Scream 6 Producer: Matthew Lillard's Stu Macher Could Return

[Warning: This story contains Scream VI spoilers.] The sixth Scream is about legacy. When survivor sisters Samantha (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) relocate to New York City one year after the latest Ghostface killings in Woodsboro (in 2022's Scream), they're horrified to find the past has followed them to the Big Apple. In a third-act twist, Sam and Tara discover a Ghostface shrine erected by a trio of twisted killers: NYPD Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) and his psychopathic children, Quinn (Liana Liberato) and Ethan (Jack Champion), the vengeful family of Scream 5 killer Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid).

Not only does the shrine hidden in an old movie theater display a collection of items from past movies alongside Stab memorabilia — the movie-within-a-movie franchise — Scream VI references a popular Internet theory: that Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) survived his apparent death in 1996's Scream. The Wes Craven-directed original revealed Stu as one of two killers behind the Woodsboro murders with Sam's father, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), before Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) kills Stu by dropping a TV set onto the horror movie-obsessed serial killer's head.

When Scream 4 survivor Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) uses that same heavy television to kill Ethan, she quips she "saw that in a scary movie once."

(Photo: Paramount Pictures)

Did Stu Macher Die in Scream?

In an interview with Variety, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett confirmed the nod to the Stu conspiracy — and the subsequent TV kill — was a meta way of confirming Stu's death.

"That is scripted, specifically, as a brutal and definitive kill. Guy [Busick] and Jamie [Vanderbuilt] wrote the TV falling on Ethan's head as a brutal and definitive kill." 

Added Vanderbuilt, "I just loved that moment. Once we got the idea of her saying, 'I saw that in a scary movie once,' we had to do it. It's the one last pop up! It was more about that than saying anything about all of the Stu truthers out there."

Producers Talk Matthew Lillard's Stu Macher Scream Return

Asked if it were still possible for Lillard to return in a future Scream movie, Vanderbuilt said, "There's no good answer, so I will never confirm or deny stuff like that." 

Producer William Sherak added that "anything's possible," with producer Paul Neinstein noting "characters can come in and out" of the franchise like Panettiere's Kirby. 

"There's different ways to do it," Neinstein said. "It's such a part of all of their lives; they have an affinity for Scream."

In a previous interview with Entertainment Tonight, original Scream writer and franchise co-creator Kevin Williamson said of a Stu Macher return: "You can't say 'never' ... There's always that twin brother theory." Lillard has supported the "Stu is alive" conspiracy, revealing in a recent interview that he would "love to come back" to the franchise. 

Scream VI is now playing in theaters.