How Neve Campbell Was Convinced To Return For Scream

If horror fans think we have a lot invested in the success of the new "Scream" movie, imagine how Neve Campbell feels. The actress is bringing tough survivor Sidney Prescott to life for the fifth time in the latest iteration of the franchise, but it turns out, she wasn't always on board with the project.

In an interview with Variety, Campbell says that she wasn't sure if anyone would be able to continue the franchise in the footsteps of Wes Craven, who died in 2015. "I really didn't know whether anyone would be able to pull this off, get the tone right, get the humor, get the cleverness," Campbell says. It's true that the "Scream" franchise has always walked a tricky and precise tonal tightrope, mixing horror, meta-commentary, and quick-witted comedy into a potent and lovable cinematic cocktail.

The Power of the Personal Letter

Before his passing, Craven had plans for more "Scream" movies, but after his death, plans for a sequel were impacted by the dissolution of The Weinstein Company. Finally, in March 2020, "Ready or Not" directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin were hired for the new version, which inevitably suffered pandemic-related shooting delays. The final product is a movie that sees Sidney's return, albeit only as a reluctant third-act hero. The character is happily married and far from Woodsboro when the movie starts, but makes a comeback when a new group of self-aware teenagers needs her help.

Campbell told Variety that a personal letter from Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin won her over, convincing her to reprise a role she thought she'd finished. She says they told her "that the very reason they became filmmakers was because of Wes Craven," citing "Scream" as a major influence on "Ready or Not." Apparently, the note the filmmakers sent Campbell expressed humility and gratefulness, with the two filmmakers saying they couldn't believe they were even getting the chance to write Campbell in the first place.

"They really wanted to do right by Wes and honor his legacy," Campbell said, adding, "I think if they hadn't written that letter, I wouldn't have done it." While response among critics and fans has been somewhat mixed on the new film, the people who love it clearly really love it. The movie is more meta than ever, and bloodier, too. Love it or not, we can agree that it certainly wouldn't be the same without Campbell. We can thank Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin for reviving the lost art of letter writing to bring back Sidney Prescott.

"Scream" is now in theaters.