Reigning scream queen Neve Campbell isn’t returning to Woodsboro for “Scream 6.”
Campbell, who played Sidney Prescott in the long-running slasher series, will not be reprising her role in the upcoming installment because she felt “the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.”
“Sadly, I won’t be making the next ‘Scream' film,” Campbell said in a statement to Variety. “As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to ‘Scream.’ 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.”
Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media, the companies behind “Scream,” did not respond to Variety’s request for comment.
Though Campbell remained vague about the offer she rejected for “Scream 6,” she has previously spoken out about the struggle for fair compensation. In a conversation for Variety, Campbell and fellow scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis got candid about pay. Curtis, despite starring in the commercially successful “Halloween” series, admitted she “didn’t really make much money off horror movies.”
Campbell recalled a similar experience with 2000’s “Scream 3,” saying she “did alright” but did not get a back-end deal, depriving her of a share of the profits. Since horror films tend to have smaller budgets, they usually require less coinage (compared to big-budget tentpoles) to get out of the red.
“There’s always the promise of back end,” Campbell told Curtis. “And then, of course, it’s drowned in publicity and costs and all the reasons they say, ‘Oh, actually no, we didn’t make the amount of money that we’re claiming we made in all the press, so that we don’t have to give you that,’ unfortunately. It was the Weinsteins.”
After successfully rebooting the franchise with 2022’s “Scream,” Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media greenlit another, yet-to-be-titled sequel. “Scream 6” is expected to begin filming sometime this summer. It’s scheduled to hit theaters on March 31, 2023.
The most recent R-rated “Scream” — which shares the same moniker as the original 1996 “Scream” — made a killing at the box office at a time when few movies were successfully selling tickets, grossing $81 million in North America and $140 million globally. That’s a scary-good result since “Scream” only cost $25 million to produce.
The self-described “requel,” a meta slasher thriller of sorts, brought back Campbell, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox and David Arquette to the quiet town of Woodsboro, where a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers. “In the Heights” star Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega (“Jane the Virgin”), Dylan Minnette of “13 Reasons Why” fame and Jack Quaid (“The Boys”) joined the cast.
Ortega and Barrera, as well as Hayden Panettiere from “Scream 4,” are among the returning cast members for “Scream 6.” The next entry will follow the teens as they leave their small town behind and attempt to start a new chapter. But it’s “Scream,” after all, so odds are high that Ghostface won’t be too far away.
“I just read part of the script, and it just gets more and more gory,” Ortega told "Entertainment Tonight." “I think that this is probably the most aggressive and violent version of Ghostface we’ve ever seen, which I think will really be fun to shoot.”
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are returning to direct the next slasher story, and James Vanderbilt (“Murder Mystery,” “Zodiac”) and Guy Busick (“Ready or Not,” “Castle Rock”) will co-write the screenplay.