The highly anticipated Lizzie McGuire revival is not headed to Disney+. But what caused the cancellation? A lot went down behind-the-scenes, according to star Hilary Duff.
The actress played the title role in the original series, which aired from 2001 to 2004, and in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. News that the beloved character and her cartoon counterpart would be returning to TV first broke during the D3 Expo in August 2019.
“I’ve been trying to contain this excitement for a long time while this has been in the works!” Hilary captioned an Instagram post at the time. “I am beyond excited to be home again, back with my girl.”
The reimagined version of the show was set to follow Lizzie, now an adult, as she lives her life in New York City. “She’s getting ready to celebrate her 30th birthday,” Hilary teased to Variety in August 2019. Original cast members Jake Thomas (Matt McGuire), Hallie Todd (Jo McGuire), Robert Carradine (Sam McGuire) and Adam Lamberg (Gordo) were all set to return with production on the show starting in October 2019.
Then, in January 2020, the show was put on hold after original creator, Terri Minsky, stepped away from the revival.
“Fans have a sentimental attachment to Lizzie McGuire and high expectations for a new series,” Disney said in a statement to Variety at the time. “After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the show.”
A month later, Hilary took to Instagram and encouraged the network to consider a more mature version of the show.
“Was incredibly excited to launch Lizzie on D+ and my passion remains! However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans’ relationship with Lizzie, who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her. I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30-year-old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating,” she wrote in February 2020. “It’s important to me that just as her experiences as a preteen/teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable. 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.”
Throughout the rest of 2020, Hilary gave updates on the show in various interviews. “There’s still no, like, ‘For sure, this is happening,'” the Younger actress explained to Cosmopolitan U.K. in September 2020. Then, in December of that year, she shared a lengthy social media post announcing that the revival had officially been canceled.
“I’ve been so honored to have the character of Lizzie in my life. She has made such a lasting impact on many, including myself. To see the fans’ loyalty and love for her, to this day, means so much to me. I know the efforts and conversations have been everywhere trying to make a reboot work but, sadly and despite everyone’s best efforts, it isn’t going to happen,” Hilary wrote. “I want any reboot of Lizzie to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today. It’s what the character deserves. We can all take a moment to mourn the amazing woman she would’ve been in 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. Hey now, this is what 2020s made of.”
Scroll through our gallery for everything Hilary has said about the show’s cancellation.
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