Jenna Ortega Won’t Return for ‘Scream VII’

Franchise lead Melissa Barrera was fired from the sequel on Tuesday

Jenna Ortega
Jenna Ortega (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Jenna Ortega won’t return for “Scream VII,” according to an insider with knowledge of the project, following the sudden departure of franchise lead Melissa Barrera, who was fired from the sequel on Tuesday over social media posts related to the Israel-Hamas war.

According to multiple media reports, Ortega’s absence from “Scream 7” is unrelated to Barrera’s exit, and that the “Wednesday” star informed Spyglass months ago that she did not intend to return.

Ortega has a busy schedule ahead of her: She will be filming the second season of Netflix’s hit “Wednesday” in Ireland from April to the summer.

But Barrera’s removal from the franchise was not a planned storytelling choice for the Christopher Landon-directed horror sequel, which now finds itself without its leading lady. Barrera — introduced as Sam Carpenter, the “secret” daughter of original “Scream” villain Billy Loomis — was loosely set up as the next generation’s would-be Sidney Prescott. She starred alongside Ortega, who played her younger sister.

After defeating the murderers — including her then-boyfriend — in “Scream” (the fifth entry, released in 2022), Barrera’s Sam went up against apparent copycats in New York City while dealing with online harassment suggesting that she herself arranged the murders. “Scream VI” left open the question of whether she would go down her father’s murderous path or whether she would merely remain a heroine who happened to take a little pleasure in homicide.

Ortega’s rise to stardom with Netflix’s hit “Wednesday” made her a crucial figure in the “Scream” franchise. Ortega’s portrayal of Wednesday Addams in the hit Netflix series has garnered critical acclaim, earning her nominations for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy.

Neve Campbell’s Sidney sat out that last chapter, reportedly over a pay dispute between the actress and the producers. The seventh film doesn’t have a script, a title nor a release date, although it can be expected to open theatrically courtesy of Paramount in late 2024 or early 2025.

Spyglass declined to comment.


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