AdventurePlace

3rd Feb 2022

Scream (2022)

Corrected entry: It's said that Sidney appeared in every "Stab" movie except Stab 8 - but in Scream 4, Jenny says that Sid only appeared in the first three.

Correction: That isn't what Jenny says. Marnie says: "That has nothing to do with Woodsboro. I-I thought you said "Stab" was based on true stories." Jenny Randall: "The first three, The original trilogy is based off Sidney Prescott, but then she threatened to sue them if they used her stories. So they just started making stuff up. Stab 5 has time travel, which is by far the worst." She never said the movies didn't have Sidney in them after the first three, just they aren't based on true stories.

I don't think there is a leap in logic in the original post; she threatened to sue the production if they used her story, I can't see how they would avoid a lawsuit by exploiting her character further by putting her in more movies? If it's not a retcon, it's at best a rather problematic line.

Sammo Premium member

Once a film has put a character name into existence and been released, the studio owns the copyright to that name. Sidney Prescott as a character could still be used in Stab films.

For that matter, you can always argue that a person does not own the story of her own life to begin with, that's not the point. The point is that since it was stated that they were afraid of the legal action Sidney Prescott threatened, and changed course to the saga for that reason, they would -not - put Sidney Prescott in other, even more outrageous and exploitative, material.

Sammo Premium member

I'm not trying to be rude, but I can tell that you do not know anything at all about copyright law. The above user was correct. You don't know in what context Sidney was used in the following Stab films. The only thing we know about those later films is the very brief description of time travel in Stab 5, and the two fake outs from Stab 6&7.

No offense taken at all, it's true! I am no lawyer and I wasn't trying to get in the intricacies of copyright law and rights of publicity. I am just saying that the movie (previous movie, from 10 years before, in an obscure line of dialogue easily retconned or forgotten...) mentions that Sidney threatened them with a lawsuit, there's no reason why they'd stir her putting her even in cameos multiple times in their every third rate following schlocky flicks. It's simple as that. Would they win a lawsuit, on the grounds of what you (or the other poster) mentioned? Sure, but they never said she did sue them, the point was for the studio to avoid that sort of legal trouble entirely.

Sammo Premium member

I think we're looking at the difference between a mistake and a criticism with this one. I agree that in Scream 4 the most reasonable interpretation is that Sidney successfully got (at the least) her name removed from Stab 4 onward (especially since without any further "true" events to draw from they would've had to start making things up anyhow). But the line can be taken other ways, and even if it's a stretch or goes against the spirit the line was written in, it's different from a mistake.

TonyPH

It still leaves a plot hole of why Sidney threatened to sue. If not for likeness / appearance, then for what?

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