Entertainment

The Disney+ 'Lizzie McGuire' Reboot Is Plagued with All Kinds of Drama

lizzie mcguire reboot
'Lizzie McGuire' | Walt Disney Studios
'Lizzie McGuire' | Walt Disney Studios

Disney's streaming service Disney+ is built almost entirely on nostalgia. Even before it launched, some of the most exciting promises from the hub for all-things House of Mouse were new original series, some of which would be revivals of established, beloved properties. The one that undeniably got millennials who are still pining for the aughts most excited was a reboot of the Disney Channel classic Lizzie McGuire, which originally ran from 2001-2004. With the original cast, including its star and former teen queen Hilary Duff, on board, it seemed like the kind of thing the streaming service was meant for. But now, as of February 2020, this series isn't "what dreams are made of." 

According to a recent report by Variety, production on the rebooted series has been on hold since January after the original creator and showrunner Terri Minsky was fired from project while Duff was on her honeymoon. Why might there be so much drama between Disney and the creators of the series? Simply, Disney refuses to let Lizzie fuck! Well, more or less: Disney wants to keep the property appropriate and family-friendly enough to stream on Disney+, while Duff and Minsky are interested in a more realistic look at what Lizzie's life might look like at 30.

lizzie mcguire reboot
Lizzie and Gordo being millennials in NYC! | Walt Disney Studios

Ultimately, it all feels very silly since the series' original fans who would most likely tune into the reboot are also now in their 20s and 30s. If Disney really is looking to tell an "authentic story" about the character and her main pals -- Miranda (Lalaine Vergara-Paras) and Gordo (Adam Lamberg) -- today, it would make most sense to portray Lizzie as a 30-year-old harboring unhealthy crushes, goes out to bars, and makes mistakes like the rest of us. Ousting Minsky, Disney "concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the show," Variety reported in January. The publication wrote in February that both Minsky and Duff were set on and had pitched the network "a more adult version of Lizzie," navigating life at 30 in New York City, while Disney wanted "a show that would appeal to kids and families." 

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Lizzie McGuire

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Duff threw shade at the studio on social media -- and she has a point. In late February, she posted an Instagram story featuring a headline about another Disney+ series, Love, Victor inspired by the movie Love, Simon, moving from Disney+ to Disney-owned Hulu after deeming it not "family-friendly" enough, captioning it, "Sounds familiar…" It definitely does, and it's not just limited to Love, Victory: Hulu's Zoë Kravitz-starring High Fidelity also moved off Disney+ and over to Hulu in order to tell a less filtered story.

Just days after that post, the star made an even more explicit comment on Instagram, literally pleading to Disney to move the series to Hulu. "It would be a dream if Disney would let us move the show to Hulu, if they were interested, and I could bring this beloved character to life again," she wrote. "I'd be doing a disservice to everyone by limit[ing] the realities of a 30-year-old's journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating. It's important to me that just as her experiences as a pre-teen/teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable." Like the other Disney+-originated series, it could happen to Lizzie McGuire, too, and honestly, hopefully it does! Fans want to see a messy Lizzie who parties and has sex and has a drink or two while getting her shit together! She may be glad butterfly hair clips and bandanas are back in style, but certainly, she's not 13 anymore.

While the show is still in the works, it sounds like Minsky and Duff are pulling for the series to move to one of Disney's other networks so they can tell the less sanitized story of Lizzie they had originally pitched. Minsky told Variety, "I am so proud of the two episodes we did. Hilary has a grasp of Lizzie McGuire at 30 that needs to be seen. […] I would love the show to exist, but ideally I would love it if it could be given that treatment of going to Hulu and doing the show that we were doing." Millennial fans, and potentially even a new audience of teenaged Gen-Zers, would love that, too.

Lizzie was in middle school screaming at her parents how much she wanted a bra, kissed Aaron Carter on the set of his music video, and became an international pop sensation at just 14. The arrival of Disney+ may mean leaning into nostalgia, but that doesn't mean fans want characters like Lizzie in the exact shape that we left them. As Kate Sanders might say, "What's your email, Disney? disney@big-loser.com?"

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Sadie Bell is the entertainment editorial assistant at Thrillist. She's on Twitter at @mssadiebell.