‘Wednesday’ Star Jenna Ortega Replaced, Producers Already Moving On

in Movies, Television

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in 'Wednesday' with trees in the background

Credit: Netflix

Wednesday star Jenna Ortega is already being replaced in a major project, and producers reportedly have the perfect person to cast.

Jenna Ortega may have begun her career as a Disney child actress, but she became a true global breakout star as a scream queen, quickly becoming one of the most recognizable faces of horror in the 2020s. It probably is a bit of a transition to go from the candy-colored world of the Disney Channel to bloody slasher films like The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) and X (2022), but Ortega seems to have done it with ease.

Jenna Ortega smiling eerily as Wednesday Addams
Credit: Netflix

Jenna Ortega: Wednesday Addams

Most audiences know Jenna Ortega from the blockbuster Netflix series Wednesday, in which she plays a new version of the eponymous Addams, who has been sent away to a boarding school for spooky teenagers by her family. The Tim Burton series was an immediate hit for the streaming platform, and the upcoming second season of the show is already being positioned as a replacement for the soon-to-end Stranger Things.

The cast of Stranger Things
Credit: Netflix

Related: ‘Wednesday’ and ‘Stranger Things’ Future in Danger Following Recent Netflix Update

Wednesday season 2 has been significantly delayed by the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists strikes, which shut down Hollywood for months. It also did not help Jenna Ortega that she was widely seen as disparaging the writers of her own show while they were striking for better pay and career protections, claiming that she frequently rewrote her own dialogue in Wednesday season 1.

Now that the strikes are over, Wednesday season 2 is swinging into production in Ireland, though not without a troubling number of cast changes and controversies. However, that’s not the only change that has been happening for Jenna Ortega in the last few days.

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega

Jenna Ortega has starred as Tara Carpenter in the rebooted Scream franchise since 2022, when she appeared alongside Melissa Barrera in Scream V. The long-dormant franchise had a surprisingly successful return, grossing $138 million at the box office and cementing Ortega’s image as a new horror icon.

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

Both Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega returned this year for the sequel Scream VI, which made even more money than their first outing and was presumed to fully establish the series as a rejuvenated franchise.

In only a matter of days, that has completely changed. Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind Scream, abruptly fired Melissa Barrera after she made a number of pro-Palestine social media posts that were accused of being anti-Semitic hate speech.

Jenna Ortega vs ‘Scream VII’

Almost immediately, rumors began that Jenna Ortega was demanding to be released from her contract to Scream VII in solidarity with her fired co-star.

Jenna Ortega looking horrified in Scream 6
Credit: Paramount

Related: Billie Eilish Replaces Jenna Ortega in ‘Wednesday’ as Netflix Fires Cast

Those rumors turned out to be partly true. Ortega was confirmed to not be returning to Scream, but reportedly not because of the firing of Melissa Barrera, but because of scheduling conflicts with Wednesday season 2 and the upcoming film Beetlejuice 2.

Many fans are still clinging to the belief that Jenna Ortega will not star in Scream VII due to a moral stand, but one thing is certain: the producers of Scream have to replace their stars, quickly.

Potential ‘Scream VII’ Replacements

After the departure of both Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera, Scream VII is reportedly being completely overhauled. Writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick are said to be working on an entirely new script (per Variety) that will explain away the Carpenter sisters, and more intriguingly, insiders say that original series star Neve Campbell is a top contender to replace Jenna Ortega as the face of the series.

Neve Campbell in Scream 2022
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Infamously, Neve Campbell refused to return for Scream VI, citing the low pay offered to her, but now producers are a lot more desperate to get a familiar face to continue the franchise. Spyglass and Paramount Pictures have not yet officially commented on the plan to replace their stars, but all signs indicate that they’re going to try to woo Neve Campbell once again.

Do you want to see the original star of Scream return? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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