Fans who’ve been clamoring to see Hayden Panettiere return to the “Scream” franchise have gotten their wish.
Spyglass Media and Paramount Pictures announced Wednesday that Panettiere will appear in the upcoming sixth movie, reprising her role from 2011’s “Scream 4,” where she played Kirby Reed, a Woodsboro High School student and horror fanatic, who ultimately survived that movie’s Ghostface killer.
News of the fan-favorite character’s return comes after Spyglass and Paramount confirmed that four survivors from last year’s “Scream” would also return for the new movie. Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera star as sisters Tara and Sam Carpenter, respectively. Barrera’s character is revealed to be the biological daughter of Billy Loomis (the original “Scream” killer played by Skeet Ulrich). Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown are twin siblings Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin (the nephew and niece of Jamie Kennedy’s original “Scream” character Randy Meeks).
The new movie follows the quartet as they leave Woodsboro behind and attempt to start a fresh chapter, but with details around the film’s plot kept under wraps, it’s unclear exactly how Kirby fits into the picture. Principal photography is slated to begin in early summer, with the yet-to-be-titled movie set for theatrical release on March 31, 2023.
The sixth “Scream” movie will be helmed by the filmmaking team behind the fifth installment, with Radio Silence’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett directing, and James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick co-writing the screenplay.
Project X Entertainment’s Vanderbilt, Paul Neinstein and William Sherak serve as producers on the new project, with original “Scream” screenwriter Kevin Williamson and Chad Villella (the third member of Radio Silence) executive producing alongside Spyglass’ Gary Barber and Peter Oillataguerre, Ron Lynch, Cathy Konrad and Marianne Maddalena.
With a career spanning more than 25 years, Panettiere is best known for starring in hit shows like NBC’s “Heroes” (NBC) and films, including “Remember the Titans” (opposite Denzel Washington), “Custody” (with Viola Davis), “I Love You Beth Cooper,” “Bring It On: All or Nothing,” and “Ice Princess.” Panettiere’s return to the “Scream” franchise marks her first major acting gig since starring in ABC’s “Nashville” from 2012-2018.
Panettiere is repped by Mainstay Entertainment. The Hollywood Reporter first reported news of the actor’s involvement in the movie.