With the announcement of Scary Movie 5 after a six-year hiatus, it’s unclear how much enthusiasm remains for the franchise. The sequel’s prospects now look even dimmer after the announcement that series mainstay Anna Faris will likely not be returning for a fifth outing.

Faris, who had her breakthrough film role playing Cindy Campbell in the original Scary Movie back in 2000, has returned as a variation of this same character for each of the previous sequels. She has served as a constant, of sorts, for the series, even as the Wayans brothers passed the creative torch to David Zucker after Scary Movie 2.

The fame generated by her participation in the once-popular franchise helped propel her into more substantive roles in films such as Brokeback Mountain and Observe and Report. Though still not above starring in the occasional slapstick comedy, Faris has garnered enough clout in the industry over the last decade that she is no longer relegated to such parts.

In a recent interview with Coming Soon, Faris revealed that she would not be reprising her role as Cindy Campbell in Scary Movie 5, at least not in any significant way. She left open the possibility of a cameo appearance, but that’s a far cry from her lead roles in the previous installments. The exact reason for Faris’ departure from the series remains unclear. She may be trying to distance herself from the character to which she’s frequently been type-cast, or may simply be avoiding a project that seems destined to under-perform at the box office. It’s also quite possible that the film’s writers simply wanted to move the franchise in a new direction, and therefore excluded the Cindy Campbell character altogether. Whatever the case, Faris is likely far more focused on the upcoming release of the new Sacha Baron Cohen comedy The Dictator, in which she co-stars.

Expectations for Scary Movie 5 already took a hit with the recent announcement that little-known director Malcolm Lee will be taking the reigns from series-veteran David Zucker. Though an injection of new blood may be just what the stale franchise needs, Lee (Undercover Brother, Soul Men) doesn’t necessarily have the chops to pull it off. Faris’ apparent absence likely won’t earn any points with fans, either. Then again, it’s at least something new. Dimension Films better launch one heck of an ad campaign if they want to see this rekindle the franchise.

Scary Movie 5 currently has a release date of January 11, 2013.

Source: Coming Soon