Scream brings back Neve Campbell as franchise returns to the drawing board, again

Scream is a franchise in free fall. After two successful quasi-reboot sequels, and a plan to seemingly move away from the series’ roots, it seems that Paramount and Spyglass Media are bringing Neve Campbell back to Scream. The actor announced her return to the series on Tuesday, but didn’t provide any further details on what the story of Scream 7 would be.

After an incredibly successful 2022 retooling, which brought in new franchise stars like Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega, the franchise has suffered one misstep after another. The trouble started in 2023, with the release of Scream VI, which while still a fairly substantial hit at the box office, got slightly more tepid reception than the previous entry.

For many fans, one of the most disappointing elements of the movie was the sidelining of series’ protagonist Sidney Prescott (Campbell), who had been in every previous film. This time around, the series’ other regular, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), was forced to simply handwave Sidney’s absence in a throwaway line of dialogue. As it turns out, however, Campbell refused to do the movie because she felt that the studio’s salary offer was too low, given her importance and history with the franchise.

A blurry close-up image of Ghostface’s mask from Scream 6 Image: Paramount Pictures

Despite fans missing Sidney, when Paramount announced plans for Scream 7, which would bring back the main characters from the last two movies, expectations and excitement were still high — not least of all because the fabulous Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day) was being brought on to direct the new entry.

However, shortly into production, Spyglass unceremoniously fired the Barrera, the star of the previous two movies, over her posts about the Israel-Gaza conflict, which the studio deemed antisemitic. Shortly after, Ortega left the project as well. While scheduling differences were the only reason given, it seems very odd that the movie wouldn’t reschedule to accommodate one of the biggest stars in the world. Finally, Landon left shortly after Barrera’s firing, leaving the project with no stars and no director. At least until now.

Campbell announced her return to the series on Instagram on Tuesday, and the writer and creator of the original movie, Kevin Williams, has announced that he’ll be directing the new entry. Guy Busick, who co-wrote the previous two movies, will handle the writing on Scream 7. While so much of this feels like a franchise reboot, with two of the original key players returning to the franchise, it’s highly unclear what this new movie might be about. On top of that, there’s no word which members of the cast from the previous movie might return.