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“What’s your favorite scary movie?” For a lot of horror fans, Wes Craven’s 1996 hit Scream is high on their list. The movie was such a game-changer that it singlehandedly revived the slasher genre and kicked off a franchise of its own. Craven himself returned for three sequels before his passing in 2015. But now the masked Ghostface is roaring back to life without him.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett — the filmmakers behind 2019 horror-comedy Ready or Not — will direct Scream 5. But fans are worried about what story the new entry will tackle. Scream 4 already tried to (kind of) pass the torch. And the recent TV series attempted a fresh reboot. So where will the fifth film go? According to reports, right back where it started.

Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette at the premiere of 'Scream 4'
Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette at the premiere of ‘Scream 4’ | Getty Images

‘Scream 5′ needs to reunite the series’ main trio one last time

In a recent interview with Rotten Tomatoes, Neve Campbell — who played Sidney Prescott in all four Scream films — admitted she is in talks to return. The actress said negotiations are underway, though they are complicated by the coronavirus pandemic. Campbell previously expressed concern about continuing the franchise without Craven but might be warming to the idea.

“The two directors wrote me a very touching letter about Wes Craven and how he was such an inspiration to them and how they really want to honor him, and that meant a great, great deal to me,” Campbell said. “So we’ll see. Hopefully, we can all see eye to eye on the project and find a way to make it.”

If Campbell does return, it’s likely Scream 5 will next try to recruit Courteney Cox and David Arquette. Together, the three actors form the only consistent survivors throughout each installment. And fans largely consider them a unit unto themselves. So it’d be weird to bring Sidney back for a fifth showdown with Ghostface without Gale and Dewey along for the ride.

Patrick Dempsey is one of few stars who could return from the sequels

Starting with Drew Barrymore in the original film, tons of notable stars have popped up in the Scream series. But aside from the main trio, few characters have lived all through the sequels. Jamie Kennedy’s Randy Meeks and Liev Schreiber’s Cotton Weary carried over from the first film into the first two sequels. But neither made it past Scream 3.

In fact, the only other notable survivor in Scream 3 is Detective Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey). That entry offered a hint of romance between Kincaid and Sidney, though the series never addressed it. If Campbell does come back, perhaps she and Kincaid could cross paths again.

Scream 2‘s only survivors are sorority girls Lois (Rebecca Gayheart) and Murphy (Portia de Rossi) and cameraman Joel (Duane Martin). The latter wisely skips town once the killing starts. So he’s unlikely to pop up again. Scream 4 also left Kirby’s (Hayden Panettiere) fate unknown. And Deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) pulled a Dewey and narrowly survived.

Fans are already speculating Sidney Prescott could be the killer this time

Outside of the three main stars, the most likely returning cast members are probably Dempsey and Shelton. Either character could add continuity to Scream 5. And since it will be the first installment after Craven’s death, the movie will need that connective tissue to win over longtime fans.

As far as how Scream 5 will progress the story, fans are already speculating whether Sidney could finally snap and become the killer herself. After all, she’s survived four previous serial killing sprees. That amount of trauma is bound to take its toll. And the endless cycle of violence has long been a theme of the series.

Of course, taking the heroine fans have cheered for over the years and turning her into a murderer is quite the about-face. Even if such an arc would make sense, it might feel unsatisfying. The Scream series has always managed to brilliantly toe the line between horror and comedy. Revealing Sidney as the new Ghostface might undermine that tonal balance too much.