The Heroes actress appeared in Scream 4 but did not return for 2022 film.

This year's Scream movie canonically confirmed that Hayden Panettiere's fan favorite franchise character Kirby Reed did not die in 2011's Scream 4. It has now been announced by Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media that the actress will reprise the role in the next film of the horror series. Panettiere will join four recently-confirmed cast members from the 2022 Scream: Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, and Jenna Ortega.

In Scream 4, Kirby Reed is a high school student who is repeatedly stabbed by Rory Culkin's character Charlie Walker. Fans of the series long-debated whether or not Reed died as the result of her wounds. The most recent Scream made clear that she lived via the title of a briefly-glimpsed YouTube video which identified Panettiere's character as a "Woodsboro survivor."

Scream 4 (2011) Hayden Panettiere
Hayden Panettiere in Scream 4
| Credit: Gemma La Mana

The next Scream movie, which is currently untitled, will focus on the four survivors of the Ghostface killings as they leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter.  Principal photography is slated to start this summer on the film which is set to be released in theaters March 31, 2023.

The five confirmed cast members will be joining the same behind-the-camera team responsible for the most recent Scream, with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett directing from a script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. The film's executive producers include Chad Villella (a member of the Radio Silence creative collective alongside Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett) and Kevin Williamson, who wrote the very first movie in the franchise, 1996's Wes Craven-directed Scream. The previous film in the series was released in January and grossed $81 million at the domestic box office.

In March, Ortega described making the most recent Scream as "so nerve-wracking, but probably the most magical experience I've ever had on a set, just because of the cast. I still talk to all of them every week. We're in constant communication. I've never felt so loved and supported during a project. To be such a fan of the franchise prior, and to be able to interact with Ghostface yourself, was just an incredible experience. I feel very lucky."

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