In a surprising turn of events, rising star Jenna Ortega will not be returning to the highly anticipated 'Scream 7' The 21-year-old actress's departure from the iconic horror franchise comes amidst significant cast changes, but sources clarify that it's unrelated to the recent dismissal of co-star Melissa Barrera.
Deadline reports that Ortega's exit has been under consideration for some time, predating even the SAG-AFTRA strike of July 2020. Anthony D'Alessandro, Editorial Director at Deadline, emphasizes that this decision is not a consequence of the controversy surrounding Barrera, who was let go by Spyglass Media following her social media comments on the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Ortega, acclaimed for her role in the Netflix series 'Wednesday', directed by Tim Burton, is reportedly stepping away due to scheduling conflicts with the show's second season. Additionally, she is committed to completing Burton's other project, 'Beetlejuice 2', a comedy-horror film whose production was briefly interrupted by the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Scream Sisters' Success
Ortega and Barrera gained significant recognition for their portrayals of sisters Tara and Sam Carpenter in 2022's 'Scream' revival and its 2023 sequel, 'Scream VI' The next chapter of the franchise, 'Scream 7', will be helmed by Christopher Landon, known for his work on 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones', 'Freaky', and 'Happy Death Day'
The news of Barrera's removal from 'Scream 7' first broke on Nov. 21, as reported by Variety. The actress faced backlash for sharing a post accusing Israel of "genocide and ethnic cleansing", along with reposting an excerpt criticizing the use of the Holocaust narrative.
Spyglass Media, in a statement, affirmed their zero-tolerance policy towards antisemitism and hate speech, citing these reasons for their decision. Barrera, responding to the controversy, posted a statement on Instagram condemning antisemitism, Islamophobia, and any form of hate or prejudice.
She expressed her commitment to using her platform responsibly, advocating for equal human rights and dignity for all, irrespective of background or identity. As the film industry continues to navigate these complex issues, the departure of Ortega from 'Scream 7' adds another layer to the ongoing conversation about responsibility, representation, and the impact of social media in Hollywood.
The film community eagerly awaits further developments as 'Scream 7' moves forward under Landon's direction, albeit without one of its rising stars.