The nature of the Scream franchise and its impressive body count means that, unless a character is confirmed to be alive by the time the credits roll, it's unlikely we can expect a character to make a return in new installments. This means that longtime stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette are all reprising their roles from the original four films for the current sequel, and Scream 4's Marley Shelton is also making a return. Much like the film's unexpected narrative, this latest Scream still manages to deliver audiences some surprises, which includes appearances from unlikely figures from the franchise's past. The new Scream is in theaters now.
WARNING: Major spoilers below for the new Scream
As hinted at in the film's trailers, this latest Scream and its cast of new characters have unlikely connections to characters from the legacy of the series, including Melissa Barrera's Sam being revealed as the daughter of Skeet Ulrich's Billy Loomis from the original film. As if merely confirming this early on in the film isn't enough of a surprise, Sam struggles to mentally cope with the fact that her biological father was a twisted serial killer, which even includes visions of Billy communicating with her. This means Ulrich returned to the franchise to reprise his role, sporting a look similar to how he was last seen in the first film, warning his daughter that she might ultimately replicate his deadly crimes.
Another reveal that was somewhat hinted at before the film's release was that the characters Mindy and Chad were the niece and nephew of Jamie Kennedy's Randy Meeks, who died in Scream 2. In Scream 3, however, he appeared in video form to relay advice to the surviving characters, with the video being delivered courtesy of his sister Martha. Actor Heather Matarazzo played Martha in that 2000 film, who returns to reprise her role for this latest Scream.
With the last installment in the series having debuted more than a decade ago, fans of the series have been speculating for quite some time about whether beloved characters from early installments could ever return, mainly centering around Randy, as his murder took place in a closed van. Fans have also wondered if Matthew Lillard's Stu could ever return, despite having a TV smashed on his head, with audiences having to settle for this film's finale unfolding at his house, replicating the conclusion of the original movie.
In another fun Easter egg, at one point in the film, Richie (Jack Quaid) is browsing YouTube and a recommended video is shown that notes "Interview with Survivor Kirby Reed." In Scream 4, Kirby was played by Hayden Panetierre, whose death was never officially confirmed and fans have speculated about for years. Those fans are sure to be relieved that her death wasn't confirmed because she didn't actually die.
The new Scream is in theaters now.
Were you surprised that these characters returned? Let us know in the comments below!