“He Doesn’t Need Her,” the Real Reason Jenna Ortega Abandoned ‘Scream’

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Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams

Credit: Netflix

The real reason Jenna Ortega dropped out of a popular franchise has been revealed.

Jenna Ortega smiling eerily as Wednesday Addams
Credit: Netflix

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Jenna Ortega began her acting career nearly a decade ago on the Disney Channel show Stuck in the Middle, which ran for a few short years. While she was also a part of other television shows and movies, even having a very small role in Iron Man 3 (2013), Ortega truly rose to stardom thanks to her Disney Channel career. Ortega continued acting in films before starring in her breakout role in Ti West’s (2022). This horror film solidified Ortega’s status as the new “Scream Queen,” with Ortega quickly finding success in other horror-related properties such as Netflix’s Wednesday and the iconic Scream franchise.

Ortega starred in Scream (2022) and Scream VI (2023), both of which were major successes for the franchise. These two films combined made over $300 million at the box office, all but assuring more sequels were on the way. However, the Scream franchise is currently in shambles, with the series losing its two main characters ahead of the third film.

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega hiding in a convenience store in Scream VI
Credit: Paramount

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The original plan for this new iteration of Scream films was for it to be a trilogy, with the next Scream capping off the story. Scream VII would have been the ending of the Carpenter sisters’ story arcs, but with both lead actresses gone, the future of the series is certainly in trouble. Melissa Barrera, the other lead for this new wave of Scream movies, was abruptly fired from Scream VII. The decision to fire Berrera stemmed from her “antisemitic” remarks regarding the conflict between Palestine and Israel.

Shortly after this news broke, rumors began swirling about Jenna Ortega’s relationship with the upcoming film and series as a whole. Eventually, we would learn that Jenna Ortega had chosen to drop the Scream franchise altogether, but what we didn’t know was the exact reason she chose to do so. Many theorized Ortega was leaving the series out of solidarity for her costar, while others claimed it had to do with scheduling conflicts regarding her role in Netflix’s Wednesday. We now know the reason Ortega left the Scream franchise, and it’s far less exciting than what we previously had thought.

Melissa Barrerra and Jenna Ortega in Scream 6 on the street
Credit: Paramount

According to The Hollywood ReporterOrtega backed out of the next Scream movie over a pay dispute. Ortega had reportedly been paid in the six-figure range for her previous installment, with her team pushing for much higher pay for the Scream VII.  Sources claim Ortega was seeking a seven-figure payday.

Head of Spyglass is Gary Barber, an executive who is known for being “shrewd” and cheap.  Neve Campbell dropped out of Scream VI, leaving many wondering about the success of the film, as it would be losing one of the more iconic stars of the series. It ended up being the biggest film since the original Scream in 1996. “He didn’t need Neve, he doesn’t need Jenna,” says one insider.

Ghostface in Scream VI
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Many say that while the situation regarding the future of the Scream series is dire, it actually may not be all that bad. As The Hollywood Reporter states, Scream has always had interchangeable villains behind the iconic mask, insinuating a reboot could happen once again.

Christopher Landon is still set to direct Scream VII, with James Vanderbilt writing.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Are you a fan of the Scream series?

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