Matthew Lillard’s New Scream Franchise Replacement Is Way Better Than A Stu Return
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Matthew Lillard’s New Scream Franchise Replacement Is Way Better Than A Stu Return


  • Matthew Lillard’s future in horror is brighter with Five Nights at Freddy’s than with Scream.
  • William Afton in FNAF has more lore and potential than Stu in Scream.
  • Lillard’s Afton can return in FNAF 2 with a big impact, while Stu could only return in a minor cameo appearance.



Matthew Lillard has a place in horror history thanks to the Scream franchise, but his replacement for it is a lot better than a potential return to Woodsboro as Stu. Matthew Lillard is best known for his comedic roles in different movies from the 1990s and 2000s, but he also has an interesting history in the horror genre. Lillard’s big screen debut was in 1991’s comedy horror Ghoulies III: Ghoulies Go To College, and in 1996, he played his most memorable horror role to date in Wes Craven’s Scream.

Lillard’s character, Stu Macher, went down in horror history alongside his partner in crime, Billy Loomis, as they were the first Ghostface killers in the Scream franchise. Since then, Lillard has been part of other horror projects with very different styles – from supernatural horror like Thirteen Ghosts to kid-friendly horror with Scooby-Doo – but none of them big enough to properly replace Scream. Luckily, Lillard is now part of a bigger horror franchise that is a lot more exciting than a possible return as Stu Macher in the Scream series.

Five Nights At Freddy’s Gives Matthew Lillard A Way Bigger Horror Future Than Scream

Matthew Lillard as William Afton in Springtrap suit in Five Nights at Freddy's Exclusive header

Matthew Lillard’s most recent horror role was William Afton in Five Nights at Freddy’s. Based on the video game series of the same name and directed by Emma Tammi, Five Nights at Freddy’s follows Mike Schmidt (Josh Hutcherson), a troubled security guard who takes a job at the abandoned Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, where he soon discovers some truly dark secrets involving the animatronic mascots of the pizzeria, who come to life at night. Five Nights at Freddy’s also introduces Mike’s career counselor Steve Raglan, who offers him the job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza and who is keeping a huge secret.

Steve is actually William Afton, the serial killer who kidnapped and killed five children (and Mike’s brother, Garrett) and hid their bodies inside the pizzeria’s animatronics. Because of this, the souls of the children took control of the animatronics, and Afton was the “yellow rabbit” the ghosts of the missing children mentioned. At the end of Five Nights at Freddy’s, Mike’s sister, Abby (Piper Rubio), helped the ghosts/animatronics realize the truth, and they turned on Afton, severely wounding him – however, his death wasn’t shown nor confirmed.

William Afton is a villain with a lot more lore and a bigger presence in his franchise than Stu in

In the video games, William Afton is also the serial killer, but he’s already dead, and his ghost took possession of the animatronic Yellow Rabbit. Lillard’s Afton, then, can return in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 no matter what happened to him at the end of the first movie, as if he died, his soul can take over the Yellow Rabbit animatronic, and if he’s still alive, he will surely want revenge against Mike, Abby, and his own daughter, Vanessa, for revealing his crimes and destroying the pizzeria.

Lillard has a bigger future in the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise than he ever did in Scream, even if Stu turned out to be alive. Since the Scream reboot trilogy began, speculation about Stu’s possible survival and return hasn’t stopped, but the truth is that William Afton is a villain with a lot more lore and a bigger presence in Five Nights at Freddy’s than Stu, making it the best Scream replacement for Lillard.


Matthew Lillard Is Right About Scream 7’s Stu Macher Return Theories

Matthew Lillard opened up about the fate of Stu Macher after the end of Scream (1996), and his hope for the character should be granted in Scream 7.

Matthew Lillard Returning As Stu In The Scream Franchise Would Likely Only Be A Cameo


If Stu turned out to be alive, the best way to bring him back would be in a cameo, in even less capacity than Skeet Ulrich’s Billy.

The Scream franchise was brought back to life in 2022 with the first installment in what was going to be a reboot trilogy. As Scream 2022 was a legacy sequel, Stu was mentioned a couple of times, and his house was, once more, used for the final showdown between Ghostface and the new Final Girls, but he wasn’t mentioned to still be alive. Even if Stu turned out to be alive (for some reason), the best way to bring him back would be in a cameo, in even less capacity than Skeet Ulrich’s Billy, who has returned as visions that his daughter, Sam (Melissa Barrera), has.

On the other hand, William Afton’s return in Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 makes a lot more sense and is expected to happen as he’s the franchise’s main villain. Matthew Lillard’s reign in the horror genre will continue beyond Five Nights at Freddy’s, but for now, this is his best and most exciting Scream replacement.

Five Nights at Freddys movie poster

Five Nights at Freddy’s

Five Nights at Freddy’s is an adaptation of the popular video game franchise of the same name, directed by Emma Tammi. The film centers around a maintenance worker handling night duties at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a children’s amusement center home to a grizzly tragedy in its history. The animatronics come to life at night, and the worker must survive until daybreak.

Emma Tammi

Release Date
October 27, 2023

Josh Hutcherson , Matthew Lillard , Elizabeth Lail , Piper Rubio , Mary Stuart Masterson , Kevin Foster , Jade Kindar-Martin , Jessica Weiss , Roger Joseph Manning Jr.

109 Minutes

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