AceShowbiz - There's apparently more to the story behind Jenna Ortega's exit from the "Scream" franchise. After it was revealed last week that the actress would not return for "Scream 7", also written as "Scream VII", the real reason behind her departure has now been uncovered.
According to a new report, the 21-year-old's exit from the next installment wasn't that amicable. The rising star refused to reprise her role as Tara Carpenter in the new sequel because of pay dispute, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The site claims that Ortega, whose career has skyrocketed thanks to her role on "Wednesday", asked for a bigger payday for "Scream 7". She was paid sums in the six digits for her two previous appearances in the "Scream" films so far and her team was reportedly seeking for a pay rise into the seven figures.
In the end, no new deal was reached between Ortega's team and Spyglass, but it reportedly didn't come as a big surprise for the actress' team as they had expected that the studio would balk.
This wasn't the first time the "Scream" franchise lost a star due to salary issue. Neve Campbell returned in 2022's "Scream", but refused to reprise her role as Sidney Prescott in "Scream VI" due to a salary dispute.
Now, following Ortega's departure, producers are reportedly keen to convince Campbell to reclaim her iconic character. They allegedly also consider nabbing Patrick Dempsey as another option. The "Grey's Anatomy" alum had a scene-stealing turn in 2000's "Scream 3", but has never appeared in subsequent movies.
Besides Ortega, Melissa Barrera, who played Ortega's on-screen sister Sam Carpenter, will not return in "Scream 7" either. Unlike Ortega who had no deal in place for the seventh installment, the "In the Heights" star was cut from the next film due to her social media posts about the Israel-Hamas war.