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Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega gone from Scream VII but that’s just the start…

November 25th, 2023 by Marc Comments

Ooof! It’s been a heck of a week to be a Scream fan, hasn’t it?

It all kicked off a few nights back when Melissa Barrera, who plays Sam Carpenter in the new Scream movies, made some comments that many considered to be ‘hateful’ online – I’m not getting into it as that’s not why I’m here, if you want to know, it’s out there – which led her being quietly removed from he next Scream movie, Scream VII, which was the closer to her trilogy in the series.

Now, Hollywood being Hollywood, the comments divided many people and the social media discussion hs been, well, it’s been what you expect.

Now, Barrera herself reported that she learned of her removal from her costar in the movies, Jenna Ortega, who plays her sister, Tara, saying: “They didn’t even tell me I was fired, in fact, I was told by Jenna, she sent me a message that was followed by a call, all I can say is, I’m not the only one leaving.” 

No sooner had she said this to Access Hollywood, that it was confirmed that, no, she was not the only one leaving.

Spyglass, the studio behind the new movies, doubled down on her firing, saying that: “We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech.”

The issue here is that, especially in recent years, the concept of what hate speech is, is becoming more and more unclear. Anyways.

Happy Death Day filmmaker Christopher Landon, who was recently announced as the new director/co-writer of Scream VII, which was set to begin production in the next few months, took t social media, saying: “This is my statement: Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.”

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Interestingly, he later deleted the post.

However, the next big news was just about to hit…

Jenna Ortega too was gone. Although, unlike Barrera, she left of her own volition. While sources are saying that it had nothing to do with the firing of her onscreen sister, I think it’s unlikely anyone is buying that. In recent months it was widely reported that Ortega’s role in Scream VII would be limited due to her filming obligations with Wednesday season 2 and the fact that she’s not a big Hollywood star, with her asking for her role to be ‘retooled’ in the movie, so it’s arguable that she won’t miss the franchise as much as some of her costars might.

Interestingly, it has transpired – and there are, of course, rumours –  that both Ortega and Barerra had only got two movie contracts with the studio and, with those filled, the duo was looking for more money, given that Scream V and VI were both bit hits for the franchise… I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about why that might be pertinent.

Word now is that the other two new franchise regulars, Mason Gooding and Jasmine Savoy Brown, who play brother and sister Chad and Mindy Meeks, are also set to leave with Variety removing reference to them having signed on to the seventh movie in recent articles about the whole affair, leading many to think this is an indication that they too are done with Ghostface and his shenanigans. No more Core Four, it seems.

So, what next?

Well, fans may recall that original franchise star Neve Campbell, who played Sidney Prescott, the original Ghostface victim who kicked off the whole franchise, was not invited back for Scream VI, which left many fans stunned; Campbell herself at the time said: “I couldn’t walk on set [without] feeling undervalued.”

Now, however, it seems that Lionsgate now what Campbell and Scream 3 star Patrick Dempsey, who played cop Mark Kincaid who has now married Sidney in the Scream world, back. Damage control, much?

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So, this all means that now writers of the last two movies, James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, will now have to completely rewrite the script with it being thought they will retain the core story but with a new cast of characters and, presumably, a whole new set-up.

So, there you have it.

My thoughts are that, at the end of the day, the Scream franchise survived without Neve Campbell and it will survive beyond Barerra and Ortega if steered correctly, however, the fans’ reaction to the duo leaving the new movie has been pretty negative overall and it leaves a bigger question about Hollywood, freedom of speech, hate speech and more.

Or maybe it’s just a movie about a killer – or killers – with a cool costume.

Either way, it seems the Carpenter and Meeks families are out of the Scream story, as for what this means? Well, we’ll find out soon enough.

Thoughts? I know you have them! Voice-off in the usual ways on FTN’s FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube, Bluesky,
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Scream VII nabs Happy Death Day and Freaky director as Radio Silence step down

Source: THR, THR, Variety,

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….