Apparently, Disney was not ready to accept some of the adult themes that would take place with a 30-year-old Lizzie McGuire.
Disney Channel teases a reboot
Excitement surged among fans as news broke of a Lizzie McGuire reboot in production, featuring the original cast reprising their roles. Yet, the joy turned to heartbreak as the series met an abrupt cancellation before it could hit any streaming service. Now, insights from reboot writer Jonathan Hurwitz offer a glimpse into the possible reasons behind this sudden demise.
Taking to TikTok, Hurwitz candidly revealed the show’s premise and shed light on Disney’s reservations about the proposed plot.
The first episode would have portrayed an adult Lizzie, working as an interior designer and living in her New York City apartment with her gay roommate. She’s also dating a gorgeous chef until she discovers he has been cheating on her with her best friend. Upon discovering his infidelity, Lizzie leaves the Big Apple and returns to her roots in California. Waiting there for her is, of course, the animated version of herself.
The second episode, filled with nostalgia, teased a reunion between Lizzie and her childhood friend turned love interest, Gordo. However, she quickly discovers Gordo is happily engaged and expecting a child, setting the stage for the rest of the series.
WARNING: Mature content ahead
Which brings us to the third episode. Although the team had yet to begin filming, its script hinted at a romantic encounter between Lizzie and her childhood crush, Ethan Craft.
“Lizzie wakes up in Ethan’s bed, in his water polo t-shirt,” the writer recalled in the video. “Animated Lizzie pops up and she has this little checklist, like a to-do list, and Ethan is on the list and she checks it off.
“I think she says something like, ‘I checked that box – dramatic pause – twice.'”
These mature themes, including the inclusion of a gay character, made the reboot more relevant and relatable to today’s audience.
Reasons for Cancellation
Though the company has not issued a statement as to exactly why they cancelled the reboot, Hurwitz said it’s likely, “that moment was probably one of them.”
Known for its family-friendly content, the entertainment company expressed discomfort with the direction of the reboot. The creative differences between Disney and Hilary Duff, who pushed for a more mature version of Lizzie McGuire, likely played a significant role in the series’ cancellation.
In an interview with Women’s Magazine in 2022, Duff spoke about their… creative differences.
“She didn’t need to be doing bong rips and having one-night stands all the time, but it had to be authentic,” she said. “I think they got spooked.”
Disagreements heightened when the show’s original creator Terri Minsky was removed from the project.
Hilary Duff’s Stance on the Cancellation
Hilary Duff expressed disappointment over the cancellation and emphasized the need for an honest and authentic portrayal of Lizzie as an adult. She believed that the reboot should accurately reflect the real-life challenges and experiences of a 30-year-old woman.
Despite the setback, Duff remains optimistic about a future revival of Lizzie McGuire. Her statements have offered a glimmer of hope to fans eagerly awaiting the reboot.
“I want any reboot of Lizzie to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today,” she wrote on Instagram. “It’s what the character deserves. We can all take a moment to mourn the amazing woman she would have been and the adventures we would have taken with her. I’m very sad, but I promise everyone tried their best, and the stars just didn’t align.”
Disney’s History with Mature Content
Disney has previously demonstrated a willingness to address serious and real-life issues in its TV shows, such as eating disorders and LGBTQ+ issues. However, accusations from LGBTQ+ Pixar staff about Disney’s alleged censorship of gay affection in their projects have shed light on the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ representation in mainstream media.
As fans, we can remain hopeful for a future revival that stays true to an adult Lizzie McGuire’s experiences.
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