Jenna Ortega Drops Out of Scream 7 Due to Wednesday Shooting Schedule

The star won't return for the next installment, creating a potential stumbling block on the heels of Scream VI's record-breaking success.

Jenna Ortega will reportedly not return for the next Scream movie, due to scheduling conflicts with the second season of Wednesday. The star is not expected to return for the seventh installment in the long-running horror franchise, which could be a real blow to the movie. While the sixth Scream opened to a massive $67 million globally last year, it was also the first movie without Neve Campbell, who could not come to a deal with producers. Now, not only is Ortega going to be absent, but just yesterday, Melissa Barrera (who played Ortega's sister) was fired from the film.

That suggests that the next installment will have to be something special to overcome the sense that the franchise is losing its direction. After decades of following the same handful of characters, this revival can't make it three movies before two of its most popular characters are out the door. 

Barrera was reportedly fired yesterday after Redditors dug up a number of social media posts she made on her Instagram story during October, supporting Palestine in their ongoing war with Israel. She reposted and commented on a number of stories, and called the attacks on Palestinian civilians "genocide." Support for Palestine has become a lightning rod in recent weeks, with Oscar-winning Blue Beetle star Susan Sarandon being dropped by her management at United Talent Agency for comments opposed to Israel.

"This is my statement: Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make," Scream VII director Christopher Landon wrote in a now-deleted post on social media, along with a broken heart emoji. 

Scream V and Scream VI revitalized the franchise like few other franchise reboots could. Scream 6 ended up being a franchise record-setter, earning more domestically in the US and Canada than any other installment, and hitting overall numbers ($169 million worldwide on a $30 million budget) not seen since Scream 2 and the franchise's best heyday. Barrera had solidified her character Sam Carpenter (daughter of original Ghostface killer, Billy Loomis) as a scream-queen icon, right up there alongside Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott. That said, Scream VI also elevated Sam's half-sister Tara to main character/scream queen status, as well; Tara is played by Netflix's Wednesday star Jenna Ortega, who has inarguably become a much bigger mainstream star than Barrera. Scream 7 has all the runway needed to kill Sam offscreen or send her away (for a possible return later), while Tara (Ortega) leads the next installment of the franchise. 

Scream (that's the fifth one!) and Scream VI are streaming on Paramount+. Scream VII is in development.

h/t Deadline