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Don't you think that's what the killer would say?
― Dewey Riley [src]

Deputy Dwight "Dewey" Riley is the main deuteragonist of the Scream series. He's best known for trying to protect his little sister, Tatum Riley, and her best friend, Sidney Prescott during the first murder spree. He flirted with Gale Weathers and was nearly killed by Ghostface.

When another killing spree started at Windsor College, Dewey rushed there to once again protect Sidney and stop the killers. He reconnected with Gale and was almost killed once again. When it looked like Sidney was in danger again, Dewey left Woodsboro for Hollywood, where he involved himself in the Stab 3 set. He investigated this killing spree as well and assisted in saving Sidney from Ghostface. When it was all over, he proposed to Gale.

Ten years after the first three films, Dewey is seen as sheriff of Woodsboro. He's recovered from his limp and joins Gale and Sidney defeating once more.



Dewey and Tatum

In Scream, 25 year old Dwight "Dewey" Riley is the deputy sheriff of Woodsboro, making it his main duty to protect Sidney Prescott from the killer. During the film, Dewey develops feelings for Gale Weathers. During the film's climax, he is stabbed in the back by the killer, though he survives.

Scream 2[]

Dewey and Sidney

Dewey arrived once again to protect Sidney. Only this time, he has a limp due to a severed nerve caused by his injury in the previous film. Angry at Gale, who had depicted him as inexperienced in her new book about the murders, Dewey constantly tries to avoid Gale's presence and is rude to her whenever he can't. Later on, Gale and Dewey have a brief emotional moment, only to realize that Ghostface is in fact in the same building. After being separated, Dewey is stabbed several times, with Gale a witness in a soundproof room, directly on the opposite side of a window showing Dewey's location. However, once again, Dewey survives the ordeal.

Scream 3[]

Between Scream 2 and Scream 3 he has begun to treat Martha Meeks as a surrogate friend in memory of Randy. Dewey is still a police officer in this one, seemingly on leave to act as a "technical advisor" on the set of the film Stab 3. After a new killer has surfaced, Dewey aids in the investigation.

By this point things are still a little bit tense towards Gale and Dewey, and it appears that there are feelings between him and the actress portraying Gale, Jennifer Jolie. By the end of the film, however, things are patched up yet again between Gale and Dewey. After they see Sidney walking across her lawn with her dog, he proposes to Gale and she accepts.

Scream 3 marks the only film, where Dewey kills Ghostface. He shot him in the head, when he tried to kill Sidney.

Scream 4[]

Dewey and Gale

Dewey is now the Sheriff of Woodsboro and married to Gale Weathers, who is adjusting to small-town life with great difficulty. Alongside his deputy, Judy Hicks, and the rest of the Woodsboro police force, Dewey is in charge of investigating the newest slew of murders. He drives Gale to the hospital after she is stabbed in the shoulder, and later receives a phone call from Judy while he is in the car afterward. Judy informs him that the policeman he told to protect the Roberts house are both dead, along with Kate Roberts, Sidney's aunt. Dewey stops the car and drives there. He, Judy, and the rest of the police arrive to find Sidney and her cousin Jill Roberts unconscious on the ground, near the corpses of Trevor Sheldon and Charlie Walker. They assume that Trevor and Charlie were the killers and take Sidney and Jill to the hospital. Dewey visits Jill and they talk, with Dewey revealing to Jill that Sidney survived, but might not remember anything when she wakes up. Jill states that she and Gale should write a book together, as both of them were stabbed in the shoulder. Dewey then visits Gale, who asks him how Jill knew where Gale was stabbed. Dewey realizes that Jill is the killer and calls Judy over to help him and Gale save Sidney from Jill. As soon as Dewey arrives however, Jill knocks him out by bashing his head with a bedpan six times. Dewey survives, and Gale runs off to get doctors for him after Jill has been killed (by Sidney).

By the time Scream 4 rolls around, Dewey is more confidant and serious. He has also mostly recovered from his limp through physical therapy.


  • "How do you know my dimwitted inexperience isn't merely a subtle form of manipulation, used to lower people's expectations, thereby enhancing my ability to affectively maneuver within any given situation?"
  • "I'll smile when I catch the killer."
  • "Surprise, surprise. Someone dies and Gale comes running."
  • "One generation's tragedy is the next one's joke."
  • "If I may say so, Miss Weathers, you are much prettier in person."
  • "I'm 25. I was 24 for a whole year."
  • "(Screams) Sorry, I found this! (Calls for backup) Come on!"

Behind the Scenes[]

  • He was described "a big guy, 20's, handsome in a scrubbed-clean boyish way" in the Scream script.
  • As revealed on the Directors in 2007, David Arquette claimed that he presumptuously turned down the role of Billy Loomis for the role of Dewey.
  • David Schwimmer played "Dewey Riley" in Stab. This is an obvious reference to the fact that Courteney Cox, whom plays Dewey's on-screen wife, Gale Riley, plays the sister of David Schwimmer's character on the show Friends.
  • David Arquette's character was originally written to die at the end of Scream. However, feedback from test screenings suggested that the audience would rather see Dewey alive at the end of the film instead of dead. This caused an additional scene showing Dewey being taken into an ambulance on a gurney, clearly alive, to be filmed and added to the end of the film.
  • In 1999, David starred alongside fellow Scream co-star Drew Barrymore in "Never Been Kissed", which also starred future Scream 4 co-star, Marley Shelton.

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