Last week, it was confirmed that Hayden Panettiere will return to the Scream franchise for Scream 6, as her character from Scream 4. What a damn treat.
2011’s Scream 4 is one of my favorite horror sequels, and I maintain that it’s severely underrated. Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby Reed is one of the standout characters from that movie, and has been a fan-favorite ever since.
Spoilers for Scream 4 ahead: At the end of the movie, Kirby is stabbed and we see her on the ground bleeding out, but still alive. It’s the last time we see her, and Scream fans have long speculated that she actually survived the attack. This was confirmed in Scream (2022) aka Scream 5, where an easter egg shows a video on YouTube in which Kirby is described as a survivor of the massacre.
Having the character back for 2023’s Scream 6 (currently untitled) feels like a realization of the great Wes Craven’s vision. On several occasions, the horror director stated that he believed Kirby survived and could pop up down the line.
As for how she could play into the story, we know that Scream 6 will see our surviving cast from 5 leaving Woodsboro. With rumors floating around about them going to NYC, I wouldn’t be surprised if Reed pops up somewhere in the city. If Tara is off to college, how cool would it be if Kirby was one of her professors? What if the two had to team up to take down a new killer? There’s a lot of directions they could go with it. Regardless, it’ll be great to see Kirby step into that veteran/mentor role that we saw of Dewey in 5.
This news also gives me confidence in the film’s script. Hayden Panettiere is one of my favorite actors of the last couple decades, but she’s usually selective when it comes to the projects she signs onto. She hasn’t starred in a film since 2016, so I imagine there was something compelling enough about the story that made her want to be a part of Scream 6.
I try not to set my expectations high, but Scream (2022) was a banger and I’ve got the utmost faith in Radio Silence. I can’t believe we’re less than a year away from the sequel. Let’s do this!