Melissa Barrera is still booked and busy despite her abrupt exit from the seventh film in the Scream franchise.
Sundance Film Festival offered the first glimpse of the 33-year-old’s next project on Wednesday, December 6, when announcing the lineup for the 40th annual event. The horror comedy movie Your Monster is set to premiere at the festival in January 2024, and the newly revealed stills hint at a unique love story.
Your Monster is based on Caroline Lindy‘s short film of the same name and follows a young woman who falls for a strange creature she discovers living in her closet. Lindy directed, wrote and produced the spooky rom-com. In addition to Barrera, Your Monster’s cast includes Tommy Dewey, Meghann Fahy, Edmund Donovan and Kayla Foster.
News broke last month that Barrera was fired from Scream VII due to her comments about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine. Variety reported on November 21 that Barrera reposted social media content that accused Israel of “genocide and ethnic cleansing” and distorting “the Holocaust to boost the Israeli arms industry,” which ultimately led to her being dismissed from the project.
Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind the newest batch of Scream films, subsequently denied that Barrera’s pro-Palestine comments prompted her exit.
“Spyglass’ stance is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement of hate in any form, including false references to genocide, ethnic cleansing, Holocaust distortion or anything that flagrantly crosses the line into hate speech,” the company’s statement read.
Barrera, who played Sam Carpenter in the slasher franchise, publicly addressed the situation via her Instagram Story one day later, writing, “First and foremost I condemn Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. I condemn hate and prejudice of any kind against any group of people.”
In her social media statement, Barrera noted that she felt a “responsibility” to speak out.
“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,” she continued. “Every person on this earth — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status — deserves equal human rights, dignity and, of course, freedom.”
Despite the Scream saga, Barrera’s career is still taking off. She has an untitled Universal Monsters movie lined up with Radio Silence Productions, teaming up with filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez and Chad Villella, who previously directed Barrera in two Scream films.