Matthew Lillard Insists “Stu is Alive”

He also drags Skeet Ulrich, “Billy can’t read.”

Matthew Lillard and Skeet Ulrich discussed where Billy and Stu would be now in an interview with Us Weekly.

Christopher Landon was previously announced as the director of Scream 7, (which was also an ad hoc announcement that Scream 7 is happening). Landon is a horror veteran, coming up as a screenwriter on the Paranormal Activity films and Disturbia (2007) before writing and directing Burning Palms (2010), Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Happy Death Day (2017), Happy Death Day 2U (2019), Freaky (2020) and We Have a Ghost (2023).

The announcement has caused horror fans to speculate about where Landon will take the Scream franchise. Will we finally get a meta Ghostface reveal? Time travel?? The return of Jennifer Jolie??? One Scream head who has strong feelings about what should happen in Scream 7 is Matthew Lillard, the actor behind former Ghostface and dubiously killed off character Stu Macher.

Matthew Lillard is vaguely visible in the background between Portia de Rossi (left) and Jamie Kennedy (center) in this Scream 2 party scene, but really no one would discover this Scream easter egg without first being told it exists.

Where the “Stu is alive” theory comes from:

Lillard has always been an active voice among the growing number of fans who believe Stu Macher survived the events of Scream (1996), which saw his character experiencing significant blood loss from multiple stab wounds before seemingly being electrocuted to death by a television to the head. The first hint that Stu Macher might not be dead comes from a hard to spot cameo Lillard has in Scream 2 (1997). Then, Lillard was rumored to have a role in Scream 3 (2000) which never actually materialized. Finally, in Scream (2022) know-it-all character Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) mentions the theory that Stu Macher is actually alive and living in hiding, giving fans real hope that the character might return some day.

A crime scene photo that was created but not used for Scream (2022) makes it hard to believe Stu Macher could be in jail or in hiding, but we also thought that Michael Myers was decapitated at the end of Halloween: H20 (1998) so anything is possible!

It was also around the release of Scream (2022) that we got more clarity on the rumors surrounding Matthew Lillard returning for Scream 3 back in 2000. The actor confirmed that the original plan for the film was to bring back Stu Macher and have him orchestrating an attack on Sidney Prescott from jail with the help of some homicidal high school students. This idea went forward to the extent that Lillard was paid for Scream 3, but after the Columbine high school tragedy, the script was rewritten as no one felt comfortable making a movie about high school killers.

A ‘Stu is alive’ easter egg in ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s’ (2023)?

After horror movie nerd Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) explains the “rules of horror”, including avoiding saying the phrase “I’ll be right back”, Stu Macher (Matthew Lillard) mocks him, saying the taboo phrase before leaving to get more beer.

Warning: spoilers for Five Nights at Freddy’s (2023) forthcoming. Matthew Lillard paid homage to his Scream character in the recent supernatural horror movie Five Nights at Freddy’s. Lillard portrayed a career counselor who gives Mike (Josh Hutcherson) a job as the night security guard at a hokey family entertainment center that resembles Chuck E. Cheese. In the film’s climax, Lillard’s character is revealed to also be the serial killer who is responsible for murdering five children at Freddy’s in the 1980s. Because he hid the children’s bodies in the entertainment center’s animatronics, their souls possessed them, allowing the animatronics to come to life.

During this climactic scene, Lillard’s character utters a line that could be read as an inside joke about the public chatter regarding his Scream character’s possible return, an homage to one of that character’s most memorable lines (see the image above), or just something that makes sense for his Five Nights at Freddy’s character to say in that moment. Are viewers meant to take this as a hint about Stu Macher’s fate in the Scream franchise? Possibly, we can’t really say but it is fun to speculate.

Fans have also noted that the way Lillard cleans his knife in Freddy’s resembles the signature way Ghostface cleans theirs.

Will Stu Macher return in ‘Scream 7’?

In an interview with Us Weekly Matthew Lillard argued that because his character was 17-years-old at the time of Scream (1996), he could have served 25 years in prison and be released in time to be in Scream 7.

Lillard and Skeet Ulrich were also asked what would happen in an alternative universe where both of their characters were alive. Ulrich dreamily responded that he hopes Billy would be teaching English before Lillard brought him back to reality with “Billy can’t read.” The two then joked that their characters would be in love, have many rescue dogs and “slaughter people on the weekends”.

Throughout the interview, Matthew Lillard vehemently insists “Stu is alive!” He even offers to “throw a TV on my face right now” to prove that it’s possible to survive such an event. With the actor’s passion for the character and a new director poised to move the franchise forward, could it finally be time for the return of Stu Macher?

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Meet The Author

Chrissy is the co-founder of Creepy Catalog. She has over 10 years of experience writing about horror, a degree in philosophy and Reiki level II certification.

Chrissy Stockton