Legacy characters who should return in ‘Scream 6’ instead of Sidney

Scream 6 is plowing ahead with filming set to start this summer, yet the horror sequel received a major blow recently with the confirmation that Neve Campbell won’t be returning as Sidney Prescott, the actress pulling out of the project due to a pay dispute. That means this next entry in the Scream saga will be the first not to include Woodsboro’s toughest survivor.

What Scream 6 directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – part of the filmmaking collective Radio Slence – possibly need to do is to take a look at the franchise’s history and bring back another legacy character or two to fill Campbell’s place. Here are just a few suggestions for characters we would love to see make a surprise comeback in Scream 6 when it hits theaters in March 2023.

Dewey Riley (David Arquette)

Via Spyglass Media/Paramount

2022’s Scream broke the mold by actually killing off one of the core trio, with poor Dewey finally meeting his end at Ghostface’s hands in one heartbreaking and harrowing scene. Death isn’t necessarily the end for David Arquette’s time in the franchise, however, as that same movie proved. If Skeet Ulrich got to return as Billy Loomis via a hallucination, then there’s nothing stopping Arquette from featuring in one more cameo as former Sheriff Riley.

Arquette has been pretty involved in Scream 6 in the run-up to its shoot, commenting on Neve Campbell’s exit in interviews and posting about it on social media, so it certainly seems like he hasn’t cut ties with the Scream universe yet. Maybe we could get a flashback featuring Dewey as Gale remembers happier times with her ex-husband?

Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts)

Emma Roberts
Image via Dimension Films

As said above, Scream ’22 tore up the rule book by devising a way for former Ghostface killers to return. So if Billy can come back as a “Force ghost” then why not have another memorable mass-murderer from the franchise’s past return in Scream 6? Why not invite Emma Roberts aboard as Jill Roberts, the fake final girl/twist killer from Scream 4?

The last movie already honored Scream 4 by bringing back Marley Shelton’s Judy Hicks, so Radio Silence clearly aren’t afraid to draw from this somewhat divisive entry in the saga. Also, those who are loyal to Scream 4 would absolutely lose it if Jill showed up again. Roberts has even admitted she feels like she’s not “done” with the saga.

As for how it could happen, Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby could always be suffering from visions from the best friend who once tried to kill her, now that she’s been drawn back into Ghostface’s sphere. This could also allow for Rory Culkin to return as Charlie, Jill’s accomplice.

The Cast of the Stab movies

Since Scream 2, the series has brought on board actual stars to play versions of themselves in the fictional Stab movies, the in-universe horror franchise based on the Ghostface killings. Memorably, Heather Graham played Drew Barrymore’s Casey, Tori Spelling was Stab‘s Sidney Prescott, while Luke Wilson appeared as fake Billy. Scream 4 likewise added the likes of Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin into the Stab-verse.

It could be a lot of fun, then, to have at least one of these Stab movie veterans return as a callback to their earlier cameos in the saga. Scream 6 will be leaving Woodsboro behind in favor of New York, which could potentially lead to some skewering of showbusiness ⁠— as with Scream 3 and its Los Angeles setting. If that’s the case, then please, Radio Silence, invite Luke Wilson back to recreate his iconic “stupid!” moment from Scream 2.

Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey)

via Dimension Films

Scream 3 is easily the least-liked installment in the franchise as it got a lot of things wrong. It wasn’t all bad, however, as it gave us the one and only Jennifer Jolie, the actress who plays Gale in Stab 3 who is brilliantly portrayed in OTT fashion by Parker Posey. Fans have often lamented that the character was killed off in Scream 3 preventing her from returning in subsequent sequels.

What if Scream 6 revealed that reports of Jennifer’s demise were greatly exaggerated? Sure, she definitely seemed to have expired during her brutal Scream 3 death scene, but it’s not like the series hasn’t pulled the rug from underneath us before, especially as Panettiere’s comeback retcons Kirby’s own death in Scream 4.

With Gale having neither Dewey or Sidney to be paired with in Scream 6, it could be fun to have her team up with another legacy character, allowing us more of Cox and Posey’s excellent comic chemistry in the process.

Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey)

via Dimension Films

When Sidney is reintroduced in Scream ’22, we find out that she’s finally managed to escape the shadow of her dark past and settle down with a husband and child. We don’t find out who her husband is, but Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin have confirmed that it’s their intention that Sidney got hitched to Mark Kincaid, the brave detective from Scream 3 played by Patrick Dempsey.

This raised hopes that Dempsey would return in the next film as we perhaps got to dig deeper into Sidney’s home life. Unfortunately, that’s no longer going to happen, due to Campbell’s exit, but that doesn’t mean Mark can’t appear separate from his wife. As a homicide detective, it would be extremely easy to bring him into the plot as a new spate of Ghostface killings occurs. He could even fill the role that Dewey would typically have in the story.

Plus, with her husband around, Sidney’s presence would still be very much felt, which would help smooth over the giant chasm that Campbell’s absence creates.

Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard)

Image via Dimension Films

A familiar face we most want to see return in Scream 6 has to be Stu Macher. In the run-up to this year’s reboot, fans became obsessed with the idea that Stu would be revealed to have survived the events of the first movie and would be back for revenge in the fifth film. Not only was this the original plot for Scream 3 before the idea was junked, but Matthew Lillard heavily campaigned to come back as Stu on social media and to the press.

So it was ironic that his on-screen serial-killing partner Skeet Ulrich was the one who returned in Scream 5 instead. Scream 6 can put that right and finally bring Stu back from the dead. Lillard’s crazed turn as one of the original Ghostface killers remains among the finest performances in any of the movies, so it would be mind-blowing to see him revisit the character all these years later. Plus, his return could address those widespread theories that Stu was really in love with Billy. If that’s the case, then what would he make of Billy’s daughter, Sam (Melissa Barrera)?

Scream 6 shouldn’t be all about looking to the past, obviously, but a couple of returning cast members would go a long way to ensuring it feels like an authentic next chapter in the saga’s blood-soaked history.