Although "I Know What You Did Last Summer" has a reputation as just one of the many slasher thrillers trying to cash in on the success of "Scream," the script for the movie was written long before "Scream" hit theaters. Screenwriter Kevin Williamson wrote the script as a loose adaptation of the 1973 novel of the same name, and when "Scream" (also written by Williamson) became an unexpected hit, the previously uninterested studio decided to rush "IKWYDLS" into production.

Of course, the 1997 film never did match the height of the "Scream" franchise. That's partly because the movie's premise only really works once, and partly because the eventual reveal of its central mystery wasn't that compelling or groundbreaking. Where "IKWYDLS" shined brightest, however, was with Helen's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) chase scene near the end. It's one of the only sequences where that sense of tension and horror feels genuine, partly because Helen is one of the only characters in the movie who feels like a fleshed-out, sympathetic one. Unlike Barry (Ryan Phillippe), we actually care if Helen dies, so to see her so close to safety only to get caught at the last moment? It still stings.

Behind the scenes, this chase also served as inspiration for a couple of the best moments in "Scream 2." In the original draft, the sequence had two moments that didn't quite fit, so Williamson ended up taking them and using them to make the first Scream sequel even better.

The Fight In The Police Car

Helen's chase scene starts off with her trapped inside a police cruiser as the killer stalks toward her. Although it sure seems like she's trapped, she manages to kick her way through one of the windows and crawl out just in time. In the original version of the script, however, things got a lot more complicated.

"In the back of the car, in the very beginning of the sequence when the car stops, Kevin had written a scene in which the fisherman gets into the car and he drives off and they have a fight in the car and a car crash," revealed director Jim Gillespie in a 2022 interview. "But you never see the fisherman's face throughout the whole sequence. I just said, 'Dude, this is impossible to do.' Because the confines of the police car, for us to stage the action with the fisherman's hat and not see him, I said, 'It's just gonna restrict the sequence so much.' I said, 'I'm not gonna do that. We'll do something else.'"

But Williamson wasn't content to cut the scene forever. Instead, almost this exact sequence of events happens with Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Hallie (Elise Neal) in "Scream 2." Because Ghostface always wears a mask, there was no difficulty this time around with avoiding showing the killer's face. The real highlight of the scene is what happens after the car crashes; Sidney and Hallie are forced to climb over an unconscious Ghostface and escape out the driver's side door, knowing full well he could wake up at moment, or that he could be pretending to be asleep.

"It was a really good scene," said Gillespie. "It just wasn't right for our circumstances."

The Staircase Scene

Another element that was cut from the big chase sequence in "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was Helen looking around for weapons. "Kevin has written a beat where Sarah tries lot [sic] of different weapons when she goes through the department store," Gillespie explained. "And again, to me tonally, it wasn't right to what I wanted to do."

It's not clear which exact moment in the "Scream" films Gillespie's referring to, but the one that comes to mind is the early chase scene in the second film where Cici (also played by Gellar) is running up the stairs from the killer. Whereas Helen runs away without trying to fight back, here Cici at least gets to throw a potted plant at the killer, followed by a bicycle. Neither of these successfully thwarts the killer, but we give Cici props for trying.

"It was a little more comedic and I think that ended up in 'Scream 2' or 3 as well, and it works really well in that film," said Gillespie, "but it just wasn't gonna be the thing I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be not comedic at all." Sure enough, Cici's run up the staircase does have a bit of a comedic element to it, mainly because of how conveniently placed the objects are, and because of how useless they turn out to be. It's a moment that gets exaggerated to absurd degrees in the "Scary Movie" parody scene, where Cindy (Anna Faris) throws a vase, then a bike, then her grandma, then a piano.

Although the staircase scene was memorable enough to get its own parody, Gillespie still stands by his decision to not include it in his film. "Our movie wasn't 'Scream,'" he said, "and I didn't want it to be 'Scream.'"

Read this next: The 15 Best Final Girls In Horror Movies Ranked

The post Two Scrapped I Know What You Did Last Summer Scenes Were Salvaged For Scream appeared first on /Film.