Why “Scream” Fans Think These Two Beloved Characters Might Return In A Future Movie

·5 min read

WARNING: There are major spoilers for the new Scream in this post.

@screammovies / Giphy

On the surface, Stu Macher and Kirby Reed (played by Matthew Lillard and Hayden Panettiere in the original Scream and Scream 4, respectively) don't seem to have anything in common, apart from a love of horror movies.

Stu in Scream and Kirby in Scream 4
Dimension Films

One big thing they do have in common? Fans desperately want them both to return to the franchise.

This might sound odd, because, wait, didn't they both die?

@hulu / Giphy / Via giphy.com

Let's consider Kirby first. Toward the end of Scream 4, after delivering one of my favorite moments in the movie (and whole franchise if we're being honest), she appears to be murdered by Charlie.

Kirby in Scream 4

However, pretty much since the movie came out, fans have been wondering if she actually survived, because we don't technically see her die.

Dimension Films

Director Wes Craven himself even said Kirby had likely survived.

Plus, while Kirby was stabbed twice in the gut, in the Scream universe, that's nothing a quick trip to the hospital can't fix.

Sidney in Scream 4

Hell, in Scream 4 Sidney also got stabbed twice, plus got the crap beat out of her by Jill not long after. And while Dewey (sadly) didn't make it through this new movie, he points out that he's been stabbed nine times over the course of the first four.

Dimension Films

And if screenwriter Kevin Williamson's original vision for Scream 5 had panned out, there definitely would have been room for Kirby.

Kirby in Scream 4

He told Bloody Disgusting: "Jill went to college, and then murders started on the campus. And it was a killer who knew she was the killer from the last film. So the killer kept trying to expose her, so she would have to kill to keep it covered up. So it was killer meets killer. And Sidney was a professor at that school."

I could definitely see Jill and Kirby going to the same college — just like Sidney and Randy did. Also, while it's hard to imagine Kirby becoming a serial killer, it's possible that she would have figured out that Charlie wasn't working alone in Scream 4, and that Jill was the mastermind behind it all.

Either way, it would have been easy enough to include Kirby in Scream 5, or even Scream 6, which, according to Williamson, "was gonna answer whatever happened between Dewey and Gale."

Dimension Films

That said, there were rumors that Williamson didn't intend for Kirby to survive.

Kirby in Scream 4

Legend has it that while Wes Craven wanted to bring Kirby back, Williamson was content to leave her for dead. It ended up being a moot point, as Scream 5 (as Williamson envisioned it) wasn't greenlit.

Dimension Films

As it turns out, the new Scream officially settled the debate. Eagle-eyed fans have noticed that while Richie is watching a YouTube video about Stab 8, there's a recommended video in the sidebar called "Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed!"

While many fans had been hoping Kirby would return in the new film, it seemed unlikely, given that Hayden Panettiere seems to have taken a break from acting. (The last project she was involved in was Nashville, back in 2018, and, at least according to her IMDb page, she doesn't have plans to work on anything else anytime soon.)

While many fans had been hoping Kirby would return in the new film, it seemed unlikely, given that Hayden Panettiere seems to have taken a break from acting. (The last project she was involved in was Nashville, back in 2018, and, at least according to her IMDb page, she doesn't have plans to work on anything else anytime soon.)

Dimension Films / Twitter: @keeshfests

Still, there's always Scream 6!

All right, now let's move on to Stu.

Stu in Scream

Stu's potential survival is a divisive topic among fans. While some understandably believe that he's dead and gone, having lost quite a bit of blood and having a TV pushed onto his head in the original Scream, others hold out hope that he managed to live through it all.

Dimension Films

Full disclosure: While I totally understand wanting to see more of Matthew Lillard as Stu...I don't really buy it.

Stills of Stu's death in Scream

As pointed out earlier, it's not unusual for people in the Scream movies to survive brutal stabbings. If Stu had merely been stabbed a bunch and survived, well, that's just par for the course. But as someone who grew up with those big-ass tube TVs in the '90s, it's very hard for me to believe one of them fell on his head and he what, just ended up with a super-burnt face?

Dimension Films

But hey, what do I know?

Stu in Scream

According to Matthew Lillard, he actually was supposed to return as the overarching villain in Scream 3. Back in 2010, he told the Pop My Culture podcast:

"The idea was to have me…[with a burned-up face] orchestrating mayhem from prison — people attacking high schools."

He went on to say that about six weeks before production was scheduled to start, the Columbine massacre happened, and the idea was scrapped and replaced with the Scream 3 we know and love (or loathe, in some cases).

Dimension Films

So, could Stu still return?

Screenshot from the new Scream of a YouTube sidebar featuring a video called "Did the real-life Stu Macher survive?

Like Kirby, Stu was mentioned in the new Scream movie — in the form of another recommended YouTube video, titled, "Did the real-life Stu Macher survive?"

Paramount Pictures / Via reddit.com

It's possible that this is a hint that Stu might be alive, or it's the filmmakers' way of playfully acknowledging a debate that's been raging for over a decade.

Stu in Scream

Given that these YouTube video titles leave Stu's fate much more ambiguous than Kirby's, I would personally be very surprised to see Stu return in a future Scream.

Dimension Films

But again, anything's possible — especially considering we did see the return of a 100% dead character from the original Scream.

Either way, Matthew Lillard seems to be in full support of the direction the Scream franchise has taken — with or without him.

Do you think we'll see Kirby or Stu in a future Scream movie? Tell us in the comments!

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting