Neve Campbell 'grateful' to return for “Scream 7”: 'I was sad to miss the last one'

"I was really grateful that they came back to me in a respectful way," the actor says of the contract negotiations to bring her back.

Neve Campbell is just as happy as Scream fans are about her return in the long-running horror franchise's next film.

The actor first starred as Sidney Prescott in 1996's Scream, and she has returned for every one of the sequels except for the 2023's Scream VI due to contract negotiation issues. Now she's back for the upcoming Scream 7, and she says she's "so excited" to play Sidney again.

<p>Dimension Films/courtesy Everett Collection</p>

Dimension Films/courtesy Everett Collection

Related: Neve Campbell addresses possible Scream return: 'I would not be surprised to get a call'

"Those movies have been such a big part of my life and it means so much to me, and I was sad to miss the last one, to not be a part of it," Campbell told PEOPLE at the premiere of Reefer Madness: The Musical in Los Angeles on Thursday. "I was really grateful that they came back to me in a respectful way. I think that means a lot to women and to society. I'm grateful to be able to step in into Sidney's shoes again and tell her story."

Campbell also praised her character for being "so strong," adding that she's "inspired a lot of people."

"I meet a lot of fans who say her strength has helped them get through tough times," Campbell says. "And it means more than I could ever have imagined to some people."

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Campbell made headlines when she notably walked away from Scream VI, which marked the first time in the franchise's history that she skipped a movie. "As a woman, I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream," Campbell said in a statement after her departure. "I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise."

"I made a strong statement a few years ago," she later said. "Which is I did not believe that the way that I was treated would’ve happened if I had been a male and that I deserve a certain thing for having carried this franchise for as long as I have."

Campbell announced her return for Scream 7 in March of this year. "I’m so excited to announce this news!!! Sidney Prescott is coming back!!!!" Campbell posted on Instagram along with a cover page for an "Untitled Scream 7" script. "It’s always been such a blast and an honor to get to play Sidney in the Scream movies. My appreciation for these films and for what they have meant to me, has never waned."

Related: Melissa Barrera will be 'proud forever' of Scream movies after being dropped from franchise

Director Kevin Williamson reposted Campbell's photo along with a caption of his own: "It’s been nearly 30 years since my very first script, Scream, was directed by the legendary Wes Craven. I never would have predicted what it would become. Or that I would be directing the seventh installment of the franchise. I am overcome with gratitude and excitement, and I can’t wait to take this journey with Neve and the entire Scream family as we bring back Sidney Prescott in the next chapter of the Scream franchise. Thank you to all the Scream fans. You are the gift that keeps giving."

Campbell returns to the series after the departure of 2022's Scream and Scream VI leading ladies Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega. In November, EW confirmed that production company Spyglass Media Group had dropped Barrera from the seventh Scream movie after she posted a series of social media posts expressing support for the Palestinian cause and criticizing Israeli actions since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Meanwhile, Ortega will not be appear in Scream 7 due to a scheduling conflict.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.