Perhaps the most controversial element of the most recent ‘Scream’ outing (that would be ‘Scream VI’, for those keeping count) was the fact that franchise stalwart Neve Campbell, who has played Sidney Prescott since the start, opted not to return, citing a lowball pay offer.
The movie proceeded on regardless, only dropping a one-line mention of Sidney preferring to stay with her young family rather than thrusting herself back into stabby danger.
Yet according to Kevin Williamson, whose roots also go back to the first ‘Scream’ (he wrote the 1996 original, its 1997 sequel and 2011’s ‘Scream 4’), production company Spyglass made the wrong call in not cranking open its wallet further to bring Campbell, and therefore Sidney, back.
Kevin Williamson on the Neve Campbell pay situation.
Talking on the Happy Horror Time podcast, Williamson was vocal about the decision.
Here’s what he had to say:
“I totally respect her opinion. I know exactly where she’s coming from, I know her well. I love and adore her and that’s what she did. It’s right for her. I love everyone involved in ‘Scream’ and all I can say is, pay her the money. That’s what I would do, I would give her the money. I’m sure there’s a number they can agree on that will make then both happy, so hopefully one day they will figure that out.”
Williamson didn’t write either of the last two movies (that job went to James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, who crafted the scripts for directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, taking over from the late Wes Craven), but he’s still involved as an executive producer.
And on a more interesting note, he also used the podcast appearance to outline his ideas for where he would have taken Sidney’s story following ‘Scream 4’.
Williamson’s alternate future plans
Williamson said this about his own ideas:
“‘Scream IV,’ ‘V,’ and ‘VI’ would have been the love story of Sidney Prescott, and it would’ve been this whole thing of she’s falling in love, she’s going to get married, it’s all based around her marriage when these murders start happening again. It’s like, is this man that she’s in love with the killer again? Is she Billy Loomis-ing herself all over again? Is she still making the wrong decisions? Is she still choosing the bad guy?”
We’ll probably never know the answer, because there’s a whole new behind-the-scenes team being assembled for ‘Scream VII’.
What’s happening with ‘Scream VII’?
Last month, the news arrived that because of their commitment to an untitled Universal monster movie, Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin were moving on from the ‘Scream’ franchise (and, after cranking out two successful movies, we don’t blame them for wanting to try something fresh).
Instead, ‘Happy Death Day’ and ‘Freaky’s Christopher Landonis aboard to develop the seventh entry, though obviously it’s currently in limbo because of the writers and actors’ strikes. Still Campbell’s character is still alive, so there remains a chance she could return. Assuming, of course the price is right.
Movies in the ‘Scream’ franchise: