Gale Riley (née Weathers) is a fictional character of the Scream film series, created by Kevin Williamson and portrayed by Courteney Cox. The character first appeared in Scream (1996), followed by four sequels: Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011) and Scream (2022).
Gale Weathers 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 Deputy Dewey Riley, the latter of whom she eventually falls in love with and marries in order to investigate and stop the Ghostface murders.
Gale Weathers' 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.
Gale's third appearance 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, Gale tries to reinvent herself by writing fiction but struggles with writer's block. The murders reoccurring in Woodsboro are a major opportunity for her as a writer. Dewey, however, doesn't agree with her being a part of the investigation. Gale decides to work alone and goes 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. Although Dewey arrives in time to save her, the killer manages to stab Gale in the shoulder before escaping. Having been in a critical condition, she recovers at the hospital 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 before shooting her in the heart.