The horror series “Scream” usually brings terror to the big screen. But this shock is likely to hit fans hard: “Scream 7” loses its Scream Queen.
In 2022, “Scream” experienced a revival of a seemingly dead horror series through a legacy sequel. It’s a sequel that can also be understood as a soft reboot. While familiar elements and characters contribute to recognition and cult status, the film focuses on new characters inheriting the legacy of the old guard, potentially giving the series new momentum to ultimately take it over completely and continue.
The trio Radio Silence, consisting of director duo Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, along with producer Chad Villella, successfully brought back Scream Queen Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, Courtney Cox as Gale Weathers, and David Arquette as Dewey Riley. Simultaneously, they introduced new main characters, Samantha (Melissa Barrera) and “Wednesday” star Jenna Ortega, from the Carpenter sisters.
The endeavor succeeded: both old and new characters were welcomed by fans, and “Scream VI” followed shortly after the legacy sequel, escalating the horror and violence. You can stream the entertaining slasher on Paramount+, which you can subscribe to at half price for three months as part of Black Friday. It’s no surprise that “Scream 7” was officially announced. Radio Silence will only produce the next slasher after two successful installments; this time, Christopher Landon, known for the “Happy Deathday” films and “Freaky,” will take over as director.
Everything could be going well, especially considering the exciting direction the plot has taken. However, production has been hit by a significant earthquake: as initially reported by Variety in its print edition, a crucial star, Melissa Barrera, has recently been fired from “Scream 7.” She plays the lead role of Samantha “Sam” Carpenter in the new films. According to the report, she was fired after making controversial statements, including the assertion that “Jews control the media” – a clear antisemitic claim, according to industry sources. In other posts, she allegedly compared the Gaza Strip to concentration camps from World War II and equated the actions of the Israeli army with genocide (via The Hollywood Reporter).
Looking at Melissa Barrera’s Instagram profile, it’s evident that she is part of the “Artists Call For Ceasefire Now” movement, advocating for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict to help the Palestinian population suffering massively from the war. However, a glance at her current Instagram Stories paints a somewhat one-sided picture, reinforcing the antisemitic allegations against her. Neither the Mexican actress nor her representatives have commented on the accusations or the dismissal. Barrera is not the only Hollywood star to be fired from a project.
What does this firing mean for “Scream 7”?
Warning: Spoilers for “Scream” and “Scream VI” follow! –
Without Melissa Barrera and thus without Samantha Carpenter, a significant character is missing in “Scream 7.” This unfortunate development may thwart a carefully crafted storyline spanning multiple films that was supposed to come to full fruition in “Scream 7.” It would have been the likely first film in the series entirely without the original cast. While Gale Weathers survived but is severely injured, whether she will ever confront Ghostface again after all the deaths among her friends remains uncertain.
In “Scream,” it was revealed that Sam Carpenter is the daughter of Billy Loomis from “Scream.” In “Scream VI,” she even donned her father’s Ghostface mask in the finale to kill Detective Wayne Bailey. She may have done it to protect her friends and her sister Tara, but the audience knows by now: the inclination for murder runs in the family.
Will Barrera’s role be recast? Or will she be written out of the script, with the focus entirely on Jenna Ortega’s Tara Carpenter? Whatever the decision, they are burying a promising element.