Jenna Ortega Drops Out Of ‘Scream VII’ After Melissa Barrera Firing

The Scream franchise isn’t new to story twists, but not even Ghostface could have seen this coming. A day after Melissa Barrera was fired from Scream VII for voicing her support of Palestine, it has been revealed that lead star Jenna Ortega will also not be returning.

Jenna Ortega Scream VII

According to Deadline, this latest departure is separate from Barrera’s incident, and has nothing to do with Ortega asking to end her contract. Instead, it’s reported her representatives had informed Spyglass prior to the actors strike (not to be confused with the writers strike) that she won’t star in the thriller flick.

A script for Scream VII isn’t ready, and the up-and-rising actor has to shoot the second season of Netflix’s Wednesday in April next year, which will extend into the summer. There’s Beetlejuice 2 filming scheduled for Ortega as well, where she is set to star alongside Michael Keaton and The Matrix‘s Monica Bellucci.

Barrera and Ortega played sisters in 2022’s Scream and its sequel, Scream VI. In between the time frame, the latter shot to fame thanks to her turn in Wednesday. The two Scream titles revamped the long-running series with a global gross of US$137.7 million and US$168.9 million, respectively.

As for Scream VII, the forthcoming entry is slated for a 2025 theatrical release. Now that both Barrera and Ortega aren’t returning, the team and crew will have to grapple with a full creative reboot, and it helps that the franchise has no shortage of legacy stars. Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox, as original members of the series, are viable options, but a reunion isn’t likely, considering how the former turned down the offer to star in Scream VI over a salary dispute.

In any case, Scream VII is in a very rough spot right now. Christopher Landon, the new director on the film, weighed in with a now-deleted post in the wake of Barrera’s firing, “This is my statement: 💔 Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.”