SCREAM VII: Neve Campbell Announces Return for Controversial Sequel

Scream's original final girl is coming back to the franchise after a notable absence in Scream 6.
Scream VII

Scream VII has officially cast Neve Campbell to return as Sidney Prescott. The actor announced her return on Instagram, where she also revealed original franchise writer and co-creator Kevin Williamson as the director of the sequel.

The Scream franchise is one of the most popular in the slasher genre. The first movie told the story of Sidney Prescott, a teenage girl living in Woodsboro, California. Sidney’s mother was brutally murdered, and afterward, a masked killer called “Ghostface” began terrorizing Sidney.

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Many people died before Ghostface was stopped. Scream 2, Scream 3, Scream 4, and Scream 5 (officially titled “Scream”) followed new killers coming after Prescott and those close to her. Scream 6 does not feature Sidney Prescott, and the events of the Scream TV shows are completely unconnected to Sidney and the film franchise at large.

SCREAM VII – Sidney Prescott Is A Final Girl Like No Other

Because the majority of the franchise centers around Neve Campbell’s character, she is arguably the beating heart of Scream. Unlike Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees, Ghostface never survives these films or finds himself resurrected through unlikely means. Ghostface is always unmasked and killed, and the mantle is taken on by a later psychopath. This means that in this franchise, the final girl is undeniably more essential to the story than the killer.

Scream 5 - Courtney Cox and Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

Neve Campbell was originally going to star in Scream VI, but she walked away from the role. Campbell explained at the time, “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.” Scream 6 eventually became a success which resonated with fans and critics alike, but the absence of Sidney and the ugly reason for it was hard to ignore.

The Scream franchise spun wildly out of control after this. Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding, and Jasmin Savoy Brown play the main characters in Scream 5 & 6. Sam, Tara, Chad, and Mindy are the “core four”, and they won the hearts of fans across those sequels, even without Sidney’s presence in the latter. Unfortunately, of those four, only two are still attached to Scream VII. Melissa Barrera was fired from the project for expressing her beliefs regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Scream VI, Scream VII
L-r, Dermot Mulroney (“Detective Bailey “), Jenna Ortega (“Tara Carpenter”), Jack Champion (“Ethan Landry“), Hayden Panettiere (“Kirby Reed”), Jasmin Savoy Brown (“Mindy Meeks-Martin”), Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”) and Mason Gooding (“Chad Meeks-Martin”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream VI.”

Jenna Ortega left the project of her own accord shortly thereafter. Officially, she left because of scheduling conflicts and a salary dispute, but the timing of her exit was seen by some as an act of solidarity for her former co-star. The directing duo known as Radio Silence helmed Scream 5 & 6, and they left the project amicably prior to this controversy. Christopher Landon had been brought on as their replacement, but he too would walk away from Scream VII.

In December 2023, Christopher Landon had this to say about his time working on the slasher series. “…I formally exited Scream 7 weeks ago. It was a dream job that turned into a nightmare. And my heart did break for everyone involved. Everyone. But it’s time to move on.” The franchise was in shambles, and it seemed like there was little Paramount and Spyglass Media Group could do to fix the situation. In January of 2024, Neve Campbell spoke about the franchise to Variety, shedding some light on the situation. She stated the following:

“I honestly don’t have no idea what their plans are…I know a lot has gone on around it and I’m sure they’re spinning a little bit at the moment…These movies mean a lot to us and they mean a lot to the fans. I go to these conventions sometimes and I meet  the fans and they’re frantic about these films. They love them. These films mean a lot to them and these characters mean a lot to them. So even for their sake, I would love to see it continue.”

– Neve Campbell via Variety

The rightsholders had not offered Neve Campbell her role back as of January. But the actor was professional, indirectly campaigning for a return to the franchise by expressing her love for Scream while acknowledging the shaky situation at hand. On March 12, 2024, Neve Campbell made an Instagram post that revealed several exciting details about Scream VII.

Sidney Prescott will return for the movie, and Kevin Williamson will direct. Kevin Williamson wrote Scream, Scream 2, and Scream 4. The social media post also revealed that the script is being written by Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt. Busick and Vanderbilt wrote both Scream 5 & 6, ensuring a sense of continuity for the sequel despite the unfortunate absence of Sam and Tara. Neve Campbell explains that she has long dreamt of witnessing Kevin Williamson work the franchise from the director’s chair.

How will Kevin Williamson put his own unique spin on the franchise as a director? How will Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt craft a satisfying script that lacks Sam and Tara Carpenter? How much did they have to pay Campbell to make this happen? If Paramount and Spyglass can negotiate a return for Neve Campbell, is there any chance they can fix the bridges they burnt with Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera?

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Scream VII is in a really strange place right now, a place where there are more questions than answers. Then again, that’s been the situation for a while now. Scream is known for its shocking twists, and the surprising return of Sidney Prescott is a welcome addition to that history.

About Scream VII

Scream VII temporary key art

Release Date: TBA
Directed By: Kevin Williamson
Executive Producers: Kevin Williamson
Produced By: William Sherak, James Vanderbilt, Paul Neinstein
Based on Characters Created By: Kevin Williamson
Written By: Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt
Production Companies: Spyglass Media Group, Project X Entertainment, Radio Silence
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Cast: Neve Campbell

Synopsis: TBA

What do you think about the return of Sidney Prescott in Scream VII? Let us know your thoughts on social media, and thanks for reading! We are always watching.

SOURCE: Neve Campbell’s Instagram

KEEP READING: Scream VI Review – So Much Fun, I Feel Guilty


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Corbin Shanklin

CJ Shanklin is a journalist. They have been writing & reporting in the entertainment industry for four years, but their best work is still ahead of them. Stay tuned for more stories for the fans, penned by a fan.