Will Disney reverse their decision to axe the ‘Lizzie McGuire’ reboot?
Lizzie McGuire, which ran from 2001 to 2004 on the Disney Channel, is definitely a defining series of any millennial childhood. When Disney was listing the series heading to Disney+, many were thrilled at the news of a Lizzie McGuire reboot/sequel series, following Lizzie (Hilary Duff) as a grown woman in her 30s who was living in New York, but had to return to LA due to some shocking news.
There was a lot of buzz around the Lizzie McGuire reboot, which was shooting before COVID-19 happened. There photos of Duff as a grown-up Lizzie along with appearances by her TV parents (Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd), brother (Jake Thomas), and even many’s first OTP Gordo (Adam Lamberg). Things, however, got a little dicey when the showrunner for the Lizzie McGuire reboot, original creator Terri Minsky left.
Two episodes were already filmed when Minsky left in January 2020, but the show was placed on hiatus. Some people think it was due to COVID, but no. Disney needed to find a new showrunner. Duff, meanwhile, pushed back against Disney asking for the series to be moved to Hulu like the Love, Simon spinoff, Love, Victor so the show can more accurately showcase the life of a 30-year-old woman.
Reportedly, Disney did not like that the first episode of the reboot showcased characters referencing sex and had cheating as a central plot point. In April 2020, things seem to be moving forward in a positive way. Minsky was talking with the writers of the reboot while Duff was in talks with Disney over the series. Something happened and Disney put the kibosh on Lizzie McGuire in December 2020.
But is it truly the last we’ll see of Lizzie McGuire? Is the reboot of such a beloved show really doomed before it could truly start? Not if the cast has anything to say about it because they’re petitioning for Disney to reconsider and give them the greenlight again for the series to have its chance to continue on with Lizzie’s story.
Out of the blue
Apparently, Minsky was fired from Lizzie McGuire because Disney wanted to take the reboot in a different creative direction after seeing the two filmed episodes. In an interview with Vice, Carradine said that this was totally different than how things went in the read-throughs for the first two episodes overall.
“When we did the read-through of the first two scripts, there were literally three rows of chairs and in each chair was some kind of a Disney executive. I mean, there were 25 of them in there. And they were laughing their asses off.
“Every single step of that trajectory had to be greenlit by somebody who’s high up in the organization. [Y]ou go to all that trouble and they decide at the last minute, out of the blue, that it needs to be more kid-friendly? I don’t get that.”
Todd also added that there could have been some behind-the-scenes stuff that the cast was not privy to, but she was also baffled by the decision as well. What made it more heartbreaking was that they reunited to shoot the two episodes, “I’m sad. We had the best time when we got together for those two episodes. It felt like no time had passed, except that all of a sudden these kids were adults.”
Can Disney change their minds?
Fans have saved shows from cancellation in the past. According to a Disney spokesperson when the cancellation was announced, “Lizzie McGuire fans have high expectations for any new stories. Unless and until we are confident we can meet those expectations, we’ve decided to hold off and today, we informed the cast’s representatives that we are not moving forward with the planned series.”
So, Disney’s not saying never, but they’re not going forward right now. Either way, it sounds like executive interference got in the way of making a good television series. Admittedly, however, Disney may have to consider how much they can keep on-brand with family-friendly programming overall. Sooner or later, they’re going to have consider getting more grown-up about things.