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Unmasking Turmoil: The Unsettling State of the 'Scream' Franchise

Unmasking Turmoil: The Unsettling State of the 'Scream' Franchise

İrem Uğur
December 02 2023 - 06:13pm

For fans of the iconic 'Scream' franchise, the recent developments surrounding the seventh installment have been nothing short of chilling. The firing of Melissa Barrera, coupled with Jenna Ortega's departure, has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the future of Spyglass' horror sequel. In this exploration, we delve into the behind-the-scenes drama, shedding light on the casting shakeup, the reasons behind it, and the potential impact on the franchise's next installment.

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Casting Catastrophe: Melissa Barrera's Abrupt Exit

Casting Catastrophe: Melissa Barrera's Abrupt Exit

On November 21, shockwaves reverberated through the 'Scream' fanbase as news broke that Spyglass had severed ties with Melissa Barrera, who was set to play the lead character, Sam Carpenter, in the upcoming seventh installment. The decision was reportedly fueled by Barrera's social media posts during the Israel-Hamas conflict, deemed by decision-makers as antisemitic. Sources reveal that the firing occurred a month earlier than the public announcement, raising questions about the fate of the film amid such a significant casting setback.

Silent Departure: Jenna Ortega's Exit Raises Eyebrows

Silent Departure: Jenna Ortega's Exit Raises Eyebrows

Adding to the tumult, on November 22, it was revealed that Jenna Ortega, Barrera's onscreen sister, had quietly exited the franchise months before the public revelation. While scheduling issues were officially cited, sources hint at a more contentious departure. Ortega, propelled to A-list status by her role in the Netflix series 'Wednesday,' allegedly sought a substantial payday for the seventh installment, commensurate with her elevated status. With Spyglass seemingly unwilling to meet her financial expectations, Ortega's departure raises questions about the franchise's ability to retain its key cast members.

Spyglass's Tough Negotiations: A History of Franchise Challenges

Spyglass's Tough Negotiations: A History of Franchise Challenges

The studio's head, Gary Barber, has a reputation for shrewd negotiations or perceived frugality, depending on one's perspective. Losing Neve Campbell over a salary dispute for 'Scream VI' was a notable precedent. Despite predictions of failure without the original star, the film became the franchise's biggest hit since the 1996 original. Barber's stance seems to signal that big names and high salaries may not be as crucial to the franchise's success as previously believed.

A Franchise at a Crossroads: Navigating the Aftermath

A Franchise at a Crossroads: Navigating the Aftermath

'Scream VII' was envisioned as the conclusion to a trilogy centered around the Carpenter sisters, yet with both lead actors departing, the studio faces the challenge of reshaping the narrative from scratch. While insiders describe the situation as a 'shambles' and 'very raw,' the 'Scream' franchise has a history of interchangeable villains, ensemble casts, and the ability to introduce new characters seamlessly. Despite the setbacks, the film remains under the direction of Christopher Landon and the pen of James Vanderbilt, providing a glimmer of hope amid the uncertainty.

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