With just a month to go before shooting, the casting search for Scream 4 is just about over. Last week we presented a few casting rumors.

While some panned out, there is a new name in the lead role. Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin have all been confirmed for Wes Craven’s Scream 4.

The fourth installment also brings back three characters from the original trilogy. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette will all reprise their roles.

Some of the new characters in the film are directly related to those in the original. It will be interesting to see Craven connect everybody – handing off the franchise to a new generation of actors.

Emma Roberts has signed on to play Jill, Sidney’s cousin. Director Wes Craven spoke highly of the Valentine’s Day and Hotel for Dogs star.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Emma will be joining the cast of Scream 4. Her talent, beauty and range will add immensely to the sophistication, intensity and fun of the Scream franchise as it returns to the screen once more.”

Panettiere and Culkin were on the rumored list last week, but today we have confirmations that they’ll be on board.

Although Roberts’ role is clearly defined, it was not mentioned what parts Panettiere and Culkin will play. Last week it looked like Culkin was in talks to play Emma Roberts’ love interest and Panettiere to play her best friend – which seems likely enough.

I like where the film is going with the cast, Culkin and Roberts fit well together in both acting chops and appearance. This should set Scream 4 apart from other scary movies of late.

Panettiere has always played the beautiful girl, except for her tomboy act in Remember the Titans. As a supporting character, she may get an opportunity to be more than a pretty face. On Heroes, she displayed that ability and this will be another test.

Principal photography is set for the end of June, so this gives the actors a solid month of preparation. Of course, much of that time may be spent in “scream camp.”

What do you think of the decisions? Are you excited to see the young actors in an “old” franchise? Use the comments section below to discuss.

Scream 4 will unleash on audiences April 15th, 2011.

Source: Coming Soon and Shock Till You Drop