The directors of the horror franchise's sixth entry talk about their new face of terror, the return of Hayden Panettiere, and the departure of Neve Campbell.

Scream VI

Horror fans are getting their first look today at Scream VI (out March 10) with a teaser that finds the four young survivors from this year's Scream once again fearing for their safety.

The big difference this time around? The quartet — Melissa Barrera's Sam, Jasmin Savoy Brown's Mindy, Mason Gooding's Chad, and Jenna Ortega's Tara — are not in leafy Woodsboro but on a subway train in New York, where this latest chapter in the Ghostface saga takes place.

"They have all come to New York to go to school," Scream VI director Tyler Gillett tells EW. "One of the things that was so exciting to us was bringing the story and bringing this slasher icon into a new location. I think across the board, for the writers Guy [Busick] and Jamie [Vanderbilt] as well, this was such a fun opportunity to explore what that would feel like, bringing the world of Scream into that setting. The teaser is a good example of how we're having fun with that throughout the movie. That is one of many sequences in the movie that uses the city really to its benefit and in surprising and thrilling ways."

The quartet will be joined in New York by Courteney Cox's reporter, best-selling author, and all-around Ghostface expert, Gale Weathers.

"It's always good to see Gale Weathers and how her life has evolved," says Gillett's fellow director Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. "It's really nice to see Gale in her element in New York."

The Montreal-shot Scream VI will also see the return to the franchise of Hayden Panettiere, who became a fan favorite for her performance as Kirby Reed in Scream 4.

"She was wonderful. She was really great," says Gillett. "It was fun to have her around to tell us about Scream 4. She had a lot of great stories she got to share. It's that Scream family; it's continuing to grow for us."

New onscreen additions to the franchise include Dermot Mulroney, Tony Revolori, and Samara Weaving, star of the Scream VI directors' 2019 horror hit Ready or Not. Can the pair reveal anything about her role in the film?

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures + Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI." © 2022 Paramount Pictures. Ghost Face is a Registered Trademark of Fun World Div., Easter Unlimited, Inc. ©1999. All Rights Reserved.”. Ghost Face is a Registered Trademark of Fun World Div., Easter Unlimited, Inc. ©1999. All Rights Reserved.”
'Scream VI'
| Credit: Philippe Bossé/Paramount Pictures + Spyglass Media Group

"She's in the movie!" jokes Bettinelli-Olpin. "Uh, we can't, really, because of spoiler stuff. But we've been wanting to work with Samara again since the minute we wrapped on Ready or Not, so it was just such a joy to get her out to Montreal to shoot this with us."

The pair are happy to confirm that franchise veteran Roger L. Jackson will once again voice Ghostface and can talk a smidge about a new version of the Ghostface mask featured in the film, which you can exclusively see above.

"It will all make sense in the context that you see it in the movie," says Gillett. "That was another one of the really interesting risks and creative approaches in this movie. It's meta in a different way, and the mask very much factors into that."

"It was not an arbitrary choice," adds Bettinelli-Olpin.

Scream VI executive producer Chad Villella recalls that the shoot for the film was very different from that of Scream (2022), the first movie in the franchise overseen by the Radio Silence collective of himself, Gillett, and Bettinelli-Olpin.

"We did Scream 5 during the middle of the pandemic. We did Scream VI when the world opened back up again," he says. "We ended up having a lot more cases of COVID, and honestly, just kudos to the entire production team for juggling the schedule around different sicknesses that happened on-set, and to the actors for coming to play, and being ready all the time, and knowing that we had to shift the schedule around, and had to make some difficult choices."

One longtime cast member not returning this time around is Neve Campbell, who played the long-suffering Sidney Prescott in every previous series entry dating back to the first movie, 1996's Wes Craven-directed Scream. In June, the actress released a statement in which she announced that she would not appear in Scream VI because of a salary dispute.

While Gillett admits Campbell's departure affected the script "greatly," he argues that there is a silver lining to the actress's absence evident in the movie's depiction of the young survivors from the previous film.

"We love Neve, and we're huge fans of Sidney Prescott," says the director, "but it felt like there's an opportunity to really dig into this new crop of characters, and I think people will be really surprised and pleased with how successfully this movie does that. This movie's been in our lives now for quite a while, but I think that we are still consistently surprised by how rich and how interesting and deep the relationship is between the four of them in this movie."

The cast of Scream VI also includes Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Devyn Nekoda, and Josh Segarra. The film hits theaters March 10. See the new teaser and an exclusive photo from Scream VI above.

Pick up a copy of Entertainment Weekly's Ultimate Guide to Screamavailable online.

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