Scream: Before Neve Campbell, These 6 Actresses Almost Played Sidney Prescott

Neve Campbell was almost replaced by these celebrities for her iconic role in the Scream franchise.

Scream: Before Neve Campbell, These 6 Actresses Almost Played Sidney Prescott


  • Before Neve Campbell took on the iconic Sidney Prescott in Scream, 6 other stars were considered for the role.
  • Drew Barrymore who was signed on to play the lead, had to step down to a supporting role owing to scheduling conflicts.
  • Neve Campbell who ended her association with the franchise, revealed that she would consider going back under certain conditions.
  • The Canadian actor elaborated on the huge discrepancy in salaries between male and female stars that led to her decision to step down from the 6th Scream film.
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Neve Campbell’s famous screams became a thing of beauty that echoed over many years and multiple films in the blockbuster horror franchise, Scream. The Canadian actor who played the target of a series of ghost- faced killers, achieved cult status with her role as Sidney Prescott over 5 films between 1996 and 2022.

Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott in Scream

Despite becoming synonymous with the character over decades, Campell could have given way to quite a few other stars who were in the reckoning for the role before she was finally chosen. Some of these high profile stars included Alicia Witt, Brittany Murphy, Melissa Joan Hart, Molly Ringwald, Reese Witherspoon, and Drew Barrymore.

Also Read: ‘Please God get Neve Campbell back’: Fans Demand iconic Scream Queen’s Return as Scream 7 Reportedly in the Works, To Expand $745M Franchise


These Six Celebrities Almost Became Scream Protagonists Before Neve Campbell

Headlining a slasher horror franchise for almost 25 years is a pretty awesome achievement, and Neve Campbell has proved that she has what it takes to age gracefully through the decades as the protagonist in the Scream films. The Canadian star became synonymous with the young woman who is terrorized by sadistic masked killers, and was an integral part in the franchise gaining cult status with audiences.

Drew Barrymore
Drew Barrymore was originally cast as the lead in Scream

Interestingly, the House Of Cards actor was not the first choice for the role of Sidney Prescott. Before Campbell was ultimately signed on for the film, creator Kevin Williamson went through a list of contenders who could fit the bill. This list included promising young stars of the 90s like Reese Witherspoon, Brittany Murphy, Melissa Joan Hart, Molly Ringwald, Drew Barrymore, and Alicia Witt.

Among these stars, Molly Ringwald refused the offer as she believed that she could not do justice to the role of a teenager as she was in her late 20s at the time. Drew Barrymore who ultimately took on the supporting character of Casey Beckett in the film, had originally been confirmed for the lead role owing to her rising popularity during the 90s. Unfortunately, her fame became her bane, and scheduling dilemmas forced the star to step down from the protagonist’s role which ultimately went to Neve Campbell.


Also Read: “I couldn’t be there without feeling unfair”: Neve Campbell Shows Extreme Income Disparity Among Male and Female Actors, Refused To Return For Scream 6 Because They Didn’t Pay Her Enough

Neve Campbell’s Conditions On Returning To The Scream Franchise

Hollywood star Neve Campbell screamed her way through two and a half decades of the cult slasher series Scream, and ensured that her character Sidney Prescott will be remembered for years to come. The Relative Strangers star who was last seen in the 5th installment in 2022, decided to step down from her long-standing association with the franchise as she felt that her cult character deserved better compensation moving forward into the next set of films.

Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell in Scream 5

Campbell though, did not completely rule out the possibility of a future collaboration, but was of the opinion that the situation and circumstances needed to incite her into reprising her famous role once more. The Scream franchise though, has currently hit a roadblock with Christopher Landon and Jenna Ortega exiting the future films. Nevertheless, Campbell harbored hopes for the series to move forward. In an interview with Variety, she said,


“These movies mean a lot to us and they mean a lot to the fans. I go to these conventions sometimes and I meet the fans and they’re frantic about these films. They love them. These films mean a lot to them and these characters mean a lot to them. So even for their sake, I would love to see it continue.”

Meanwhile fans would be hoping that the Hot Air star changes her mind and brings back Sidney Prescott to the franchise again.

Also Read: “They killed the franchise when they fired Melissa”: Neve Campbell is Willing to Return to Scream After Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega’s Exit Has the Fans Excited

Why Did Neve Campbell Leave The Scream Franchise?

While Neve Campbell spoke fondly of the Scream franchise and her long standing role as Sidney Prescott in the blockbuster film series, the actor was also open and honest about the reasons behind her decision to step down as the protagonist. The Canadian star was very vocal about the gender bias that was prevalent in Hollywood and how this played a big part in her decision-making process. In an interview with People, Campbell laid out the bare facts and said,


“I honestly don’t believe that if I were a man and had done five installments of a huge blockbuster franchise over 25 years, that the number that I was offered would be the number that would be offered to a man. And in my soul, I just couldn’t do that. I couldn’t walk on set feeling that—feeling undervalued and feeling the unfairness, or lack of fairness, around that.”

Neve Campbell
Neve Campbell pointed out the glaring differences in pay scale between male and female stars

Campbell concluded by saying that she had made the best choice that was true to her value system, and believed that her decision would bring about an awareness in the industry regarding the glaring discrepancies in the pay scale between men and women.

Source: Screen Rant


Written by Sharanya Sankar

Articles Published: 1127

Sharanya Sankar, Writer for Fandomwire
Having completed her Masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sharanya has a solid foundation in writing which is also one of her passions. She has worked previously with Book My show for a couple of years where she gained experience reviewing films and writing feature articles. Sharanya’s articles on film and pop culture have also been published on Film Companion, a popular film-based website. Apart from movies and pop culture, her interests include music and sports. She has contributed over 650 articles to Fandomwire so far.