Scream Creator Explains How Neve Campbell Guided Sidney’s Story In The Third Movie (And Now I’m Even More Sad She’s Gone)

Neve Campbell in Scream 3's final confrontation
(Image credit: Dimension Films)

The horror genre has been thriving for years now, as fans enjoy a renaissance of new and exciting projects. Some of the best horror movies returned to theaters over the last few years thanks to long-awaited sequels, including Scream. And franchise creator/writer Kevin Williamson recently explained how Neve Campbell helped guide Sidney’s story in the third movie. Although now I’m even more sad she’s gone and won’t be in the upcoming Scream VI.

Generations of Scream fans were disappointed when it was revealed that the upcoming sixth movie would be the first without franchise hero Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott thanks to a pay dispute. Franchise creator Kevin Williamson is an executive producer on the new movies by Radio Silence, and recently opened up to Collider about the process behind Scream 3. And it turns out it was Campbell’s idea to have Sidney act as a crisis counselor over the phone. As he shared:

I feel like Sidney connects to a lot of people and I think Laurie Strode connects. You connect with Laurie Strode, anyone who survived that kind of trauma. I think Neve was very smart about saying, ‘Why don’t we put her as an advocate for victims in the sequel?’

How cool is that? Neve Campbell has always given super emotional and nuanced performances as Sidney Prescott, but it’s fun to hear how she contributed to her backstory behind the scenes. Campbell obviously knows her signature character well, which is why so many of us will be missing her when Scream VI hits theaters in the spring.

Kevin Williamson’s comments to Collider are sure to inspire strong feelings from hardcore Scream fans out there, who are still having trouble even picturing an installment of the movie without the franchise’s hero. While Neve Campbell had limited screen time in the last movie, she was a welcomed presence that got to be badass in the final battle at Stu Macher’s house. 

Later in that same interview, Kevin Williamson further explained why Neve Campbell thought it was important for Sidney to advocate for others in Scream 3. While this movie showed the character at her most isolated, she was still trying to help people in her own way. As Williamson explained:

It was her idea to do all that, and I think she was very smart about it, and I like the idea that Sidney has now spent her life being an advocate for other survivors of trauma and violence. So now, how do you not care about someone who spends their life doing that, you know? I think that you’ve just got to care — emotion, emotion.

In the end we won’t see Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott in Scream VI, despite rumors about a new deal being made. But fans are hoping this might change in any future sequels; it certainly seems like Paramount is all in on Wes Craven’s beloved slasher property.

The new Scream movie is going from Woodsboro to NYC, and focusing on the two sets of surviving siblings from the last sequel. While Campbell won’t be present, Courteney Cox will again appear as Gale Weathers. And fans are also psyched that Hayden Panettiere will be back as Kirby Reed, reprising her role for the first time since Scream 4.

Scream VI is currently expected to arrive in theaters on March 10th. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your trips to the theater in the New Year. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.