Neve Campbell has spoken out about her decision not to reprise her role as legendary final girl Sidney Prescott in the upcoming Scream film.
The sixth instalment is set to be the first film in Scream’s 26-year history to not star Campbell, who has carried the slasher movies since 1996.
“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,” the 48-year-old told People. “And as a woman in this business, I think it’s really important for us to be valued and to fight to be valued.”
The star, who is currently playing Maggie McPherson in The Lincoln Lawyer, also stated that she feels the offer would have been different had she been a man.
Campbell continued: “I honestly don’t believe that if I were a man and had done five instalments 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.”
She added that “it was sad” to make the decision not to return.
“I love these movies. I love Sidney. I love this franchise [and] I’m so grateful for it,” she also said.
The words echo what Campbell said in her original statement on 6 June, in which she revealed that the fee offered to her “did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.”
“As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream,” she also said at the time.
Scream 5 was the first film to not be directed by Wes Craven, who passed away in 2015.
Filmmakers Radio Silence (Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett) instead took on the role, opting to shift the focus to a new character called Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), receiving a mixed reaction from fans and critics alike.
By the end of the latest movie, Campbell and Courteney Cox, who plays reporter Gale Weathers, were the only two “legacy characters” left standing after fan favourite Dewey Riley (David Arquette) was brutally killed off.
Hayden Panettiere is set to reprise her role of beloved character Kirby Reed from the fourth film, with Cox also returning.
The latest Scream film grossed $140 million at the box office and its marketing campaign focused heavily on the OG trio, making it unclear how these changes will impact the upcoming movie’s commercial performance.
Scream 6 is slated for a 31 March 2023 release. You can watch the trailer for the fifth film below or by clicking here.