Director Joe Johnston has had an eclectic career in Hollywood – which each of his movies being significantly different than the last. His standout works include Jumanji, The Rocketeer, October Sky, and Captain America: The First Avenger, but where it all started was with 1989’s Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
It was with that feature that Johnston made his directorial debut, and now it looks as though he will be returning to that franchise with the upcoming legacyquel, Shrunk.
News of the reboot first broke in May, with it being revealed that Josh Gad was developing the project at Disney and would be starring in the film as an adult Nick Szalinski, but at that time there wasn’t a director attached. That now seems to be changing, as The Hollywood Reporter says Joe Johnston is now in talks for that job.
The project is in the works at Disney, and the plan is to have it fit within the pre-existing Honey, I Shrunk The Kids canon – which expanded with the sequels Honey, I Blew Up The Kid and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (neither of which Joe Johnston directed). The story will follow Nick Szalinski as he follows in the footsteps of his scientist father and starts developing specialized shrinking technology.
As you would expect, things go wrong, and an adventure begins that sees certain characters become tiny – but what’s not clear at this point is exactly who is being shrunk (unlike the past films, the title Shrunk doesn’t provide any clues).
According to the new trade report, it’s believed by Disney that the feature has potential as a big screen project, which is a significant detail these days given the push that is being performed for Disney+. Just within the first few months of the streaming service’s launch there are some significant titles being made available, and it wasn’t unfathomable that the studio would put Shrunk in that particularly library to try and boosts its developing profile.
Joe Johnston is coming off of two very different projects in the crime thriller Not Safe For Work and the high-fantasy Nutcracker And The Four Realms, and it will be interesting to see what kind of magic he may employ in the making of the new Honey, I Shrunk The Kids movie. A big part of the sustaining magic of the original is the fact that it used practical effects – such as giant sets and massive ant puppets – and it will be interesting to see how Johnston may employ those tools while also taking advantage of all of the massive steps that have been taken in the realm of CGI since the late 1980s.
Right now Joe Johnston is only in talks to direct Shrunk, but the fact that the talks are happening suggests that Disney is turning gears on this project, and that we may hear a good deal more about its development in the coming months. The film doesn’t currently have a release date, but that news may be forthcoming.
We’ll continue to provide you with updates as they pop up, and to see what else is ahead in the near future, be sure to head over to our 2020 Release Schedule.