has revealed that the similarities between her characters’ endings in the new slasher film and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood were entirely coincidental. Scream, which came to theaters on January 14, 2022, and became the first film to knock Spider-Man: No Way Home from the #1 slot during its historic box office run, is the fifth film in the meta-horror franchise that began with the original Wes Craven classic of the same name in 1996. The film followed a brand new Ghostface killer attempting to create a “re-quel” by combining new young people (including Madison, Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Jack Quaid, Kyle Gallner, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar) with legacy characters like Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox’s Gale Weathers, and David Arquette’s Dewey Riley.
In the end, it was revealed that Mikey Madison’s character Amber was one of the killers, a young teenager who was radicalized by Reddit and decided to create her own source material for a movie after the Stab franchise – which is based on the “true” events of Scream – took a wrong turn. She is eventually defeated when she is set on fire by Sidney and Gale in an ironic “passing of the torch.” This particular death for her character is an echo of the fate meted out to her character in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, in which she played Manson family member Sadie. Her character is eventually roasted with a flamethrower by Brad Pitt’s character Cliff Booth.
While speaking with THR, Mikey Madison reveals that she initially didn’t realize exactly how closely linked the films’ endings were because the draft of the script that she got – which had certain details changed to avoid spoilers leaking – originally doled out that ending to Jack Quaid’s character. However, once she learned the truth, she realized the coincidence and “they even debated changing my character’s death.” However, she is happy it worked out the way it did because “the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I think keeping it in was a good choice.” Read her full quote below:
I actually didn’t know that my character was supposed to be set on fire in the end. I thought that was supposed to be Jack’s [Quaid] character’s death because that’s how he died in the script they had given me. So when they told me, I was definitely like, “Huh, that’s a funny coincidence.” But it wasn’t a specific choice on [Radio Silence’s] end in regards to me. They even debated changing my character’s death, but we ultimately just kept it in.
I was just like, “Is this going to be a weird schtick?” There’s not many young serial killer roles for women who die by fire, so it was a strange thing for me to be doing again. But I think it’s funny. The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I think keeping it in was a good choice.
If anything, this coincidence only adds to the layers of meta-humor that Scream is playing with. There is also another coincidence surrounding that moment, because in the remake of Stab – which was jokingly referred to as being directed by The Last Jedi‘s Rian Johnson – that version of Ghostface was also seen bearing a flamethrower. While none of this was intentional, it’s all part of the pop culture fabric that makes Scream such a compelling franchise for fans even all these years later.
If anything, this coincidence might provide fodder for the next Scream movie. Thanks to the film’s success, earning over $100 million internationally off a budget of around $24 million, a Scream 6 was just greenlit by the producers. Although Mikey Madison likely won’t be returning for obvious reasons, they may just find the space to layer in a joke about this accidental meta moment.
Next: Jenna Ortega’s Horror Movies Prove She’s The New Scream Queen
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