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We break down why Matthew Lillard’s Stu Macher may be the villain in Scream 5

February 19th, 2021 by Marc Comments

So, despite a bumpy road in places (looking at you, Scream 3), the Scream franchise is one of my all-time favourites… when I saw the first movie it blew me away – especially that opening – and, while none of the sequels (I’ve not watched the TV series) quite grabbed the attention like the first installment, I’ve usually enjoyed the ride and, as such, am very excited for the fifth chapter early in 2022.

But one of the things that I am curious about, especially with Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all back as Sydney, Gale and Dewey, is who will the villain be as it’s safe to assume that, once again, this movie will be related to Syndey’s past or, at least, the first three movies.

But, having exhausted friends and family through the four previous movies, who else could it be trying to kill Sydney and co this time?

Well, how about, in the tradition of all the best stalker movies, a returning villain that goes beyond just the Ghost Face mask?

Who could we see return? Well, how about Stu Macher AKA Matthew Lillard from the very first Scream, way back in 1996?

It’s always amused me – and I just watched the first movie again last night with my son (his first time and he loved it) – when, at the end when Stu and Billy (Skeet Ulrich – more on him later) are telling Sydney why they have killed everyone, Stu seems to not know the relationship between Sydney’s mother and Billy and looks shocked at that reveal as the audience… this means that, while Billy had a motive, Stu was just in it for the thrill (more on this later) and was kept in the dark about what was really happening.

LINK: Matthew Lillard IS in Scream 2022! And new evidence points to him possibly still being alive

Now, yes, I know Stu was stabbed and beaten and then had a TV dropped on his head but he still wasn’t seen to definitely be dead on screen and, as such, he may well still be alive in the Scream universe and this is based on a few hints we’ve had already.

What clues? Well, let’s get into it.

Stu was in Scream 2… sort of:

While we all ‘know’ Stu Macher died in Scream, he is referred to in the sequel before Randy (Jamie Kennedy) was killed – we’re still not over this by the way – when Randy insulted both him and Billy Loomis to the killer on the phone, but obviously he didn’t appear in the movie, having died a movie earlier.

Or did he? Check these images out from Scream 2:

That person circled above is Matthew Lillard.


Well, the story goes that, while Scream 2 was filming, Lillard visited the set and director Wes Craven thought it would be funny to put him in a wig and have him in the background of the movie. Either Craven didn’t understand how ravenous the fan community can be pre-internet… or he was ahead of the curve. I like to think he was ahead of the curve.

And yes, fans have included this in their theories about the franchise and some believe it means Stu wasn’t dead and was stalking Sydney.

Scream 3 was actually set to star Lillard as Stu again:

A few times in interviews and at events, Lillard has revealed that he was the original villain in Scream 3 but it was later done away with when real-world horrors derailed the story idea.

You can listen to him talking about it here (continues after the video):

In the video, Lillard reveals: “From jail, I was kind of masterminding this attack against Sidney – Neve’s character – and so three weeks before we were supposed to start shooting, Columbine High School broke out, and they changed everything. They kind of took the script and threw it to the side and they bought me out and I never did the third one.”

LINK: Another fun nod to Stu’s survival found…

As the actor says in the clip, the travesty of the Columbine shooting made the film-makers hesitant to film the script as already written and extensive re-writes resulted in not only a low-point in the franchise but the writing out of Stu from the story (continues after video).

Now, this, as far as I’m concerned, means that Stu survived the first movie and ended up in prison… maybe in a coma, before he woke up to exact revenge on Sydney.

This actually reminds me of the fact that both Samuel L Jackson and George Lucas have said Mace Windu didn’t die in Star Wars Episode III and, as such, we have all taken this as official canon that Windu lived well beyond the Clone Wars (here)…  basically what I’m saying is that, if Stu was alive to appear in Scream 3, he’s still alive in-universe now.

As I mentioned in the opening of this article, while Billy wanted revenge for Sydney’s mum causing his parents to break-up, Stu didn’t have anything so personal, he was just having fun em, killing people. This would make Stu’s return perfect because THIS time he does have a personal reason… revenge on Sydney as well as Gale and Dewey for destroying his plan and life and let’s face it, “these days, you gotta have a sequel”.

Adding to all this… Lillard tweeted last September out of the blue: “I mean… it was just a TV? Right? You’d think he’d SURVIVE? #Stu”

So yeah… Stu could definitely be in the next movie. And Lillard agrees.

Lillard REALLY wants to come back:

In a recent interview with TooFab (below) Lillard chatted about the Scream legacy and if he was excited about the fifth movie.

During the interview, the host asks him about the fact he was meant to return in Scream 3 and, should he ever be asked to return, would he, to which he replied: “Yes, yes, I’m available, yes, yes!

“There’s nobody that wouldn’t want to come back and reprise a role they got to do when they were a boy and be able to do something different as a man would be exciting. You just don’t get that opportunity often.”

Skeet Ulrich is back… probably:

While we saw Billy Loomis take a bullet to the head in the first Scream, there’s a lot of talk that he is in Scream 5.

First, the rumour: Actress Marley Shelton, who played Judy Hicks in Scream 4, put a post on Instagram thanking everyone for having her back on Scream 5 and talking about how excited she was about it and in there she thanked Skeet Ulrich.

The actress quickly deleted and reposted the message, omitting Ulrich from it but, you know it, the Internet never forgets and here’s the original post:

By the way, we have no grab of it here, but Production designer Chad Keith also tagged Ulrich on Instagram, so this wasn’t an isolated event.

In the fourth movie, Judy is set up as a potential killer (but she’s not) and is a police officer and a potential love interest, trying to come between Gale and Dewy.

She tells Sydney that she was at school with her – Sydney doesn’t remember her, which adds to the ‘is she the killer!?’ –  and she also informs her that she knew Billy Loomis too.

So what does this mean?

Well, there’s a rumour going around that the killer in Scream 5 could be Billy’s son.

Now, we know that Billy and Sydney were only ever, ahem, together once, but if you watch Scream again, you’ll notice that when Billy is in the video store with Stu and Randy, he’s seen in the background chatting to a couple of girls while he’s supposed to be going out with Sydney. Could he have also have been cheating on her? After all, given the first movie’s story, he clearly didn’t really love her. Also… killer.

This is likely why the son of Billy Loomis rumour arose, Indeed, many believe that Kyle Galner, left with Ulrich, could be the son of Loomis in Scream 5 – however, I’d imagine that, being a Scream movie, it could just as easily be the son of Stu that’s revealed.

But what does this all mean?

Well, if this movie, as we’re hearing, will really delve into the lore of the first movie, revisiting ideas and events from it, then we could see Ulrich – and Lillard – return in flashbacks.

Both actors still look pretty good and, with modern effects work, could easily appear de-aged in flashbacks to parts of the story we didn’t know previously and, if that happened, it could absolutely lead to one of them – not Billy, clearly – being the villain this time out. Imagine the son of Billy Loomis being controlled by a shadowy figure who, in the final act, turns out to be Stu.

Remember too, Scream 3 revolved around Sydney having nightmares and flashbacks to her past… no reason why we couldn’t see this being where we meet Billy again. Just sayin’.

Scream 5 will take us back to Stu’s house: 

So, in the first movie, after the whole town of Woodsboro is forced into lockdown (tell us about it) when the killings begin, the school is closed down and, of course, the first thing the students do is organise a party.

The party takes place in Stu’s family home (below) and this is the location for pretty much the entire final act of the movie.

It’s here that Billy and Stu reveal their plan to Sydney , it’s here that many supporting characters die and it’s here that Billy and (maybe) Stu meet their demises.

The house was a superb setting for the end of the movie and is the background to many of the movie’s most iconic scenes, dialogue and deaths and now it may be making its return to the Scream universe.

In November, Kevin Williamson, writer of the original Scream Movie and producer for part five, shared a tweet full of images to celebrate the wrapping of the fifth movie but if you look and read closely, it may reveal some interesting stuff (continues after tweets):

If you look very closely at the images Williamson shared in his Tweets, you’ll see what is almost certainly Stu’s house in the background of the image of him taking a selfie with stars Campbell and Cox (continues after image):

I would put money on it that this is Stu’s house making a return to the story… but why?

Well, it would be poetic, if nothing else, to finish the tale where it all began (yes, I said finish, and yes, I’m confident some, if not all, of the original cast will probably die this time out).

Or, maybe, like in Scream 3, we could be visiting a movie set – Stab 4? – that looks like locations from the ‘true’ story. Though, I doubt this movie will be that lazy.

Finally, maybe the movie does indeed tie into the legacy of the franchise in a big way and Stu’s house – and Stu – could be part of the story, after all, Willaimson says in the Tweets the movie will “continue Wes’s legacy with the upcoming relaunch of the franchise”. By the way, still glad it’s a ‘relaunch’ and not a dreaded reboot.

Whatever happens, I’m sure Stu’s story will be revisited in some way in this new movie.

Or this could all just be to mess with the fans; did you know that, with the internet just kicking off at the time, Scream 3’s story was completely broken down online well ahead of the movie’s release simply by people watching and studying the trailer (you can do that yourself here), working out who was available to film and for how long and by listening to and reading a few choice interviews with cast and crew… so maybe we’re in a meta world where we’re being played by the movie makers.

Anyway, whatever happens, Scream 5 (yes, I know it’s called simply Scream but that makes it hard to differentiate between the first and fifth movies when writing about it) is directed by Ready or Not’s Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and is scheduled to arrive in theaters on January 14th, 2022 and will star Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega.

So, that’s my theory (theories) why I think Stu could be the villain in the new movie, it would be cool to have one of the best legacy characters back and a great way to bring the conclusion back to the original’s roots.

What say you all?

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….