Start spreading the news: Ghostface is back and headed to the Big Apple.
Following the successful revival of the horror franchise with 2022's Scream, fans have been eagerly awaiting the next gory chapter starring everyone's favorite masked murderer. And according to a new trailer released on Jan. 19, the killer in Scream VI "isn't like any other Ghostface."
The fifth installment — starring Wednesday's Jenna Ortega and In the Heights' Melissa Barrera — premiered in January 2022 and brought viewers back to Woodsboro, California, the sleepy town where Ghostface first embarked on a murderous rampage nearly 25 years earlier.
In addition to Ortega and Barrera, Scream 5 also saw the return of franchise star Neve Campbell, who resumed the role of protagonist (and four-time Ghostface slayer) Sidney Prescott, along with former real-life couple David Arquette and Courteney Cox, who portrayed Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers (also a former couple) in all four of the previous films. The movie was the first in the Scream series to be directed by someone other than Wes Craven, who died in 2015. Filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett were tasked with reinventing the franchise, and the duo are returning again to bring Ghostface to Manhattan for Scream VI.
In the new film, the survivors of the previous installment face off against a whole new Ghostface — one that seems even more murderous and sadistic than its predecessors. And while the cast is staying mum on many of the film's details — Cox previously joked, "You actually have to be killed if you talk about it, so I'm not gonna say anything," — the directors have shared that the latest installment is "definitely more brazen and more aggressive" than the previous one.
"Part of our assignment on Scream 5 was to play the greatest hits, to really show that we were part of a long lineage of characters," Gillett told NME. "With Scream VI we wanted to subvert that warm blanket, and make something that's grittier and rawer."
Another way to get fans out of their comfort zone? Release real Ghostfaces across the country!
On March 2, 2023, news broke that the marketing campaign for the movie enlisted real people to dress as the spooky character and appear in public. Ghostfaces were seen in Sonoma, California, New Orleans and St. Louis.
From which new faces are joining the cast to the premiere, here's everything to know about Scream VI.
Which cast members are coming back for Scream 6?
Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera are resuming their roles as onscreen sisters Sam and Tara Carpenter. Courtney Cox — who has appeared in all six installments of the Scream franchise — is also returning as news reporter Gale Weathers.
Twin siblings Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) — two of the only other surviving cast members from Scream 5 — are also joining the Carpenter sisters in N.Y.C.
Which new members are joining the cast?
Scream fans were thrilled to learn that Hayden Panettiere — who starred in Scream 4 alongside Emma Roberts — would be reprising her role as Kirby Reed in Scream VI.
Panettiere spoke to PEOPLE about her return to the franchise in August 2022, saying, "I'm so happy that this is going to be my first project back because I have such fond memories of doing Scream 4."
"I love the character and I love her sass, and I feel like I'm coming back and I know her," she added of playing Kirby. "So, it's a little less intimidating. I'm excited. I'm really excited."
Samara Weaving, Josh Segarra, Liana Liberato, Tony Revolori and Dermot Mulroney have also joined the cast of Scream VI.
Which cast members are not returning?
Neve Campbell, who has played the starring role of Sidney Prescott in every Scream film since the 1996 original, will not be appearing in the sixth installment. The actress announced her "very difficult decision" not to return to the franchise in June 2022.
"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," she said in a statement. "I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise.
In August, Campbell opened up further to PEOPLE about her decision to step away, saying it was "truly" just "negotiation" related. "And as a woman in this business, I think it's really important for us to be valued and to fight to be valued," she explained. "I honestly don't believe that if I were a man and had done five installments of a huge blockbuster franchise over 25 years, that the number that I was offered would be the number that would be offered to a man."
Fellow Scream alum David Arquette is also not expected to return for Scream VI, as his character Dewey was killed in the last film.
Is there a trailer for Scream 6?
The first teaser trailer for Scream VI dropped in December 2022 and showed the surviving members of the Scream 5 gang on an N.Y.C. subway on Halloween — surrounded by people wearing Ghostface costumes.
A full-length trailer was then released in January 2023 and gave fans a more in-depth look at what horrors await the Carpenter sisters and their friends in the city. The sneak peek shows Sam (Barrera) and Tara (Ortega) having a deadly run-in with a Ghostface killer as they try to get help from bystanders in a bodega.
Sam is then seen discussing her connection to the Ghostface slayer; in the previous installment, it was revealed that she's the daughter of the original movie's villain Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich). "There's a darkness inside of me. It followed me here," she says. "And it's gonna keep coming for us."
Sam and Tara are then seen meeting up with Gale and Kirby, who comments on the group's unfortunate connection: "We share a certain history."
The trailer then shows the group uncovering something of a "shrine" to Ghostface before they plot how to take the killer down. Gale also has a one-on-one confrontation with the masked murderer in the trailer, during which she warns, "It never works out well for the dips—- in the mask," to which Ghostface retorts, "Maybe, but there's never been one like me, Gale."
On Feb. 8, 2023, a new trailer was released, featuring Ghostface terrorizing the group in their NYC home. In the clip, Panettiere warns, "This isn't like any other Ghostface."
The video also features Cox as well as a blood-curdling scream from Ortega.
What is Scream 6 about?
The latest installment picks up where Scream 5 left off, with Tara, Mindy and Chad headed to N.Y.C. to attend the fictional Blackmore University and Sam tagging along to protect her younger sister.
An official synopsis reads, "The Scream saga continues with the four survivors of the Ghostface killings as they leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter."
Ortega told Entertainment Tonight in June that "Ghostface gets a lot more intimidating" in the new movie. "I just read part of the script, and it just gets more and more gory. I think that this is probably the most aggressive and violent version of Ghostface we've ever seen, which I think will really be fun to shoot."
Barrera echoed that sentiment during a September interview with Collider, saying that Scream VI will be "a hundred times gorier."
The actress explained that the directors were constantly asking for "more blood and more sweat" on set.
"With the last Scream, they were tip-toeing and trying to be very respectful of what the franchise had been up until that point and keeping their inner gory dreams at bay. But with this one, they were like, 'We're going all out,' " she added.
When was Scream 6 released?
Scream VI was released in theaters on March 10, 2023. 2022's Scream is currently available to stream on Paramount+.