Scream 5: A Hit With Critics And At The Box Office, But It Will Be Neve Campbell’s Last

Scream 5 was another win for the franchise, but the big news is that star Neve Campbell won't be returning for the next movie.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

After years and years of speculation and nearly a dozen years since its last installment, Scream 5 finally cut its way into movie theaters. The build-up for a fifth movie was long and drawn out and even included the late Wes Craven, the mastermind of the series, but officially ended when the horror maestro passed away in 2015. Although the original Scream was released to little fanfare in 1996, it defied the odds and was an immediate hit amongst horror fans as it poked fun at horror movies with a self-referential eye. It was such a hit that it led to three more sequels of various success, the final, Scream 4, coming out in 2011. It also spawned a short-lived TV series.


Scream 5

Not only did Scream 5 (which is officially titled Scream) slash its way to the top of the box office upon its opening weekend, it did so with flair. The horror cut up opened up over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, scaring up a tidy $30.6 million with Friday through Sunday crowds and adding in the Monday holiday fare, the new Scream brought in a total of $35 million for the entire holiday weekend run. In all, it brought in $140 million at the box office.

Obviously, fans were excited to see what this new Scream was bringing to the table. Not only were fans getting the return of favorite Scream legacy characters such as Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette), but fans were also getting a heavy dose of new Scream characters such as Tara Carpenter (played by Jenna Ortega), sister Sam Carpenter (played by Melissa Barrera), Amber Freeman (played by Mikey Madison), Richie Kirsch (played by Jack Quaid), and Wes Hicks (played by Dylan Minnette). There were even rumors that other past legacy characters may make the final cut and if you haven’t seen the film, we won’t spoil the who’s and when’s for you, but we will say this, those rumors have been proven to be true.

Critics were kind to the film as well. On Rotten Tomatoes, Scream 5 scored 78% with many agreeing that it hit on all of the correct notes for the franchise. In a franchise like this, it’s helpful for those reviewing it to understand the tenor of the film going in, and that was clearly the case with this movie.

But of course, the biggest news for Scream 5 had little to do with the box office and critical performance and more to do with this being Neve Campbell’s last movie in the franchise. Or at least she won’t be in the next film. The actress came at odds with the studio over how her future would look in the franchise.

Let’s take a look back at how we got Scream 5.


The Scream 5 trailer has been out for some time, and it looks way cooler than a lot of people expected. Check it out:


Scream 5’s official title is not Scream 5. Paramount had announced the movie’s official title and it’s “Scream”. That’s right, just Scream.

Here was the title announcement…

For now, we’re going to keep calling it Scream 5 because it’s far too confusing a title without the 5. Bad call Paramount.

In late 2021, we finally got answers as to why they made this decision. Kevin Williamson, an executive producer on the film, explained the titling during an interview. He said that to the people working on the movie behind the scenes, it was always called Scream 5. However, the studio decided to just cut the number off… because they don’t like the number five?

I think we just threw that name out, but I don’t think they ever seriously were going to call it a Scream 5. I don’t think anybody wanted to see the number five after something. You’d have to ask them – Paramount or whoever, but I think taking the 5 off and calling it Scream [works] because it’s brand new. There’s the legacy cast, and how they infuse this new world and there’s this whole new generation and a new cast of characters that are extremely fun. I think it was a great cast. It’s an amazing group of kids and young talent and they’re very, very good. They pop off the screen, and now our Sidneys and our mature characters who enter into it, they’re the adults. It works really really well.

Kevin Williamson, Executive Producer for Scream 5


To get the hype for the next installment in the horror mega-franchise, Scream 5 released a motion poster. Here it is…

In late 2021, the studio released a new image for Ghostface. The poster promised, “It’s always someone you know.”



Principal photography on Scream 5 began in the late summer of 2020. They filmed in Wilmington, NC. As of mid-June, 2021, Paramount said that production was complete. Co-director, Tyler Gillett, updated his Instagram saying that the movie is “picture locked”, meaning that the final edited version was ready to go. The film had a release date of January 14, 2022, which they hit with no problem.


Scream 5

The Scream movie franchise belongs to director Wes Craven (A Nightmare On Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes) and writer Kevin Williamson (I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty). They were the duo who conceived the series, allowing fans to look at horror movies through a different lens.

When Craven passed away in 2015, it looked like the franchise was going to perish with him. They had already planned a Scream 5 and 6, but that was no longer.

Early in 2019, Blumhouse Productions (The Invisible Man, Get Out, Us and many more horror movies), led by Jason Blum, announced they wanted to bring back the Scream franchise. Later that year though, Spyglass Media Group acquired the rights to the Scream franchise and set off to make Scream 5 a reality.

Making a Scream movie for a new generation can be a tricky proposition. Audiences are smarter (we think), they have seen just about everything one can see on the movie screen, and attention spans have dwindled in the Tik Tok era.

Tasked with the job to make Scream 5 work was Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and the aforementioned Tyler Gillett, the co-directors of 2019’s hit horror film Ready or Not. That was a brutal and inventive film that showed the new Scream was in good hands.

The pair, known as Radio Silence, released a statement on their plans for Scream 5. “It’s impossible to fully express how much Wes Craven’s work and the Scream movies, in particular, mean to us as fans and have influenced us as storytellers. Kevin Williamson’s incredible stories have entertained and inspired us for decades and we’re insanely honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the cinematic world Wes and Kevin so brilliantly created together. Jamie and Guy’s amazing script does that legacy justice and we’re so excited to bring the next chapter of Scream to life.”

For those of you who have followed the Scream franchise, you know that Kevin Williamson wrote all four of the previous movies. He did not return as the scribe of Scream 5. That task fell to James Vanderbilt (Murder Mystery, Zodiac) and Guy Busick, who co-wrote Ready Or Not.

While Williamson did not pen the new Scream, he did have a big part to play in the production. He came on board as an executive producer for Scream 5 and spoke about being back to The Wrap: “I’m excited to reteam with David and work with Jamie, Guy, and Radio Silence on the next Scream. Their take on the movie is both original, inventive and honors Wes’ legacy in a wonderful way. Ready or Not was my favorite horror film of last year and I can’t wait to see what their amazing talents bring to the Scream universe. I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”


David Arquette back

Shortly after the announcement of a Scream 5, Sheriff Dewey himself, David Arquette, also announced that he would return to his iconic role. He told The Hollywood Reporter, “I am thrilled to be playing Dewey again and to reunite with my Scream family, old and new,” enthused Arquette. “Scream has been such a big part of my life, and for both the fans and myself, I look forward to honoring Wes Craven’s legacy.”

Courtney Cox confirmed she would return for Scream 5 as Gale Weathers. Her announcement came in the form of this creepy video posted on Cox’s Instagram…

So does this mean we will see more of the original cast in Scream 5? When asked if anyone else will be back by Andy Cohen, David Arquette had this to say: “It’s just me so far, I don’t know. I don’t know if anyone else is gonna do it. I don’t know what my role is. I mean I’m Dewey, again, but we’re really not allowed to talk about anything.”



Sidney in Scream 5

Sidney Prescott was played by Neve Campbell in the previous movies and yes, she is back in Scream 5. Neve confirmed it herself with this post…

Campbell was recently interviewed by Collider and had this to say about Scream 5. “Well, I’m not a hundred percent on it, but to be honest, the two directors (Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett) have made some great work. I’ve watched their films, and they’re really talented. They wrote a letter to me, expressing what great fans of Wes’ work they are, and how honored they are that they’re getting the chance to make Scream 5 because the Scream franchise is the reason that they’re directors now. So, that was really sweet. They really wanna honor Wes’ style of work and honor the movies. That was a lovely thing to hear. So, we’ll see. Hopefully, we can all see eye to eye on everything and make something great, but it’s a process.”

The big news now is that Neve Campbell won’t return for the next movie in the Scream franchise. She’s cited poor contract negotiations and the studio not wanting to pay her what she believes is the correct number for someone who has been with this successful a franchise for this long.


The hint received from Neve Campbell is that Scream 5 will be a sequel rather than a complete reboot. As she continued with Collider, “I think you can always tell them more with these stories, and they’re such fun films. There’s obviously a huge audience for them, and the audiences wants to see more of them. You can always go further with the journey. Certainly, with Sidney, she comes to some new shift in her life, at the time, and I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Obviously, though, new blood will have to be brought into the story. Scream 5 can’t follow the same pattern as the previous four movies, can it? The “rules” of horror back in the ‘90s are much different than the rules of today. Will the writers and directors be able to focus on that? We can say, without a doubt, they did.