Kevin Williamson, the creator of the “Scream” horror franchise who penned the scripts for “Scream” (1996), “Scream 2” (1997) and “Scream 4” (2011), appeared on the “Happy Horror Time” podcast and urged executives involved with the series to pay Neve Campbell what she’s worth so she can return as Sydney Prescott. Campbell headlined every “Scream” movie until this year’s “Scream 6.” She opted not to star in the sequel due to a salary offer she felt was beneath her value to the franchise.
“I know exactly where she’s coming from,” Williamson said on the podcast when asked about Campbell’s exit from the franchise. “I know her well. I love and adore her, and that’s what she did and it’s great for her. I love everyone involved with ‘Scream’ and all I can say is pay her the money. Yes, you heard it, everyone. That’s what I would do. I would give her the money.”
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Williamson added, “I’m sure there’s a number they can agree on that will make them both happy so hopefully one day they will figure that all out, and who knows. One day.”
Campbell announced in June 2022 that she would not be returning for “Scream 6.” The actor said at the time that the offer to star in “Scream 6” did not properly “equate” to the value she brings to the franchise. In a follow-up interview with People magazine, Campbell said her “Scream 6” offer would not have come in so low if she were a man.
“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,” Campbell said. “And as a woman in this business, I think it’s really important for us to be valued and to fight to be valued.”
Campbell added, “I honestly don’t believe that if I were a man and had done five installments 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.”
In her original statement, Campbell wrote that it was “difficult” to exit the “Scream” franchise and added, “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.”
“I absolutely respect her for that. I think that it’s hard to be a woman in this industry and in any industry at all,” Campbell’s fellow “Scream” star Jasmin Savoy Brown told Variety shortly after she announced her exit. “If any person, but especially any woman, feels that she deserves more — whether that’s a financial situation with work, out of a relationship, out of fill in the blank — if she can walk away, I support that.”
“Scream 6” became the highest-grossing entry in the franchise at the domestic box office with $108 million. Paramount Pictures has yet to official announce a seventh “Scream” movie, although it seems likely given the previous film’s success.
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