‘Scream’: How Matthew Lillard Really Feels About the Franchise Continuing Without Him

The Scream franchise has five films and features many of the same characters. For many of the leads, the series has defined their career and lifted them to impressive success. Naturally, though, some characters in the slasher films don’t make it further than a handful of scenes. Stu Macher, played by Matthew Lillard, only appeared in one film. Despite the franchise’s continued success, Lillard isn’t sad that he couldn’t act in more than one Scream movie. 

Scream actor Matthew Lillard in a suit with a gray tie.
Matthew Lillard | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

The cast of ‘Scream’ had no idea the movie would be successful

Lillard noted that while he was legitimately scared while reading the Scream script, neither he nor any of his castmates thought the film would blow up in the way it did. At the time, much of the cast was relatively fresh and unknown in Hollywood. 

“The other thing about that movie which I think made it a really great experience for everyone is that no one really had the expectation or the normal trappings of Hollywood,” Lillard told EW. “We were all innocent, young, there for the right reasons, even Courteney [Cox] and her success. The energy of that, all of us, was really lovely.”

Ultimately, though, the 1996 film was a box office and critical success. Per IMDb, it garnered $173,046,663 worldwide and snagged a number of horror-related awards and nominations. 

Matthew Lillard’s ‘Scream’ character only appeared in one film

Lillard played a critical role in the first Scream film. Though he first appears as the fun-loving best friend of Billy Loomis, his role soon takes a darker turn. By the end of the film, it’s revealed that Stu is one of the killers. He ultimately dies, killed when Neve Campbell’s character drops a TV on his head. Like many others, Lillard has often sung the film’s praises.

“I think it’s legitimately scary,” he said. “The opening sequence, where you’re killing Drew Barrymore, who is a huge star, that sets the bar and you don’t know what the hell is gonna happen next. It’s a pretty fantastic combination of things, that was well crafted but like, the master of horror.”

Despite his appreciation for the film and the experience of shooting it, Lillard has no qualms about missing out on the remainder of the series. When asked if he was sad his character died before the franchise exploded, he replied, “I mean, not really. I like being the OG killer.”

Matthew Lillard isn’t sad, but he’d still come back for ‘Scream 5’

Just because Lillard isn’t sad about only appearing in one Scream movie doesn’t mean he wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to return to the franchiseScream 5, which is slated to arrive in 2022, will bring back many original cast members. Lillard said he’d also be open to joining the latest installment.

“I would love to come back,” he told ET. “Actors, for the most part, most of us are out here tap dancing as fast as we can to feed our families and get jobs. So if there was a chance to come back, that made sense, yes.”

And for anyone worried that his return wouldn’t make sense given the fact that Stu died, Lillard has an answer.

“I would like to argue, on behalf of the Stu fans out there, that he is still alive.”

RELATED: ‘Scream 5’: 1 Actor Has No Interest in Reviving This Presumably Dead Character