The Scream franchise losing Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott over a pay dispute doesn’t just insult the character’s legacy, it also ruins another potentially perfect Scream 6 cameo. Despite playing a pivotal part in the Scream franchise’s success since the original Scream’s release in 1996, Neve Campbell will not return to reprise the role of iconic Final Girl Sidney Prescott in Scream 6. The actor’s salary negotiations with the studio broke down, prompting her to release a statement confirming that her character would be absent from the upcoming sequel.
With Scream 6 bringing back Hayden Panettiere’s Scream 4 heroine Kirby alongside numerous characters from Scream 2022, this news came as a surprise to many fans of the series. It is a devastating blow for Scream 6, which will struggle to fill the void left by Campbell’s charismatic heroine. Sidney has been central to the success of the Scream series throughout its five installments, and her departure will also render another highly hyped legacy cameo pointless.
Since Scream 2022 was first announced, rumors circulated online about the potential return of Matthew Lillard’s Stu Macher. Unlike the rest of the franchise’s villains, the original movie’s second killer was never explicitly killed off onscreen, and Scream 2022’s unexpected Billy Loomis appearance seemingly set up Lillard’s perfect Scream 6 return. However, this comeback loses a lot of its appeal if Lillard doesn’t have Campbell to play against, with her and Courtney Cox being the only cast members left from the original Scream. Specifically, Campbell and Lillard shared easy chemistry in Scream owing to their real-life relationship while shooting the movie, and Lillard’s infamous ad-lib “I always had a thing for you, Sid” underlines just how pointless a Stu cameo would be in her absence.
While Skeet Ulrich’s appearance as a ghostly apparition in Scream 2022 was a welcome surprise that proved the Scream series would dip its toe into more supernatural, strange sorts of horror than straightforward slasher stories, the fact that his character was canonically dead precluded Sidney from interacting with him. In contrast, the return of Lillard’s Stu after Scream 2022 would have allowed Sidney to come face to face with the franchise’s only surviving killer, with Campbell and Lillard’s sharp back and forth making this cameo appearance all the more appealing. Stu could have been a suspect, a prisoner, or a reformed antihero attempting to lead a normal life having served his time after the original Scream, but none of these potentially interesting character revelations pack any punch unless he and Sidney appear onscreen together.