Scream 6 co-director Tyler Gillett reveals a surprise upside to the absence of Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott in the latest slasher film.
Tyler Gillett, part of the directorial duo behind the upcoming Scream VI, reveals the unexpected upside of Neve Campbell’s departure from the beloved slasher series. Plans for a sixth film in the long-running horror franchise were officially greenlit in February this year, just weeks after the hugely successful debut of the series’ fifth film, Scream. While this year’s installment would feature the return of Campbell alongside her original co-stars Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Campbell would later drop out of plans for Scream VI over a highly publicized pay dispute.
Despite Campbell’s dramatic exit from the series, production on the sixth film forged ahead without her. As such, Scream VI is now set to be the first in the franchise that will not feature her character, Sidney Prescott. More recently, off the back of a new teaser trailer, Gillett and his directing partner Matt Bettinelli-Olpin spoke with Entertainment Weekly about what fans can expect from the return of Ghostface and the impact of Campbell’s absence from the film. While Gillett admitted that Campbell’s departure “greatly” altered plans for the sequel, it did have an unexpected upside. Check out his comments below:
We love Neve, and we’re huge fans of Sidney Prescott, 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.
Can The Scream Franchise Thrive Without Sidney Prescott?
Ever since Wes Craven’s original Scream was released in 1996, Campbell’s Sidney Prescott has been front and center as the franchise’s recurring final girl. Over the years and successive entries, her character has evolved from a shy teenager duped by her homicidal boyfriend to a fierce mother determined to face down each successive killer to don the Ghostface mask. While 2022’s Scream saw the introduction of a new cast of characters led by Melissa Barrera’s Sam Carpenter and Jenna Ortega’s Tara, the franchise relaunch also gave considerable focus to Campbell’s Sidney and her role at the heart of the franchise.
While Gillett seems confident that the new film will succeed without Sidney, it has previously been suggested that the film’s writers were initially counting on her character’s return. Following Campbell’s swift departure, Scream VI’s creative team needed to rapidly retool their plans to account for her character’s absence and shift the focus back onto the newer characters. Exactly how successful Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin will be in moving the franchise beyond Sidney’s enormous shadow remains to be seen, but given the skill with which the pair relaunched Scream with their last film, the odds are good that they will find a creative way to manage without her.
Of course, while long-term franchise fans may mourn Sidney’s absence, Scream VI will not be without its fair share of throwbacks to the original films. Besides Cox returning once more as her recurring character Gale Weathers, Hayden Panettiere is also reprising her role as Kirby Reed from 2011’s Scream 4. Moreover, Barrera’s Sam Carpenter has the ultimate connection to the original film, being the illegitimate daughter of the original killer Billy Loomis. While the new film will need to prove that it can thrive without Sidney Prescott, it will not completely ignore the legacy of all that has come before it. Fans will be able to see what the future of the Scream franchise looks like without Neve Campbell when Scream VI arrives in theaters in March 2023.
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