Is the Scream franchise back on track? It would seem so – with some fan reservations

Is the Scream franchise back on track? It would seem so – with some fan reservations
Is the Scream franchise back on track? It would seem so – with some fan reservations Copyright Paramount Pictures - Canva
Copyright Paramount Pictures - Canva
By David Mouriquand
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Neve Campbell’s Scream 7 return is definitely a step in the right direction for the franchise, but it has also renewed outrage over Melissa Barrera's firing from the series.


After some sizeable controversy, finally some good news: Scream Queen Neve Campbell will make her return to the franchise in the upcoming Scream 7.

Campbell, who played the character of Sidney Prescott in the first five movies, had initially exited the franchise for Scream VI, citing a salary dispute as the reason.

Now, the original film lead has confirmed the news in a post on Instagram, which featured the script for an untitled Scream 7 movie.

The photo also confirmed that the seventh instalment in the popular horror series would see Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt returning as writers, and that it will be directed by Kevin Williamson, who wrote the first, second and fourth films.

In the caption, Campbell wrote: “I’m so excited to announce this news!!! Sidney Prescott is coming back!!!! It’s always been such a blast and an honor to get to play Sidney in the Scream movies.”

She continued: “My appreciation for these films and for what they have meant to me, has never waned. I’m very happy and proud to say I’ve been asked, in the most respectful way, to bring Sidney back to the screen and I couldn’t be more thrilled!!!”

She also praised the work of previous director Wes Craven, who died in 2015, before showing her excitement about working with Williamson: “I’ve dreamt for many years of how amazing it would be to make one of these movies with Kevin Williamson at the helm. And now it’s happening, Kevin Williamson is going to direct Scream 7!”

“This was his baby and it’s his brilliant mind that dreamt up this world. Kevin is not just an inspiration as an artist but has been a dear friend for many years.”

Is Sidney’s return enough?

As we stated in November 2023, the beloved horror series was in deep trouble.

Scream and Scream VI star Melissa Barrera was fired from the horror movie franchise due to the actress’ social media posts about the Israel Hamas war; Wednesday star Jenna Ortega exited Scream 7 due to her shooting schedule on the second season of the exec-produced Tim Burton series; and Scream 7 director Christopher Landon quit the project, citing “a dream job that turned into a nightmare.”

Fans were especially up in arms over the firing of Barrera, calling to boycott Scream 7 altogether and revealing once more that Hollywood clearly has a pro-Palestine issue.

While the news of franchise veteran Campbell’s return should be a cause for celebration – we here at Euronews Culture said last year that “if they don’t patch things up with Campbell and get her on board for Scream 7, in a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency move, then and only then will fans be legitimate in considering the Scream franchise dead after six films” - there are still those who aren’t too happy with Spyglass (the comapny now behind the films) and the prospect of a new Scream reset without episodes 5 and 6’s Berrera and Ortega.

Soon after Campbell's return was announced, users took to X to say it wouldn't make up for Barrera's firing.

"we haven't forgotten what this franchise did to Melissa Barrera and why. not tuning in."

"Had this #Scream7 news been announced last year I would have been bouncing off the walls with the excitement… however to see Neve not return to 6 due to fair pay but return for 7 after Melissa Barrera was fired for speaking out about the atrocities in Palestine is a choice…"

"Kevin Williamson is directing Scream 7 starring Neve Campbell. I really want to just be excited for this but man, the path to this film has been so ugly and Melissa Barrera's treatment so shitty. I love this series so much and wanna be hyped but right now, lots of mixed emotions."

"me wanting to be excited about this but it’s still fuck spyglass for the way they fired melissa barrera"

Doesn’t look all that promising, does it?


What’s at stake?

Numbers wise, a lot, as the Scream franchise has been incredibly lucrative over the years – making it $913 million horror series.

The series high point was the first Scream, which tallied up $173 million at the box office, but the last two chapters in the Ghostface saga managed to bring in $137.7 million and $168.9 million respectively.

Ortega was a massive draw for audiences. She received several nominations (including a Golden Globe Comedy TV Actress nom) for her turn as the titular character of Wednesday, and her presence in the films led the last Scream instalment to become the franchise’s best opening ever at $44.4 million in the US and a gross of $67 million (€61.3 million) globally.

This led the bean counters to dream of Scream 7 taking the series into the $1 billion global box office sphere.

Considering the massive shake-up and the previously trending hashtag ‘#BoycottScream7’, the franchise’s survival / remunerative future might not be guaranteed.


Narratively speaking, it’s also dicey.

Scream 7 may have to ditch its meta leanings in order to fully reinvent the franchise. Then again, that could be a betrayal of its spirit. Then there’s the sizeable risk of the film falling into the dreaded nostalgia trap, with the return of a legacy character – which seems to indicate the series is looking backwards rather than forwards.

Maybe Sidney's return suggests that the studio is not looking to do something too fresh, and that Scream 7 is going to bring the franchise to a definitive (and hopefully well-rounded) end.

Alternatively, the unlikely-but-fan-theorized twist that Sidney could become the new Ghostface killer could open up the series to new possibilities going forward. Seems like an unlikely move though.

So, can Campbell and Williamson's returns make up for Melissa Barrera's firing, the fan backlash, and the series’ damaged reputation?


Since a release date for new film has not been confirmed, nothing's too clear right now. We’ll have to wait for the box office numbers in, we’re guessing, either late 2024 or early 2025.

However, Scream 7 is already on surer footing with this recent news. Even if it feels like a damange control move that comes in the wake of what many consider to be an unjust firing.

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