Neve campbell, Melissa Barrera, Scream

MIAMI - Neve Campbell's announcement of her return as Sidney Prescott in "Scream VII" has sparked a complex reaction among fans, blending excitement among some and a sense of disappointment and betrayal with others.

This development, which follows Campbell's earlier refusal to participate over a pay dispute, is especially tinged with controversy in light of Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega's contentious exits from the franchise.

Campbell's initial decision to step back from 'Scream' due to a low pay offer resonated with many, including Barrera and Ortega, and was seen as a stance for fair compensation in Hollywood.

"We are heartbroken to see her go, but we understand," said Barrera to the Latin Times when promoting the widely successful "Scream VI," the highest box office earner of the franchise.

Many "Scream" fans are outraged

Campbell made the announcement through her Instagram account, where she published a photo of the first page of the script. The image revealed that Kevin Williamson, the original 'Scream' screenwriter, is assuming the directorial reins.

Previous director Christopher Landon also left the project after expressing support for Barrera, who was fired from the "Scream" movies by production company Spyglass following her public support for Palestine and open criticism of Israel, a move that has been widely criticized.

Jenna Ortega's withdrew from the movie days later. Although attributed to scheduling conflicts, the move is suspected by fans to be an act of solidarity with Barrera.

The fans' reactions are a mix of disappointment and a call for solidarity. Comments on social media reflect this sentiment strongly, with fans expressing their disillusionment with Campbell's decision to rejoin a project associated with what they see as unjust treatment of her former co-stars.

"As excited as I wanna be as a HUGE scream fan, I'm disappointed," reads one comment, highlighting the conflict between fan loyalty and moral stance. Others are more direct in their criticism, "Signing onto a film held by people who fired the previous actress of color as a lead due to her speaking out against genocide is extremely disappointing," reflecting a broader concern about the ethical implications of such decisions.

People also called Campbell's decision "disgusting," and "disrespectful." Others are calling for a boycott of the movie.

As 'Scream VII' moves forward, it does so under the shadow of these controversies, with its production narrative becoming as gripping as the franchise's on-screen storylines. The notion of betrayal, so central to the 'Scream' movies, has now manifested in real life, leaving fans grappling with mixed emotions.

Campbell's return, while a win for her career, has inadvertently sparked a conversation about ethics, solidarity, and the role of public figures in social and political issues. With these off-screen dynamics at play, 'Scream VII' is set to be a focal point not just for horror enthusiasts, but also for those following the evolving conversation around justice, censorship and representation in Hollywood.

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