Yesterday, Neve Campbell posted an image on her Instagram of the “Untitled Scream 7” script with a caption that includes in part: Sidney Prescott is coming back!!!!


This after Campbell sat out Scream VI following a pay dispute and Campbell, who is the iconic final girl of the original franchise, said she “couldn’t walk on set […] feeling undervalued”. Kevin Williamson, who wrote the original 1996 film, said the studio (now Paramount) should “pay her the money”. Campbell herself later said she would return “given the right circumstances”. The right circumstances and supposedly paycheck have materialized, as Campbell is returning for the seventh film in the franchise, which will be directed by Williamson, from a script by Guy Busick.


I fully support Neve Campbell securing her bag, but this comes on the heels of the young stars of the rebooted franchise leaving under inauspicious circumstances. Melissa Barrera was the lead of the rebooted Scream (2022) and Scream VI, but was cut from Scream 7 after she posted about the Israel-Hamas War on social media last November. Spyglass, the production company behind the new Screams didn’t waste time in dumping her, branding her posts “hate speech”. Just one day later, fellow final girl Jenna Ortega was out as well, citing scheduling conflicts with Wednesday’s second season (reasonable but still super suspicious coming so fast after Barrera’s firing). One month after THAT, director Chris Landon left the project, too.

Now, Scream 7 is back on track, but leaving aside the political element, it still looks kind of sh-tty. None of this is on Neve Campbell, but it looks like after rebooting the franchise with a pair of Latinas bringing a new, younger and more diverse audience to the films, the whole thing is reverting back to the older, white audience of the original Scream, like trading the controversy brought on by the youths for the comfortable nostalgia of the older Gen X audience. 


It should be noted that the rebooted Screams were successful, both critically and at the box office. Scream (2022) made almost $140 million against a sub-$25 million budget, and Scream VI made $168 million against a $35 million budget. There was no reason to believe the franchise wouldn’t continue thriving with a younger cast at the helm, except for the controversy that upended Scream 7

And maybe that’s all it is—controversy swallowed their first plan whole, so now they’ve gone back to the familiar, comfortable, and almost certainly not going to upset them in the form of a team of original Scream people. But we are seeing a larger trend in entertainment of rolling back strides made in inclusion and representation recently, and it’s hard not to see at least a little bit of that here. A pair of Latina actors made Scream popular again, so now it’s time to bring Sidney back into the fold and make her the star once again. Again, this is not Neve Campbell’s fault, it’s just interesting that Scream is rolling back its diverse leads at the same time so much of Hollywood is, too.