Gale Weathers

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Gale Weathers-Riley
Scream character
Gale Weathers, Scream 4.png
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers in Scream 4
First appearanceScream
Created byKevin Williamson
Portrayed byCourteney Cox
AliasGale Riley
Miss. Weathers
First Lady
Mrs. Riley
OccupationNews Reporter, Author
FamilyMr. and Mrs. Weathers (parents; deceased)
Mr. and Mrs. Riley (parents-in-law; deceased)
Tatum Riley (sister-in-law; deceased)
SpouseDeputy Dewey Riley (husband)
LocationWoodsboro, California[1][2]
Windsor College, Ohio[3]
Hollywood, California[4]

Gale Riley (nee Weathers) is a fictional character of the Scream series. The character was created by Kevin Williamson and is portrayed by Friends star Courteney Cox. She first appeared in Scream (1996), followed by three sequels: Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000)[5] and Scream 4 (2011). The character appears in the Scream films as an ambitious, strong-willed journalist and writer who is initially built up as an antagonist, but ultimately joins forces with Sidney Prescott and Dewey Riley in order to investigate and stop the Ghostface murders.


Her first cinematic appearance was in Scream (1996) as the fame-seeking reporter who has written a novel on Maureen Prescott's death, explaining how she thinks Cotton Weary has been falsely identified as the murderer. When she arrives in Woodsboro with her cameraman, she is rude, bossy and goes to great lengths to get a good story (such as videotaping unsuspecting teens at a house party). Gale has chemistry throughout the film with Deputy Dewey Riley as they investigate the murders. When she finds her cameraman dead near Stu's house, she enters the house and helps Sidney Prescott by shooting one of the serial killers, Billy Loomis.

Gale Weathers' second appearance was in Scream 2. She has written a successful book on the events that took place in the first film called The Woodsboro Murders that has turned into a film called Stab. Sidney, although grateful she saved her life, refuses to do an interview with Cotton Weary, who is also seeking fame at the campus. Gale and Dewey's relationship, although strained at first, eventually turns heated. The killer pursues Gale after repeatedly stabbing Dewey, who is left for dead. In the climax, Gale is brought in by Mrs. Loomis, known as Debbie Salt throughout the movie, to the school theater. Mickey shoots Gale after Mrs. Loomis shoots him and she falls off the stage. However, the bullet bounces off Gale's ribs, allowing her to survive. Once the whole ordeal is over, Mickey suddenly springs to life and is shot to death by Sidney and Gale. During the end of the film, Gale finds out that Dewey is not dead and goes with him to the hospital to recover.

The third appearance of Gale occurred in Scream 3. Unlike the first two films, Gale has no intention of getting a good story or seeking fame. Instead, she merely wants conclusion over the mysterious past of Maureen Prescott, whom she wrote a successful book about. After writing another book on the copycat killings that took place in Windsor College, she is informed that Cotton Weary has been murdered and immediately visits the set of Stab 3, based on Sidney and her experiences. Gale is reunited with Dewey after meeting the actress who portrays her, Jennifer Jolie. Gale and Dewey's relationship has been broken since the events of the second film, and they often argue. However, near the film's end, they reconcile their relationship. Gale is attacked by Ghostface, but is saved by Dewey. She survives the climax in the Hollywood home of John Milton. At the end, Dewey asks Gale to marry him, which she accepts.

Gale's fourth appearance is in Scream 4. Now married for ten years and having taken on her husband's name as well as failed in attempt to have children (reveals to Dewey by the end of the fourth film), Gale tries to reinvent herself by writing fiction but she struggles with writer's block. The murders reoccurring in Woodsboro are a major opportunity for Gale as a writer. Dewey, however, doesn't agree with his wife being a part of the investigation. Gale then decides to work alone and undercover at a Stab-a-thon party, where she believes the killer will strike next. Gale's plan to catch the killer fails when she is attacked by the killer. Dewey arrives in time to save her, but the killer quickly stabs Gale in the shoulder and escapes. Having been in a critical condition, she is recovering well and manages to put the pieces together that Jill Roberts is the true killer. Gale distracts Jill in the final confrontation long enough for Sidney to shock Jill with a defibrillator.

Casting and development[edit]

The production wanted a recognizable face for the role of news reporter Gale Weathers, offering it to both Brooke Shields and Janeane Garofalo.[6] Cox, who was starring in the highly successful NBC sitcom Friends at the time, was not considered due to her history of playing softer, kinder characters. Cox however lobbied hard for the role for that reason, wishing to play a "bitch" character, her efforts ultimately succeeding when she was cast.[7]


Cox was nominated for three awards for her work as Gale Weathers and won a Teen Choice Award for Film – Choice Chemistry shared with David Arquette.


  1. ^ Wes Craven (Director) (1996). Scream (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  2. ^ Wes Craven (Director) (2011). Scream 4 (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  3. ^ Wes Craven (Director) (1997). Scream 2 (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  4. ^ Wes Craven (Director) (2000). Scream 3 (DVD). United States: Dimension Films.
  5. ^ Reel Views 2: The Ultimate Guide to the Best 1,000 Modern Movies on DVD and Video by James Berardinelli, Roger Ebert; Published by Justin, Charles & Co., 2005; ISBN 1-932112-40-5, ISBN 978-1-932112-40-5.
  6. ^ Daniel Farrands (Director) Thommy Hutson (Writer) (April 6, 2011). Scream: The Inside Story (TV). United States: The Biography Channel Video.
  7. ^ Wes Craven (September 26, 2000). Behind the 'Scream' documentary from Ultimate Scream Collection (DVD). United States: Dimension Home Video.

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