Scream 6 writers say they worked out who Ghostface should be while penning the script

Ghostface in Scream 6
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Warning! This article contains major spoilers for Scream 6. If you've yet to see the movie, proceed with caution.

While Scream 6 switches Woodsboro for New York City and doesn't feature Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott, it still embraces certain traditions of the franchise – particularly when it comes to its killer reveal. Now, though, writers Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt have revealed that the twist wasn't actually their original plan.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Busick explained that while they always "knew it was going to be a family, a secret family", the duo didn't work out who the mystery murderers should be exactly until the writing process had already begun.

"The motive of the killers in the last film is very intellectual – it's more about an idea about toxic fans feeling that their franchise has fallen on hard times and 'we have to get it back on track,' and they're taking it so far," Busick continued. "But it's very intellectual, it's very esoteric, and we wanted something really primal. It had to be more personal. That's when we found the Richie piece and we were like, 'Oh, that'll be fun, because it ties all the way back into our first movie together and it tells one big story.'"

In Scream 6's blood-soaked conclusion, it is revealed that Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) and his children Quinn (Liana Liberato) and Ethan (Jack Champion) are the killers, hellbent on making Sam pay for killing their son and older brother Richie (Jack Quaid) in the events of Scream 5. As fans have noticed, Bailey's vengeful character is similar to that of Scream 2's Nancy Loomis (Laurie Metcalf), who plotted to kill Sidney for taking out her homicidal son Billy (Skeet Ulrich) in the 1996 original – and family ties were always a big part of Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven's entries. 

"The idea was that almost every Scream goes back," added Vanderbilt. "Scream is Skeet [Ulrich's Billy Loomis] doing it because of what happened to his mother, so he's doing revenge for family. Laurie Metcalf in 2 is doing revenge for family. Scream 3, [Scott Foley's] Roman Bridger is part of Sid's family and doing his revenge for family. Scream 4 is Jill Roberts, who's also part of Sid's family, is doing it. 

"It felt very much in line with, definitely Laurie Metcalf, but very much in line with the whole franchise, in this interesting way," he went on. "So, we were thrilled to be able to do that and getting watch all three of them work as a family. It was super fun."

Also starring Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Josh Segarra, Hayden Panettiere, and Courteney Cox, Scream 6 is out in US and UK cinemas now. For more, check out our breakdown of the movie's ending, or our interview with the cast and filmmakers.

Amy West

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things TV and film across our Total Film and SFX sections. Elsewhere, my words have been published by the likes of Digital Spy, SciFiNow, PinkNews, FANDOM, Radio Times, and Total Film magazine.