We all know and love the Disney Channel classic that is Halloweentown, which spawned three follow-up films. However, we’re also sure you remember that Disney recast the leading lady of the franchise for the fourth movie, out of absolutely nowhere! Keep reading to see what happened.
Why Did Disney Recast Marnie In ‘Halloweentown’?
ICYMI, the early 2000s movies followed teenager Marnie Piper after discovering that her family comes from a long line of powerful witches. Oh, and they’re also an entirely different dimension called Halloweentown. The first movie premiered on 1998, with the next two being released within the next six years.
The first three movies starred Kimberly J. Brown as our witchy protagonst, until Sara Paxton took over the role in 2006 for the fourth film titled Halloweentown Returns, without any kind of explanation from Disney.
Over a decade later, Kimberly opened up about the recasting during a 2018 Q&A video, where she revealed she was originally in the talks to star in the fourth film. However, she never really found out why it fell apart.
“The answer to that is I’m not really sure,” she said. “Some people asked me, or said that they heard I was working on something, which was not the case at the time. I was available and ready to do it, and had talked to them about possibly — about doing it. But Disney decided to go in a different direction and recast the role. So, that’s really all I know about the situation.”
Kimberly later added that she was definitely “bummed” about the decision, but “that’s the way it goes,” and thanked fans for their support, even so many years later.
For Sara’s part, the actress that replaced Kimberly explained her side of the story and where the two Marnie actresses stand during an interview with fellow former Disney star Christy Carlson Romano in 2021.
“I watched all those movies, I loved those movies, so I was asked, and I was like ‘Hell yeah! I’m so excited!’” Sara explained. “I get a lot of flack online for this movie. Like, every Halloween, I prepare myself, because I know that on Twitter and Instagram, there’s gonna be a lot of people hating on me.”
On top of that, despite everything, Sara revealed that her and Kimberly share nothing but love for one another, explaining, “I’ve met her a handful of times and she’s so sweet, and… I wanna be like ‘There’s no beef! I’m a fan!'”
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