This year's Scream confirmed that Scream 4's Kirby, played by Hayden Panettiere, had unexpectedly survived her bout with Ghostface many years ago, while the actor herself claimed that her more official return in the upcoming Scream 6 was at her own request. Panettiere didn't specify whether she requested to return for this year's film or for Scream 6, as the filmmakers have previously revealed they attempted to bring the character back in a more official capacity but schedules couldn't align, but hearing her enthusiasm for the character and for the franchise will surely have fans more excited than ever for the new entry. Scream 6 is currently slated to hit theaters on March 31, 2023.
"I called them up myself and was like 'So... you guys don't happen to wanna bring Kirby back, do you?'" Panettiere recently shared with Good Morning America. "I wanted to be in it that badly."
Throughout the franchise's history, the opening scenes of films have featured major stars meeting their demises at the hands of Ghostface, leading some audiences to wonder if Kirby might only be returning to get killed off in the new film's opening minutes. When asked if this was the case, Panettiere teased, "I don't think I can [say]. But I don't think anyone's gonna be disappointed."
As compared to other slasher series, when Scream characters are seemingly killed in the narrative and their survival isn't revealed before the credits roll, they rarely make a comeback. For more than a decade, fans have been wondering if Kirby was really killed in Scream 4, with this year's Scream planting the seed of her survival with an obscure YouTube thumbnail regarding an interview with Kirby as a "survivor" of a Woodsboro murder spree.
One character who won't be making their return, however, is Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott, despite having appeared in all five installments of the series.
"Sadly I won't be making the next Scream film," Campbell shared in a statement last month. "As a woman I have had to work extremely hard in my career to establish my value, especially when it comes to Scream."
She added, "I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise. It's been a very difficult decision to move on. To all my Scream fans, I love you. You've always been so incredibly supportive to me. I'm forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years."
Scream 6 is scheduled to hit theaters on March 31, 2023.
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