Melissa Barrera returns to horror following ‘Scream’ departure in new ‘Abigail’ trailer


A new trailer for the upcoming Universal film “Abigail” released today, featuring “Scream’” star Melissa Barrera.

The plot centers on the kidnapping of a 12-year-old ballerina, the daughter of a powerful underworld figure. Her kidnappers seek to collect $50 million for her ransom. All they have to do is watch the girl overnight in an isolated mansion. Her captors, including Barrera, soon discover that this is no normal little girl.

Other stars include Alisha Weir, Giancarlo Esposito, Dan Stevens, Kathryn Newton, William Catlett, Kevin Durand and Angus Cloud, who died in July.

Universal revealed little details of the monster thriller since last April when it announced its partnership with Radio Silence, the horror-making production team behind the revived “Scream” franchise.

News of Barrera starring in the Dracula-esque film was revealed shortly after former Scream directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett were signed onto the then-untitled project.

The directing duo reintroduced the Scream franchise to new audiences with its 2022 film, which starred Barrera alongside Jenna Ortega.

Their 2023 follow-up film “Scream VI” became the top-grossing film in the franchise’s history, earning $168.9 million at the global box office.

In November, Barrera was dropped from her role in the Scream franchise by its co-producer, Spyglass Media Group, after she demonstrated support on social media for Palestinians amid the Israel-Hamas war.

“Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp,” she wrote in a post on her Instagram story that was cited by the Hollywood Reporter, which earlier reported Barrera’s exit from Scream VII. “Cornering everyone together, with no where to go, no electricity no water … People have learnt nothing from our histories. And just like our histories, people are still silently watching it all happen. THIS IS GENOCIDE & ETHNIC CLEANSING.”

Spyglass Media Group confirmed to Variety that Barrera was dismissed due to comments they considered antisemitic.

In a now deleted tweet, “Happy Death Day” director Christopher Landon, who took over directing the seventh installment of “Scream” franchise, wrote: “[Broken heart emoji] This is my statement. Everything sucks. Stop yelling. This was not my decision to make.” Landon left “Scream VII” in December.

After her firing, Barrera shared a statement on her Instagram story condemning antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“As a latina, a proud Mexicana, I feel the responsibility of having a platform that allows me the privilege of being heard, and therefore I have tried to use it to raise awareness about issues I care about and to lend my voice to those in need.”

A day following Barrera’s firing, Deadline reported that Ortega would not be returning to the “Scream” franchise for reasons unrelated to her co-star’s firing. Ortega’s departure was reportedly discussed with Spyglass before the actor’s strike took place last summer.

The new ballerina vampire horror “Abigail” will hit theaters April 19.


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