It’s been too long since we’ve seen the former child star, who has skyrocketed after starring in “Heroes” and “Nashville,” on our screens.
After a years-long career break, Panettiere is set to return to one of her most iconic roles for the latest “Scream” sequel, according to The Hollywood reporters.
Panettiere will reprise her character, Kirby Reed, along with stars Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding and Jenna Ortega, who directed the fifth installation of “Scream” earlier this year. That film, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and titled simply “Scream,” successfully revived the long-running slasher franchise, earning $ 140 million at the box office worldwide.
Courteney Cox will also return in the sixth “Scream” as journalist Gale Weathers, but Neve Campbell, who played the last girl in the original horror saga, Sidney Prescott, has not (yet!) Officially joined the group.
Fans have been calling for Panettiere’s return, as her character’s death in 2011’s “Scream 4” was left clearly ambiguous, leaving many to theorize that she actually survived.
Kirby, a passionate horror movie fan and best friend of Sidney Prescott’s teenage cousin Jill (Emma Roberts), took center stage in one of the most memorable sequences of the franchise, while she managed to outwit Ghostface in a deadly round of movie trivia. Moments later, however, she found herself on the receiving end of the killer’s blade.
Eleven years later, the character’s fate was revealed during a blinking Easter egg in the fifth “Scream”. Panettiere’s face can be seen briefly in a recommended video called “Interview with Woodsboro Survivor Kirby Reed!” while a character scrolls on YouTube.
Plot details on the upcoming sequel are kept under wraps, except for a vague bottom line that teases that the new film “continues with the four Ghostface murder survivors as they leave Woodsboro behind and start a new chapter,” according to Paramount Studios.
The currently untitled “Scream” sequel will hit theaters on March 31, 2023, with production starting this summer.
Panettiere last appeared on screen in 2018, during the final season of ABC’s “Nashville”. He also starred in the 2016 film “Custody” alongside Viola Davis. In recent years, his personal struggles have largely overshadowed his acting career, particularly his relationship with Brian Hickerson, who was Arrested several times on charges of domestic violence.
In March, she and Hickerson were involved in a physical struggle with a group of people outside a Los Angeles bar. A rep told People at the time that Panettiere was “okay” after the altercation.
In the following weeks, Panettiere signed with the management company Mainstay Entertainment, which appears to have marked a new beginning for his career.