Neve Campbell is quitting the Scream film franchise after 26 years over a salary dispute.
The Wild Things actress, 48, announced she did not think the wage offer for her appearance in the sixth instalment of the long-running slasher series equated to the value she has brought to the movies.
She also referenced difficulties in establishing herself “as a woman” in the film industry and the Scream series.
Per Variety, Campbell said in a statement released on Monday (June 6): “Sadly I won’t be making the next Scream film. As a woman, I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream. 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. 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.”
Since 1996, Campbell has played Sydney Prescott, the main protagonist who’s always stalked by the Ghostface killer, in all five of the films, including the ‘requel’ that shares the same moniker as the original Scream released in January.
The new Scream — directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett — made US$140 million (S$193 mil) at the box-office globally against a US$24 million budget, with the last five films in the franchise pulling in ticket sales of US$744.5 million.
The original Scream, directed by Wes Craven, was credited with resurrecting the slasher genre and grossed US$173 million in the US on a US$15 million budget.
It has been reported Campell was paid a total of US$9 million for the first three films — US$1,500,000 for the first, US$3,500,000 for the second, and US$4,000,000 for the third.
It is not clear how much she made from the fourth and fifth installments but it is common in Hollywood to have “back-end deals”.
They see main stars lower their salary fees in exchange for a percentage of box office receipts, especially in the case of lucrative franchises.
The 2022 Scream reunited Campbell — who’s currently starring on Netflix’s legal drama, The Lincoln Lawyer — with legacy cast members Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
Production for the sixth slasher film, to be helmed by Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett again, with Cox and series newbies Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Jenna Ortega among the cast members. Hayden Panettiere from Scream 4 is set to return as well. Dermot Mulroney is reportedly joining the sequel, with The Hollywood Reporter saying the My Best Friend’s Wedding star will play a cop.
According to Variety, Scream 6 will follow the Woodsboro residents as they leave their small town behind and attempt to start a new chapter. Good luck with that.
Cox previously told Entertainment Tonight she feels the plot of the upcoming film is top quality, adding: “I don’t know about contracts and where things are, but I’ll tell you in the script — it’s a really good one.”
Meanwhile, Arquette, who played Dewey Riley in the Scream series, was the first of the original actors to weigh in on Campbell’s departure, just hours after her announcement.
He told Comicbook.com, “I’d love for her to be a part of it. A Scream movie without Sidney is kind of unfortunate, but I understand her decision. It’s all a business in a way, they have to balance all these elements to fit a budget and produce a film. I get it, she’s still alive! She [can] absolutely be in future ones, but I think it’s up to fans to call for that in the future. […] That is sudden, it’s a business, though. I respect her decision, for sure.” — BANG SHOWBIZ
Photos: TPG News/Click Photos