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A Fan-Favorite Scream 4 Character Is Returning For Scream 6

The "Scream" film franchise has been a staple of horror for decades. The latest entry, titled "Scream," arguably reinvigorated the series. The overall fifth film grossed a very healthy $140 million worldwide (per Box Office Mojo), and it received moderately positive reviews from critics. The film sits has a respectable critics score of 76% on Rotten Tomatoes, with many believing it honors the other films with its meta-humor and fun, grisly kills.

With that in mind, it's no surprise that not long after the film's successful run, "Scream 6" was officially announced to be in production less than a month after the premiere of "Scream" (per The Hollywood Reporter). This news was followed by an announcement that surviving characters played by Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, and Jenna Ortega would also be making their way back in "Scream 6" (via Variety). 

Now fans of "Scream 4" have cause to celebrate as a major character from that film is set to make their return for the forthcoming sequel.

Hayden Panettiere is coming back for Scream 6

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hayden Panettiere will be making her return to the "Scream" franchise for "Scream 6." News of her return comes more than a decade after first appearing in "Scream 4" back in 2011. Shortly after THR broke the news, the official "Scream" Twitter account shared the news with its following, "We won. We [expletive] won, #ScreamMovie fam" (via Twitter).

Panettiere's character, Kirby Reed, is the only Woodsboro teen who survives the events of "Scream 4," though her fate in that film was originally left slightly ambiguous. It's currently unclear in what capacity Kirby will be used in "Scream 6." But, as a survivor of Ghostface's reign of terror, it was seemingly only a matter of time before she re-entered the seemingly never-ending story. Panettiere is not the only alum to return for this new era in the "Scream" franchise, either. As fans saw, 2022's "Scream" included the return of Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers, and David Arquette as Dewey Riley.

There were actually a few subtle hints to Kirby's existence in "Scream." As Bleeding Cool pointed out in January 2022, there's actually an Easter egg in the form of a YouTube video title referencing an interview with Kirby about the events she survived. "Scream" directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett also told Nerdist that Kirby was almost included in the latest "Scream" film, but they didn't want it to seem like they were just forcing her character into the film. This seems to have been the right call, as it now leaves "Scream 6" with plenty of time to include the character and, hopefully, satisfactorily show fans what she's been up to since "Scream 4."