Neve Campbell shocked the “Scream” fandom when she announced June 6 that she would not be returning for the upcoming sixth “Scream” movie, making it the first installment in the long-running horror franchise not to star Campbell. The actor said at the time that the offer to star in “Scream 6” did not properly “equate” to the value she brings to the franchise. Now Campbell tells People that she believes her offer for “Scream 6” would not have come in so low if she were a man.
“I did not feel that what I was being offered equated to the value that I bring to this franchise, and have brought to this franchise, for 25 years,” Campbell said. “And as a woman in this business, I think it’s really important for us to be valued and to fight to be valued.”
Campbell added, “I honestly don’t believe that if I were a man and had done five installments of a huge blockbuster franchise over 25 years, that the number that I was offered would be the number that would be offered to a man. And in my soul, I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t walk on set feeling that — feeling undervalued and feeling the unfairness, or lack of fairness, around that.”
The upcoming “Scream 6” will once again be directed by Radio Silence’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the duo who revived the franchise with the fifth installment. That film, simply titled “Scream,” opened in January and grossed $140 million worldwide. Newcomers Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding are all set to reprise their roles from the fifth film. Franchise mainstay Courteney Cox will also be back.
In her original statement, Campbell wrote that it was “difficult” to exit the “Scream” franchise and added, “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.”
“I absolutely respect her for that. I think that it’s hard to be a woman in this industry and in any industry at all,” Campbell’s fellow “Scream” star Jasmin Savoy Brown told Variety shortly after she announced her exit. “If any person, but especially any woman, feels that she deserves more — whether that’s a financial situation with work, out of a relationship, out of fill in the blank — if she can walk away, I support that.”
“Scream 6” will follow the quartet of survivors from the fifth movie as they leave Woodsboro behind and attempt to start a fresh chapter. Ortega teased the film earlier this summer by calling it the bloodiest “Scream” entry yet.
“Ghostface gets a lot more intimidating,” Ortega said of the “Scream 6” script. “I just read part of the script, and it just gets more and more gory. 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.”
Paramount Pictures has set a March 31, 2023 release date for “Scream 6.”
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