Scream 6 filmmakers talk Neve Campbell's absence – and confirm the door is open for her return

Scream 6 is right around the corner – but Neve Campbell will not be returning as Sidney Prescott. The actor withdrew from the sequel following a reported pay dispute, and we were all understandably torn up about the news considering Sidney's status as the franchise's original final girl. 

Speaking to Total Film for an extended trailer breakdown, Scream 6 directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and executive producer Chad Villella – collectively known as Radio Silence – touched on Campbell's absence. 

"I wouldn't say worried," Villella says when asked if the Campbell news concerned them. "But we are massive fans of Neve Campbell and what Sidney Prescott is in the Scream universe. Everything we did on Five was because we were fans of hers for years and years and years in the Scream legacy. So I think that 'worried' is not the right word. We played the hand that we were dealt.

"We're very, very proud of the movie that we made, and the way that the entire cast bonded and came together on this new one and creating that thing and keeping that family element alive was very important to us," he continues. 

Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott in Scream

(Image credit: Dimension Films)

The cast of Scream 6 is a mix of newcomers and returners, including Gale Weathers, once again played by Courteney Cox, and Scream 4's Kirby Reed, played by Hayden Panettiere. "We got to really explore and do a lot of character building in this one," says Bettinelli-Olpin. "It was really fun to create these new characters in a really cool and exciting way. Watching that family grow on camera and off is just a wonderful experience." 

But, none of this means the door is closed on Campbell's return. When Total Film asks if there's a chance for Campbell to return as Sidney in the future, Bettinelli-Olpin exclaims: "It's Scream, of course!" 

"We brought back Billy Loomis," Gillett cheerfully reminds us – in Scream 5, Loomis was revealed to be the father of Melissa Barrera's Sam, and Skeet Ulrich appears as his character (hallucinated by Sam) throughout the film. So, in the world of Scream, never say never. 

Scream 6 arrives in theaters on March 10, 2023. For our full discussion with Radio Silence, which touches on legacy sequels, Cox and Panettiere's return, and what Ghostface prowling New York City could look like, see our full interview with the filmmakers.  

For everything else 2023 has in store for us, check out our guide to all the upcoming major movie release dates.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.