Here's Why Neve Campbell Turned Down Scream 6, In Her Own Words

After five total films and a small village of mask-wearing Ghostface killers, Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott always managed to come out ahead through a combination of tenacity, cleverness, and the will to survive. So who knew that the one force that could possibly rob us of the legendary "final girl" would be none other than plain old corporate greed and systemic double standards?

Fans of the beloved horror franchise reacted, well, pretty much how you'd expect them to when news first hit that Campbell wouldn't be reprising her role for the upcoming "Scream 6." At the time, reports indicated that there was trouble in paradise between the movie star and the studio, blaming their parting of ways on a contract dispute. The actor herself soon confirmed those rumors, stating in no uncertain terms, "I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise." Months later, Campbell is now further elaborating on what exactly went down and her thoughts on how she was treated by the franchise gatekeepers who owe, well, pretty much the whole shebang to her lead performance dating back to Wes Craven's original "Scream" in 1996.

In a new interview, Campbell didn't mince words whatsoever in pinning the blame on perceptions of her worth stemming from being a woman in Hollywood. To call this a deeply disappointing and frustratingly familiar turn of events hardly does it justice.

Same old story

No matter how much progress we may make as a collective, modern society, sometimes we need timely reminders of just how much farther we need to go.

While speaking with People (via Variety), Neve Campbell opened up about the circumstances surrounding her unfortunate departure from the "Scream" franchise that she helped turn into an enduring classic. As she put it in refreshingly blunt terms, "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. And as a woman in this business, I think it's really important for us to be valued and to fight to be valued."

Though her role was somewhat diminished as a result of the changing of the guard in this year's "Scream," reflecting the new storytelling needs for a "requel" (the script's clunky term for what most of us would call a legacy sequel), it was naturally expected that Sidney would once again have a part to play in future events as the series continues with a new core cast of characters. That wasn't to be, however, and Campbell targets good ol' fashioned misogyny as the reason why.

"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."

Unfortunately, it's a tale as old as Hollywood itself (and beyond, as well). Nevertheless, Paramount is forging ahead with "Scream 6," to be released March 31, 2023.