How the Scream VI filmmakers dealt with the absence of Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott

Warning: This articles contain spoilers for Scream VI.

While Neve Campbell may have declined to appear in the just-released Scream VI, cinemagoers did receive an update about her character Sidney Prescott, Sidney's husband Mark, and their children. That catch-up comes courtesy of Courteney Cox's reporter Gale Weathers and arrives after Ghostface has embarked on his latest murder spree.

"She's taking Mark and the kids somewhere safe," Weathers says in the film. "She deserves to have a happy ending."

So why did the filmmakers decide to namecheck the character in this fashion?

"For us, you can't make a Scream that doesn't have Sidney's presence in it somewhere, you know," says Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, who directed the film with Tyler Gillett from a script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. "It just felt like we had to make sure that the characters dealt with that in a real, honest, heartfelt way. And the way that it's dealt with in the movie felt right to us."

Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."
Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream."

Paramount Pictures Neve Campbell in 'Scream' (2022)

Campbell played Prescott in the first five Scream movies. The actress announced in a statement last June that she would not appear in Scream VI due to a salary dispute.

"Sadly, I won't be making the next Scream film," Campbell said. "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."

Campbell said it had "been a very difficult decision to move on" and thanked fans for their support. "To all my Scream fans, I love you," she continued. "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."

Director Gillett previously addressed Campbell's absence from Scream VI and its effect on the finished film while speaking with EW in December.

"We love Neve, and we're huge fans of Sidney Prescott," said the filmmaker, "but it felt like there's an opportunity to really dig into this new crop of characters, and I think people will be really surprised and pleased with how successfully this movie does that. This movie's been in our lives now for quite a while, but I think that we are still consistently surprised by how rich and how interesting and deep the relationship is between the four of them in this movie."

Pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Screamavailable online

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