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I'm saying things got out of hand. Maybe they did take advantage of her! Maybe the sad truth is, this is not the city for innocence. No charges were brought. And the bottom line is, Rena Reynolds wouldn't play by the rules. You wanna get ahead in Hollywood, you gotta play the game, or go home.
~ John Milton.

Johnathan "John" Milton is the secondary antagonist of the 2001 slasher film Scream 3 and arguably the overarching antagonist of the entire Scream film series.

Milton was a devious and greedy film director who is the birthfather of Roman Bridger, who took on the mantle of Ghostface and blames him for the rape of Maureen Prescott. As such, Milton is one of the two characters who is solely responsible for the events of all four Scream films. He is also one of the most evil people of the series despite never killing anyone.

He was portrayed by Lance Henriksen.



Milton became a famous Hollywood producer focused on the horror genre of cinema. Making fictional fictional films such as Amazombies, Space Psycho, Creatures of The San Andreas Fault, and used his position to pressure his actresses into intercourse. The most notable of Milton's victims was the star of many of his films, Maureen Prescott, who got raped by him and some of John's friends. John impregnated Maureen with Roman Bridger and she put him up for adoption. Maureen's inability to love Roman due to him being the reminder of the rape she went through, combined with Milton's refusal to take responsibility, Caused Roman to become the psychopathic serial killer we know today.

However, years later, Milton began creating the Stab series based on the original Woodsburo murders caused by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher. The making of these films indirectly caused the events of Scream 2 to 4. The perverted, old director then became Roman's filmmaking mentor, unaware that his movie creating apprentice is his bastard son.

Scream 3

Milton's actions would later come to haunt him once Sidney Prescott, Maureen's daughter, become famous for surviving the killing spree Roman had orchestrated. Roman eventually ended up working for him as a means of getting revenge. Milton hadn't learned much from his misdeeds in the past, given he had blackmailed another one of his actresses, Angelina Tyler, into having sex with him in order to get the part. Once Roman finally starts his own personal killing spree and murders the entire cast of Stab 3, he kidnaps Milton and holds him hostage in front of Sidney.

Roman then explains to Sidney that Milton was the one responsible for raping Maureen and that Roman himself was conceived as a result before Maureen coldly shut him out which led to the events in the first place. Roman also intends to kill Milton and frame Sidney for the murders as revenge. Realizing this, Milton begs for his life with the promise of money, and even higher positions on the film and a "final cut", to which Roman refuses by replying: "I already have it", and then slices Milton's throat, killing him.

Despite being horrified by the crimes that Milton had done, Sidney angrily berates Roman for his actions, right before Roman was shot to death by Dewey.


  • Despite the fact that John Milton isn't a Ghostface killer nor even a murderer, he is considered by fans as one of the most evil antagonists on the series due to gang raping Maureen Prescott. It is for this action that the events of the Scream series were truly put in motion. For this reason, John is the Greater-Scope Villain of the entire film series.
  • An interesting fact about John Milton are his similarities with former film producer Harvey Weinstein, who was expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in the aftermath of the sexual allegations against him which arose in late 2017. Like Milton, Weinstein sexually abused several actresses by threatening them to ruin their careers. Ironically, Weinstein produced the Scream film series with his brother Bob.
    • This has led some people believe that John Milton was based on Harvey Weinstein, because although Scream 3 was released in 2001 long before the sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein, Weinstein was already producing films with his brother as The Weinstein Company (which was later closed in 2018) and had already started to harass several actresses.
  • Wes Craven, the director of all four Scream films, was considered to play John Milton, but the idea was dropped and Lance Henriksen was cast instead.


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