Barrymore was already a successful actress when she appeared in Scream, at a time when casting a big name for a horror film was uncommon.
She was originally signed to play the role of Sidney after reading the script and approaching the production team herself, but her schedule eventually meant that she no longer had time to fill the role, and she volunteered for the smaller part of Casey Becker.
The killer is revealed to be Roman Bridger (Scott Foley), Sidney's half-brother, who wants revenge for his rejection and abandonment by their mother.
Roman is found to be responsible for convincing Billy to kill Maureen before the events of Scream, setting in motion the events that occur in each successive film.
The scene in which her corpse is hung from a tree and disemboweled was heavily edited: Craven was forced to remove all still shots of the body, and the scene itself was sped up to reduce its time on screen.
Cotton Weary was the original suspect in the rape and murder of Maureen Prescott, Sidney's mother.
Wes Craven's Scream series features a large cast of characters created primarily by Kevin Williamson with contributions from Craven and Ehren Kruger.
The series focuses on the character of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and a succession of murderers who adopt a ghost-like disguise, dubbed Ghostface, to taunt and attempt to kill her.
Following a series of murders, Billy becomes a suspect when he is found at Sidney's house with a cellphone shortly after she is taunted on the phone and attacked by a masked killer.
Evidence is discovered that points to other characters, and Billy is removed as a suspect.
During a party at Stu Macher's home, Billy and Sidney are reconciled and have sex, before Billy is stabbed by Ghostface.
In Scream 4, eleven years later, Sidney has written a self-help book about her experiences, while Dewey has become a Sheriff and is in a strained marriage with Gale, who is struggling to write a new novel.
Each film provides a motive and grounds for suspicion for several characters, concealing the identity of the true killer or killers until the finale, in which their identities and motivations are revealed.
In Scream the fictional town of Woodsboro is besieged by a masked killer who focuses on Sidney, revealed in the finale as Sidney's boyfriend Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), aided by his friend Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard).