While Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott is arguably the star of the Scream franchise, David Arquette’s Dewey Riley is a fan favorite character who has also been with the meta-horror series from the very beginning. So when Campbell announced that she would not be returning to the series for the upcoming Scream 6, Arquette was understandably disappointed. “A Scream movie without Sidney is kind of unfortunate,” Arquette told ComicBook, “but I understand her decision.”
On Monday, Campbell released a brutally honest statement to Variety in which she made it clear that the reason she would not be reprising her role in the next Scream film is because of a pay dispute.
“As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream,” Campbell wrote. “I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.” Campbell admitted that it was “a very difficult decision” to make, as she has been part of the series for more than a quarter-century now.
While Arquette said that he’d “love for [Campbell] to be a part of it,” he has also been around long enough to know how the business works and how important it is for actors to know their worth and take a stand when they don’t feel they’re earning it. And he certainly isn’t giving up hope that Campbell could one day return to the series.
“It’s all a business in a way,” Arquette told ComicBook. “They have to balance all these elements to fit a budget and produce a film. I get it, she’s still alive! She [can] absolutely be in future ones, but I think it’s up to fans to call for that in the future… I respect her decision, for sure.”
Since making her mark as Final Girl Sidney Prescott, who breaks the long-held rules of horror movie heroes and villains, Campbell has pretty much personified the Scream series. Yet she’s also been noted in the past that the franchise hasn’t always seemed to fully value her contributions to the horror juggernaut. Campbell and fellow Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis recently chatted about the joys and challenges of being horror icons for Variety, and both women mentioned the issue of pay. “There’s always the promise of back end,” Campbell said, but noted that it never came to fruition.
While Arquette admitted that he is not “looped in” on what’s happening with Scream 6 (SPOILER: His character was killed in Scream 5), Courteney Cox has confirmed that Gale Weathers will indeed be back, making her the only original star to return (as of right now).