How the Story Changed After Neve Campbell’s Exit
Mar 31, 2023
As though making a new installment of a beloved horror franchise isn’t hard enough, the team behind Scream VI had to make a new movie without the heart and soul of the franchise, Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott.
While many assumed the character would return after surviving the events of Scream 2022, back in June, it was confirmed that Campbell had opted out of being part of the sixth film due to disagreements regarding the offer she was presented by the studio. Her statement noted, “I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise. It’s been a very difficult decision to move on.”
The news raised concerns, for a number of reasons, but directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, writers Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt, and producer Chad Villella had no choice but to forge forward with the resources and creators at their disposal. How exactly does one overcome the exit of a film franchise’s main character and a significant amount of disappointment and skepticism from the Scream fandom? We discussed just that during a 30-minute spoiler interview in celebration of the release of Scream VI.
Image via Paramount
In an effort to clear up any potential confusion, I began that portion of the conversation by asking Radio Silence if Sidney was indeed included in early drafts of the script. Bettinelli-Olpin began:
“We found out early on in pre-production that Neve wasn’t gonna do this one and there had been drafts and ideas and stuff going around, but the thing that Guy and Jamie did that was so great and really helped us is that they had created the structure of the movie that I don’t think ever really changed much. Stuff like the motives, that shifted, but the movie from kind of a bird’s eye view didn’t change that much.”
Bettinelli-Olpin went on to emphasize that Campbell’s exit put sky-high pressure on the team to make sure that this new movie had audiences falling head over heels for the new Scream characters, specifically for The Core Four. He explained:
“Obviously we were super bummed when Neve wasn’t going to do it, and the thing that we immediately went to was like, ‘Okay, if we’re not doing this with Neve again, we have to make sure that you fall in love with these characters the way that we all fell in love with Sidney and Gale and Dewey. So we took that responsibility really, really seriously and made sure that if we do our job right, you leave this movie going, ‘Oh, I love the Core Four and I want their journey to continue the same way that we all want Sidney and Gale and Dewey to continue.’”
Image via Paramount
There’s no separating the past and present in the Scream franchise. Successfully establishing a deep attachment to The Core Four — Sam (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Chad (Mason Gooding), and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) — goes hand in hand with honoring the influence of Scream’s Big Three, Sidney, Gale (Courteney Cox), and Dewey (David Arquette). Here’s what Gillett added on the matter:
“We don’t think there’s any way to make a Scream movie that doesn’t have an echo of that character, right? [Sidney] means so much to the franchise and to us, and it was important that she be present sort of spiritually in the movie, but the only way to really honor her was to also make a great Scream movie, and do the Core Four justice.”
Looking for even more on the making of Scream VI from Bettinelli-Olpin, Gillett, and Villella? You can watch our full 30-minute spoiler conversation in the video at the top of this article. And if you want even more Scream VI content after that, we’ve got a brand new edition of Collider Ladies Night with Melissa Barrera for you below:
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