When it comes to a vast majority of the passionate, die-hard Scream franchise fans – there are timeless discussions regarding characters they believe were a significant loss to the long-running horror film series. Many love the genre intellect of Randy, or the comedic presence of Jennifer Jolie, but a massive portion of the fandom immediately fell for the unexpected scream queen Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed over 10 years ago (which totally includes us as well).
Now, as Scream 6 (official title TBD) gears up for a summer production, an official press release by Spyglass Media Group and Paramount Pictures confirms that Panettiere will return to portray the only franchise character with a previously ambiguous fate.
When we last actually saw the character in Scream 4, she was left for dead by one of the two killers with DVD/Blu-ray commentary suggesting that director Wes Craven intentionally left her fate unanswered due to her potential breakout inclusion. In the recent Scream relaunch, a well-placed easter egg revealed that Kirby did in fact survive the events of Scream 4, giving a survivors interview sometime in-between the events of Scream 4 and Scream 5. A deleted scene from the new movie also included a revealed missing person poster with a sketch of Kirby, suggesting her location was currently unknown.
Though it's safe to say that the deleted scene wasn't an indication of her actual plot, the casting news does confirm that the Kirby easter egg wasn't just something to please fans without follow-up. Now, the future of the Scream franchise has officially enlisted the survivors of Scream (2022) including Melissa Barrera (Sam Carpenter), Jasmin Savoy Brown (Mindy Meeks-Martin) Mason Gooding (Chad Meeks-Martin), Jenna Ortega (Tara Carpenter), Courtney Cox (who was the first cast member confirmed), and Panettiere, which could imply we're getting a more thorough 'Ghostface survivors' chapter to intensify the high-stakes bloodbath fans already adore.
Now, all we need is Neve Campbell's iconic Sidney Prescott to confirm her return, and we'll have an unstoppable unit of slasher survivors.
Scream 6 by Spyglass Media Group and Paramount Pictures is slated for a theatrical release on March 23, 2023. Are you ready for the return of Kirby Reed?