Scream VI Directors Respond To Melissa Barrera’s Departure As Sam Carpenter

 Melissaa Barrera in Scream VI.
Melissaa Barrera in Scream VI.

The horror genre has been thriving for years, to the joy of fans like me. Some of the best horror movies returned to theaters with new sequels, including Wes Craven's acclaimed slasher property Scream. The last two movies directed by Matt Battinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett were wildly successful, with Scream VI breaking records for the franchise. They aren't helming the upcoming horror movie Scream 7, and it also won't feature the return of new leading lady Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter. And the pair of directors from Radio Silence recently reacted to Barrera's depature from the franchise.

What we know about Scream 7 is limited, but it won't feature the Carpenter Sisters played Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega. That pair of final girls lead the last two movies, especially after Neve Campbell dropped out of Scream VI. While speaking with THR, the Radio Silence filmmakers didn't mention the Barrera controversy, but addressed her departure narratively. Bettinelli-Olpin offered:

We’ll be sad that there’s not going to be an end to the Sam Carpenter story, but in our minds, we designed Scream VI so that the story feels complete.

Points were made. While Radio Silence originally intended to create a full Scream trilogy focusing on the Carpenter sisters, both the directors and Barrera and Ortega won't be back for Scream 7. Luckily the filmmakers gave them a satisfying conclusion during Scream VI's ending.

In the final moments of Scream VI (which can be streamed with a Paramount+ subscription), Sam once again grapples with the darkness inside of her as Billy Loomis' daughter. After leaning into that darkness to fight off the trio of Ghostface killers, she stands with Billy's mask in her hand. But rather than keeping it, she drops it on the street and walks away with her sister Tara. As a reminder, you can check out the final shot from the move below:

Ghostface's mask on the ground in Scream VI
Ghostface's mask on the ground in Scream VI

As the directors mentioned, this did ultimately give the Carpenter sisters a happy ending... even if they originally intended on bringing them back for a threequel. The Core Four all survived the attack, and the sisters were able to once again repair their relationship.

The departure of Ortega and Barrera seemingly opened the door for other possibilities, as Neve Campbell announced she'd be back for Scream 7. It should be interesting to see what Scream legacy characters are brought back to fill out the cast. I know personally I want to see Patrick Dempsey return for the first time since Scream 3, especially since his character is married to Sidney in-universe.

It's currently unclear when Scream 7 will hit theaters, as its still in active development. In the meantime, check out the 2024 movie release dates to plan your next trip to the movies this year.