Scream VI’s Hayden Panettiere Offers Update On Kirby Reed After Scream 4

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The horror genre has been thriving for a number of years now, as fans celebrate the ongoing renaissance. Some of the best horror movies returned to theaters as a result, including Wes Craven’s Scream franchise. The fifth movie was such a success that Paramount quickly ordered another, which will be released in March. And Scream VI’s Hayden Panettiere offered an update on her character Kirby Reed following the events of Scream 4

Moviegoers were disappointed when it was revealed that Neve Campbell wouldn’t be back as Sidney Prescott in Scream VI, due to a pay dispute. But luckily directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett brought back another fan favorite character to the franchise: Kirby Reed played by Hayden Panettiere. The Heroes alum recently spoke to EW about how her character has changed since the events of Scream 4. She offered:

She’s come a long way. What happened to her has obviously impacted her life, and it sends her in a certain direction, but she’s still the same old Kirby at the heart of it. She’s just a little older, a little wiser, but just as spitfire-y, and snarky, and all that good stuff.

Sign me up. Kirby was one of the biggest fan favorite characters from Scream 4, which was also the last installment of the franchise to be released before Wes Craven’s death. Fans have long debated whether or not she was alive after being stabbed by one of the Ghostface killers, and they’ll be thrilled to see an older version of Hayden Panettiere’s survivor when she returns to the big screen all these years later.

Hayden Panettiere’s comments to EW help to paint a picture of how we’ll meet Kirby during Scream VI. The upcoming horror movie’s full trailer only featured a few brief glimpses of the returning character, so there will no doubt be plenty of theories about her role. I’m just hoping to see her flex those horror nerd muscles again, like in her truly iconic Ghostface call from Scream 4

Aside from the noticeable lack of Neve Campbell, Scream VI will also be breaking new ground by shifting the story from Woodsboro to New York City. All of the footage released so far has teased how this new setting will shift the movie’s action and suspense, especially in places like the Subway. You can re-watch the full trailer for Scream VI below:

As previously mentioned, fans theorized about whether or not Kirby survived Scream 4 for years after its release. While she got stabbed by Charlie (Rory Culkin) after he revealed he was one of the killers, her eyes never actually closed and we didn’t see her dead body. Her survival was confirmed in 2022’s Scream during an Easter Egg, and now the filmmakers have brought her back in all her glory. 

While fans are obviously happy to finally have Kirby return to the Scream franchise, there is one aspect of her upcoming appearance that folks are sounding off about online. Namely the wig that Hayden Panettiere is shown rocking. A number of memes have already been made comparing her to Tiffany from Chucky. Still, that hasn’t quelled moviegoers’ excitement about the next chapter in the slasher property. 

Scream VI is currently expected to arrive in theaters on March 10th. In the meantime, check out the 2023 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. Hopefully another sequel is ordered, giving Neve Campbell the chance to make a new deal and return. Fingers crossed. 

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