Why isn’t Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott) in Scream 6?

Horror fans across the globe are thrilled that the latest Scream movie, Scream 6, is now playing in theaters. The fifth movie was one of the best of the franchise and early reviews for the latest one have been really solid. However, as excited as fans may be, there’s also an elephant in the room regarding the new movie. Franchise star Neve Campbell, who played Sidney Prescott in the first five films, is not in it.

Scream 5, the fifth movie in the slasher movie series, was a hit. The movies are horror favorites, and viewers were so excited to catch up with legacy characters Sidney Prescott (Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette). The movie earned $140 million at worldwide the box office. After its theater release, it became available to stream on the Paramount+ streaming platform and continued seeing success.

Is Neve Campbell actually not in Scream 6?

In June 2022, it was reported by Deadline that Campbell had decided not to reprise her role as Sidney Prescott in Scream 6. The news was not taken well by fans, understandably, with many of them hoping she’d still make a surprise appearance in the movie. Were they playing us? Does Sidney appear at all in the latest entry?

Unfortunately, no. Having seen the movie, I can confirm Campbell does not show up at all. However, she is mentioned. I won’t get into spoilers here, but Sidney’s name does come up in Scream 6. She isn’t just ignored.

Ahead of the release of Scream 6, star Jenna Ortega talked about Campbell’s absence in an interview with Elle (via Screen Rant), saying it’s “unfortunate” she was unable to return: “It was really unfortunate, especially because Neve is the coolest, sweetest, most talented lady. The franchise wouldn’t be what it is without her.”

Did Sidney die in Scream 5?

If you didn’t watch Scream 5 or just need a refresher, no, Sidney doesn’t die in the 2022 film. That’s not the reason Campbell isn’t returning. Although we sadly have to say goodbye to Dewey (David Arquette) in Scream 5 after he’s killed by Ghostface, Sidney and Gale both survive and make it to the end of the movie. If Campbell wanted to be in Scream 6, there would certainly be a storyline for her. Gale’s in it, after all.

Why did Neve Campbell quit Scream?

So, why did Campbell decide not to return for Scream 6? Well, the studio wouldn’t pay her enough! In an interview with People Magazine in August 2022, the 49-year-old confirmed her decision was “negotiation”-related, explaining: “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 added that if she were a man, the amount offered would have been a lot higher, which is just disrespectful. It hasn’t been reported on how much she was offered, or how much her co-star Cox accepted to return for Scream 6, but the whole thing does seem a bit ridiculous to me. Scream 6 will no doubt be a blockbuster hit; I don’t know why the studio just wouldn’t pay Campbell more. She’s one of the major faces of the franchise, if not the face, and the new movie isn’t the same without her. Fans already miss Sidney so much!

Scream 5

Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.” Photo by Brownie Harris.

Will Neve Campbell be back as Sidney in Scream 7?

At this time, Scream 7 hasn’t officially been announced, but I’d be surprised if it doesn’t happen. As we previously reported, the directors of Scream 5 and Scream 6, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet, told Deadline they are hopeful for another movie. At the Scream 6 premiere, Bettinelli-Olpin shared: “We want to be watching Scream movies whether we’re involved or not for the rest of our lives.”

I guess we’ll see what the box office numbers are for Scream 6 this weekend, but if the directors want to make another one, I’m sure it’ll happen. With that said, should we expect Campbell to return to a future Scream movie if she gets the paycheck she feels is worthy? It’s tough to say, but it does sound like she might be done with the franchise completely.

When confirming she would not be back for Scream 6, Campbell concluded her statement with: “It’s been a very difficult decision to move on. 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.” That very much sounds like someone leaving the franchise behind her, not just one movie.

Of course, we can never say never. At this point, it doesn’t look like Campbell will return for Scream 7 – if the movie even happens – but we can’t confirm that just yet.

Scream 6 is now playing in theaters.