Scream concept art shows Ghostface could have looked very different

Ghostface wears a cheap Halloween mask but rights issues meant Scream's wailing alabaster faced killer nearly had a very different design

Ghostface concept art

Ghostface, you know him; you love him. The movie-obsessed slasher cemented his place as a horror movie icon from the first scene in Scream when he made an awful mess in Drew Barrymore’s garden. Since then, the killer’s wailing alabaster visage has become an important part of the franchise’s iconography.

The apocryphal origin of the moaning mask is that Wes Craven discovered it while scouting locations for his meta-thriller movie, although he’s since clarified that’s not the case. Producer Marianne Maddalena found the Ghostface mask – which was produced by the novelty company Fun World in the ’90s – and brought it to Craven.

The horror movie maestro loved the design and tried to secure the rights to the mask, but Fun World didn’t want to play ball, which forced Craven to get creative. Well, not Craven specifically; KNB EFX was tasked with developing a new look for Scream’s masked killer, and their concept art shows that the deadly nuisance caller could have looked very different.

Bloody Disgusting (with help from Mike Aspinwall and artist Crash Cunningham) found some of the different concepts that KNB EFX came up with – some of which stayed quite true to the Fun World mask while others deviated widely from the initial design.

KNB EFX eventually finalised a design, but Craven was reportedly unhappy with it. He went back to Dimension (the production house behind Scream) and asked them to sort a deal with Fun World that would let them use their mask. Dimension managed to strike an agreement, and Ghostface was born once Craven combined the mask with a $700 robe.

Scream (2022) and Ghostface hit theatres on January 14.