HOLLYWOOD—Horror fans are in absolute disarray this week after some bombshell news was released regarding a potential cast member of “Scream 6.” It was announced on Monday, June 6 that Scream Queen, Neve Campbell would NOT reprise her role as Sidney Prescott in the upcoming sixth chapter in the franchise. When I heard the news it was a devastating blow to say the least. Um, “Scream” is Sidney Prescott. I mean we have followed the character for four films where she was the catalyst of the chaos, and the most recent outing, while not the catalyst she was a crucial to the plot.

Campbell’s departure from the franchise is the result of a pay dispute with the studio making the film, Paramount Pictures. Campbell made it clear she felt she was NOT being offered what she thought she was worth and considering all the contributions the actress has made to the horror franchise that LITERALLY revitalized the genre in the late 90s when it was near death I cannot fathom this result.

Campbell paid tribute to her fans as news flooded social media about the actresses’ departure from the latest installment that has me concerned. Why? Well we know Gale Weathers aka Courteney Cox is returning for the sixth chapter. Which meant the writers crafted the script with Sidney in mind. We’ve heard plenty of teases about this next installment taking “big risks” which means something epic was/is in store for our legacy characters Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers, but if Sidney is off the table that means the script has to be re-worked and that concerns me people. Why? Rumor has it the script for this sequel was quite thrilling and if you have to eliminate a character that was expected to be crucial to the narrative it changes things.

Could you recast Sidney? Yeah, would be it a cardinal sin to do so? Without a doubt, I just can’t imagine anyone else as Sidney Prescott people and that is a damn shame. I know people are thinking with the news about Campbell exiting the role being such massive news that it could result in the actress and the studio coming to some sort of agreement. I don’t think so. I think fans of the “Scream” franchise and the horror genre has seen the end of our heroine Sidney Prescott because she wouldn’t come out with a statement if a negotiation was still possible.

While we’re losing a crucial character to the franchise, we have ushered in four survivors: Tara and Sam Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) and (Melissa Barrera), as well as the twins Mindy-Martin Meeks (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad-Martin Meeks (Mason Gooding). I’ll be honest out of the four, Ortega as Tara is the standout. That opening scene and hospital scene in the latest “Scream” was phenomenal. We also have the return of Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) and Cox as iconic reporter Gale Weathers. It was also revealed that actor Dermont Mulroney has been cast for the upcoming sequel where he is expected to portray a cop. Kirby’s return is quite welcome and how the writers plan to weave her into the chaos I cannot wait to see.

Woodsboro is expected to be left in the past for this sixth outing which is a plus, but how it brings Gale Weathers and Kirby Reed into the mix is a question I have. Are the characters headed to college, Hollywood or some other unexpected twist in the franchise? I guess we will have to wait and see as more news about casting and the plot are likely to be revealed in the coming months. “Scream 6” is expected to arrive in theaters on March 31, 2023.