Jenna Ortega Calls Neve Campbell's "Scream 6" Absence "Really Unfortunate": "Most Talented Lady"
Neve Campbell may have been the original face of the Scream franchise, but she won't be returning for "Scream 6." On June 6, 2022, Deadline reported that Campbell decided to opt out of continuing in her iconic role as Sidney Prescott for the next movie in the popular franchise — one that she originated in "Scream" all the way back in 1996.
"The franchise wouldn't be what it is without her."
In a December 2022 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tyler Gillett, who directed the new movie along with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, said that Campbell's departure affected the script "greatly." However, he also saw an upside to her absence. "We love Neve, and we're huge fans of Sidney Prescott," he shared, "but it felt like there's an opportunity to really dig into this new crop of characters, and I think people will be really surprised and pleased with how successfully this movie does that. This movie's been in our lives now for quite a while, but I think that we are still consistently surprised by how rich and how interesting and deep the relationship is between the four of them in this movie."
The cast of "Scream 6" includes Hayden Panettiere, Samara Weaving, and Tony Revolori, as well as the principal cast from 2022's "Scream" — which includes Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, and "Wednesday" star Jenna Ortega.
In her April 2023 cover story with Elle, Ortega addressed Campbell's exit from the "Scream" franchise. "It was really unfortunate, especially because Neve is the coolest, sweetest, most talented lady," Ortega said. "The franchise wouldn't be what it is without her."
So, why isn't Campbell returning as Sidney Prescott in "Scream 6"? Read ahead for her explanation.
Why Isn't Neve Campbell in "Scream 6"?
Back in June 2022, Campbell provided a statement to Deadline with more information on why she chose not to appear in the 2023 film, and it comes down to compensation. "As a woman, I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to 'Scream,'" she said. "I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise. It's been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my 'Scream' fans, I love you. You've always been so incredibly supportive to me. I'm forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years."
In an Aug. 8, 2022, interview with People, Campbell elaborated on her decision not to return. "I honestly don't believe that if I were a man and had done five installments of a huge blockbuster franchise over 25 years, that the number that I was offered would be the number that would be offered to a man. And in my soul, I just couldn't do that," she shared. "I couldn't walk on set feeling that — feeling undervalued and feeling the unfairness, or lack of fairness, around that."
Campbell's character Sidney Prescott has been the primary protagonist of the franchise since the beginning, which makes this a huge loss for the new film. Though plenty of other actors have come and gone from the movie series over the years, Campbell and her character were a constant staple.
On the bright side, Courteney Cox, who originated the role of Gale Weathers in the original "Scream," will be returning for the sixth installment, according to Variety. "I did not die [in 'Scream'] so yes you will see me. Gale's pretty strong. She may not ever [die], but who knows!"
As for David Arquette's Dewey, another original character who came back for the fifth Scream film, it's unlikely he'll return for "Scream 6" considering he died in the last film. Then again, in the world of Scream, you never know what may happen.
"Scream 6" hits theaters on March 10.