The following post contains SPOILERS for the ending of Scream VI.
For a while now, there’s been a popular fan theory out there in the world of Scream fandom that Stu Macher (played by Matthew Lillard) from the original Scream film isn’t really dead. It’s not hard to see why. In slasher movies in general, and Scream movies in particular, it typically takes a lot to kill someone. People get stabbed, and sometimes even shot, and they keep coming. As the slasher movie “rule” goes, even when the bad guys look dead, they always come back one last time, until one of the heroes shoots them in the head.
But Stu didn’t get that sort of conclusive, final ending in Scream. His death — if it was a death — was a television dropped on his head. Which, in the grand scheme (or grand Scream) of things, is not quite as definitive as tossing someone off a building or stabbing them 25 times. And in fact, once upon a time, there was a version of Scream 3 where Stu was going to come back as the surprise villain. But the film was revised and Stu was removed. So fans keep waiting and waiting for the movie where Ghostface’s identity is revealed and it turns out to be Stu, who has been hiding for 25 years or something to get revenge on whoever. (Admittedly, the motive part of the whole thing — and what the dude did for a quarter century — is sort of where the theory falls apart.)
READ MORE: Who Is the Deadliest Slasher Movie Villain?
It hasn’t happened yet. And in Scream VI, one of the new Ghostfaces is killed by dropping a TV on their head. And if that homage seems like a specific callback to Scream and to this fan theory, you are right. The creators of Scream VI gave an extensive spoiler interview to Variety, and when asked whether that kill was “to prove to fans that [the TV to the head] killed Stu, co-director Tyler Gillett said definitively: “Yes.”
He then added, “That is scripted, specifically, as a brutal and definitive kill. Guy and Jamie wrote the TV falling on Ethan’s head as a brutal and definitive kill.”
That sounds like it should put this theory to rest. But! When the subject of whether Matthew Lillard could still return to the franchise came up, Gillett and the other Scream creators did not rule it out. “Anything’s possible,” said producer William Sherak, while producer Paul Neinstein added “Characters can come in and out! There’s different ways to do it.”
So basically the theory is as dead as Stu … who might still come back some day. Scream VI is now playing in theaters.
Every Scream Movie Ranked
Ghostface has slashed his way through more than two decades of horror movies. Here‘s how they all stack up against each other.