Fan-Favorite Scream 4 Character Confirmed Alive in New Movie

It's been ten years since audiences went back to Woodsboro and the financial failure of 2011's Scream 4 almost made it seem like the meta-slasher franchise was finished forever. Just like the killer at the end of the movie though, they always come back, and this week saw the release of Scream, the fifth in the series. For the most part the new Scream movie makes references to the original trilogy in the series, and spends a lot of time setting up the new crop of characters, but a lingering plot thread from Scream 4 was officially confirmed in the movie in the most subtle way possible, specifically that one character actually survived. Potential spoilers follow!

Though the return of the legacy characters was a big part of Scream 4's appeal top fans at the time, but just like the new movie some of the fresh faces that appeared ended up becoming franchise favorites. Among those in Scream 4 was Heroes star Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed, the best friend of Emma Roberts' Jill and the new movie-obsessed expert for the 2011 sequel. During the events of Scream 4 it's sort of implied that Kirby died, having been stabbed by Rory Culkin's Charlie and left for dead, but 2022's Scream confirms that Kirby is alive and well.

Scream 4 kirby
(Photo: Dimension)

In a moment that lampoons YouTube accounts dedicated to tearing down major movie franchises, a blink-and-you'll-miss-it Easter egg on the side confirms Kirby's fate. On the side of the main video being played is a recommended video titled "Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed" and featuring a photo of Panettiere as the thumbnail.

No further mention of Kirby is made in the movie and it's possible that this Easter egg was just there to give fans of the series some closure for a character whose death was left incredibly ambiguous. To take it a step further though, perhaps it's a seed being planted for a potential sixth Scream movie, one that brings Panettiere's Kirby together with Jasmin Savoy Brown's Mindy Meeks-Martin, the film-obsessed character in the 2022 movie.

"This new cast of characters is so wonderful. The legacy cast, they're so wonderful," co-director Tyler Gillett recalled to Total Film previously. "I think what we discovered, and what [screenwriters] Guy [Busick] and James [Vanderbilt] did, is they found a real reason for the next story to exist. We know that there is more gas in the tank. There are more stories to be told in Woodsboro, and about these characters, for sure."  

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Scream is now playing in theaters.