'Scream VI' Team Responds to Those Stu Macher Rumors and Matthew Lillard's Possible Return (Exclusive)

The directors and cast opened up about the possibility of Lillard's return as the original 'Scream' character.

While the Scream films have seen many characters come and go, there's one -- Stu Macher -- that still has managed to linger over subsequent sequels despite being killed off in the very first installment. And ahead of Scream VI's debut in theaters on March 10, the cast and creative team addressed those rumors that he might still be alive -- and if he might possibly return to the franchise.  

Played by Matthew Lillard, Stu was one of the high school teens who were attacked when a masked murderer went on a killing spree in the small town of Woodsboro in the 1996 film written by creator Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. By the end, however, it was revealed that Stu was one of two killers alongside Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), with the latter seeking revenge on Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) after her mother had an affair with his father.

Despite being killed off, there have been persistent rumors that Stu is still alive -- especially following a brief, unexplained cameo in Scream 2 -- with Lillard even telling ET he's game to return to the franchise in some fashion. "I would love to come back," he said, before explaining that the original shooting script for Scream 3 was set to reveal that Stu had survived the events of the first movie and had been living in secret. 

"It was originally conceived that Stu was running a collection of kids in high school that did horrible things," Lillard said. And while the script was changed as a result of the Columbine High School shooting, "I would like to argue, on behalf of the Stu fans out there, that he is still alive."

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Although Stu did not return for Scream 5, that sequel, written by Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt and directed by Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, did bring back Billy. While Ulrich reprised the role, it was through visions that Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) started having after it was revealed that Billy was her father. (Even Hayden Panettiere is back as Kirby Reed after the 2022 film confirmed that she survived the events of Scream 4.)

"It is wild. Who would've thought?" Ulrich told ET's Rachel Smith of his own return, before acknowledging the continued success of the films nearly 30 years later. "All those years ago, we had no idea it would be anything even… Who knew what it would be and you just can't predict stuff like this." 

And in the newest film, Scream VI, those rumors about Stu being alive are addressed head on, especially as the latest sequel revisits all of the murder sprees when the current characters come across a shrine dedicated to past killers and victims.  

When asked if Lillard could come back in future films, Jasmin Savoy Brown said that "anything is possible, baby," while Ulrich was more hopeful. "I really hope so," the actor said, adding that Lillard "is an incredible human being and I know he wants it bad."   

Meanwhile, Gillett acknowledged "anything's possible" at this point. "We brought back Billy as a hallucination," he said, while producer Chad Villella added that "he's also a fan-favorite, so maybe. Who knows?"

Even Williamson seemed open to it, despite past claims that Stu is, in fact, dead. "I mean, I would say never but I have always been wrong when I do," he said, admitting that "you can't say never," especially as the franchise continues to push forward. The creator even offered up another way Stu could return: "There's always that twin brother theory," he said.