Everything We Know

Everything We Know About Scream VI

The survivors return, but they've got new allies, a new home, and a new emphasis on action and spectacular stunts. We've got all the details on the latest installment.

by | March 2, 2023 | Comments


When you’ve already done five increasingly meta and self-referential horror movies, where do you have left to go? Well, New York City, apparently. Just as Jason Voorhees did 34 years ago, the Scream franchise takes Manhattan in the upcoming Scream VI, a direct sequel to 2022’s Scream (which was technically Scream V, but opted not to have the Roman numeral designation to play into the whole “requel” theme that was so integral to the story).

By now, we all know that the point of any Scream movie is that it’s part whodunit and part commentary on the cliches and tropes of the horror genre, so its movies are always going to go in for a little misdirection and some knowing winks at the fact that it knows that you know where this is all going, but getting there is 90% of the fun. The first trailer sets the stage. We’re not in Woodsboro anymore.

So without knowing what twists and turns await us, here’s what we know so far about Scream VI.

The Survivors of Scream (2022) Are Back for More

Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Mason Gooding in Scream VI (2023)

(Photo by Philippe Bosse/©Paramount Pictures)

The new movie follows sisters Sam and Tara Carpenter (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega) who, obviously, made it out of the last movie in once piece (despite Tara seemingly being earmarked for a Drew Barrymore-esque quick exit right in the beginning). Sam’s bloodline connection to original Scream (1996) killer Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) will once again be a major story point this time around as well – is she just a victim, or will her father’s dark side manifest itself? (Note she says, “There’s a darkness inside of me” in the trailer). Twins Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding) also follow the Carpenter sister to the big city, and tabloid TV journalist-turned-best-selling-author Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) returns to her NYC home turf to once again get caught up in the mayhem.

The Team Behind the Scenes Returns As Well

William Sherak, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Kevin Williamson, Tyler Gillett, and Chad Villella on the set of Scream (2022)

(Photo by Brownie Harris/©Paramount Pictures)

The entire crew behind Scream (2022) are back, too. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not) are once again at the helm, alongside producers William Sherak, James Vanderbilt, and Paul Neinstein. Vanderbilt also co-wrote the script with Guy Busick, like they did for the last installment. The whole creative team returning combined with the fact that these sequels are coming out in much quicker succession than previous Scream films (which usually had a few years’ gap time in between) gives Scream VI the feeling of being a more direct and urgent continuation of the story.

Unfortunately, Neve Campbell Has Tapped Out

Neve Campbell in Scream (2022)

(Photo by Brownie Harris/©Paramount Pictures)

Despite returning for Scream V, original star Neve Campbell won’t be making the trek to the Big Apple. Sidney Prescott is still very much alive, but Campbell has cited contractual drama as the reason she won’t be joining the hunt for the latest Ghostface. The actress released a statement explaining the situation to fans, saying, “Sadly I won’t be making the next Scream film. As a woman, I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream. I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise. It’s been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my Scream fans, I love you. You’ve always been so incredibly supportive to me. I’m forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years.”

…But Hayden Panettiere Is Back In

Hayden Panettiere in Scream VI (2023)

(Photo by Philippe Bosse/©Paramount Pictures)

What’s something horror movies have always taught us? If you don’t see a character’s final breath, you can’t ever assume they’re actually dead. Despite appearing to be killed in Scream 4, we never got conclusive proof that Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby Reed was a goner. An Easter Egg in Scream V teased her fate – While Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid) is watching a YouTube video dissecting the Stab films (the film-within-a-film series based on the events of Scream), one of the related videos on the side reads “Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed.” Reed will make her official return to the series in Scream VI, joining in the city-wide hunt for the new killer(s).

There’s Plenty of New Blood

Josh Segarra, Samara Weaving, Tony Revolori, and Dermot Mulroney

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff, Valerie Macon, Cindy Ord, David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Scream VI’s cast is rounded out by a mix of fresh-faced newcomers and veteran talent new to the Scream franchise. The cast includes Josh Segarra (She-Hulk: Attorney at Law), Tony Revolori (Spider-Man: No Way Home), Devyn Nekoda (Sneakerella), Liana Liberato (Novitiate), and Jack Champion (Avatar: The Way of Water). More familiar faces include Dermot Mulroney, who appears to be playing an NYPD detective, Henry Czerny, and directors Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett’s old Ready or Not leading lady, Samara Weaving.

The Story Relocates to New York City

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega in Scream VI (2023)

(Photo by Philippe Bosse/©Paramount Pictures)

As noted above, Scream VI moves the action to the Big Apple, as the Carpenter sisters and the Meeks-Martin twins have attempted to leave their traumatic experiences in Woodsboro behind and start afresh. Tara and the twins are now college students, while Sam is juggling jobs, and though they are now closer than they’ve ever been, all of them continue to struggle with moving on from their past in their own ways. That’s when Ghostface shows up and throws a wrench into that healing process.

Setting the film in New York was a deliberate decision on the part of the filmmakers. As Executive Producer Chad Villella explains, ““The one analogy we always use that if Scream V was the greatest hits, this one is the punk rock B side of the Scream franchise. We brought some action to it and really ramped up the intensity, which makes the movie more fun, makes the city more prevalent, and makes you feel like you’re in a different place and watching a different Scream, but still getting a genuine Scream movie at its core.”

It’s An Action Flick Hidden in a Horror Movie

The Ghostface Killer in Scream VI (2023)

(Photo by ©Paramount Pictures)

While Scream VI will, of course, have all the requisite chills and whodunit elements that we’ve come to associate with the franchise, one way the film will differ from its predecessors is that its big set pieces will be a lot more action-focused. The fight scenes have been elaborately choreographed with an emphasis on spectacular stunts, and as producer William Sherak put it, “We hid an action movie in a horror movie.”

The Meta Jokes Will Be Amped Up

Judging from the first teaser trailer, at least part of Scream VI will take place over Halloween, which will add to the chaos since you’ll have all of Manhattan running around (and strap-hanging on the subway) looking like potential Ghostfaces. In the clips we’ve seen so far, not only is the Scream mask apparently very popular (we see several different Ghostfaces on the subway), but look around and you’ll see subway riders dressed as Hellraiser’s Pinhead, The Babadook, and, of course, Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees.

This May Be a Much Different Ghostface

It’s a point hammered home several times in the trailer. Kirby Reed – who has now apparently become a professional Ghostface hunter – says “this isn’t like any other Ghostface.” Later, Ghostface himself says, “There’s never been one like me, Gale” while terrorizing Weathers. In between, we get brief glimpses of what Gale calls “a shrine” but what almost looks like Tony Stark’s lab if he was super into black robes instead of Iron Man armor. So what does it all mean? They’re not likely to go the “sicko fanboy/fangirl” route again (maybe), and this killer appears to be well-financed (do you know what the rent would be like for a giant, personal Ghostface museum?). It’s safe to say the characters really don’t know what they’re up against this time.

But His Voice Will Be the Same

Dermot Mulroney in Scream VI (2023)

(Photo by Philippe Bosse/©Paramount Pictures)

Like Anthony Daniels’ C-3PO across all the various Star Wars movies and TV shows, there is something comforting about a familiar voice that brings consistency despite new casts, new stories, and new locations. Roger L. Jackson, who has been the “Do you like scary movies?” voice on the phone since the original 1996 Scream and in every installment since (he even voiced the character in the 2019 television series Scream: Resurrection), will be back making prank calls yet again.

Scream VI opens in theaters on March 10, 2023.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.