Scream Filmmakers Originally Wanted Rian Johnson and Hayden Panettiere Cameos

Filmmakers Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin had a lot of pressure on them for the latest Scream, as it marked the first installment in the series that wasn't directed by Wes Craven, with the legendary filmmaker having died in 2015. While the critical reviews and box office response has been positive, thanks in large part to how the film honored the past yet paved the way for the future, not all of their plans for the sequel were able to be realized. The pair recently pointed out that, while filmmaker Rian Johnson and actor Hayden Panettiere were passively acknowledged in the effort, the initial plans were to feature much more direct inclusion. The new Scream is in theaters now.

Due to his work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson has earned his fair share of praise and criticisms over the years, as his venture to the galaxy far, far away circumvented expectations of what a Star Wars film could be. Johnson was referenced in Scream as being the one to blame for why the in-world Stab franchise had taken such a turn for the worse, with the filmmakers having hoped to actually include Johnson himself in a scene.

"We reached out and wanted to do a fake, ET/Extra press junket thing with him," Gillett shared with Variety. "He was off making Knives Out 2. So he had bigger fish to fry than our Scream sequel."

Panettiere previously starred in Scream 4 as Kirby, a fan-favorite character with an encyclopedic knowledge of horror movies, though she was attacked by Ghostface and seemingly killed. For the past decade, fans have wondered if Kirby could have survived, with a brief shot of a YouTube video with "survivor" Kirby confirming she wasn't dead. The filmmakers noted that they attempted to find a way for Panettiere to reprise her role in a more substantial capacity.

"We did talk about it, and we really wanted to. We had a Zoom with Hayden and we really wanted to try to find a way to get her into the movie," producer Chad Villella shared with The Wrap. "In fact, in that YouTube section of the movie, that was initially going to be a clip of Rian Johnson, talking about making Stab 8 with Woodsboro survivor Kirby. But we weren't able to get all the pieces in place in time to get it into the movie. So we had to quickly pivot and Hayden was totally understandable about all that. But, we wanted to get some nod to Kirby being in the movie, and then we did get her voice to lend to the 'to Wes' toast."

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The new Scream is in theaters now.

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