Our collective nostalgia nightmare occurred earlier this year when, a few months into filming the Lizzie McGuire revival for Disney+, all hell broke loose: The show’s original creator and showrunner, Terri Minsky, unexpectedly quit the revival, with the streaming service stating that “we need to move in a different creative direction and put a new lens on the series” after two episodes were shot. It was all very vague and sad for Gordo worshippers around the world (or dare we say, a parallel universe where that punk Paolo was never exposed), but now, Hilary Duff is reading the riot act to her House of Mouse overlords. On Instagram Stories, Duff screenshotted a recent news story about the Love, Simon TV show moving from Disney+ to Hulu, as the “adult themes” were deemed not a good fit for the “family friendly” streaming service. “Sounds familiar,” she wrote above the circled headline. We haven’t seen Lizzie this incensed since she wanted a bra.
Disney+ teased a sliver of Lizzie McGuire footage in late 2019, and the premise had also already been revealed to viewers: Now in her 30s, our heroine is living in Brooklyn with a handsome chef fiancé, and she’s thriving in her dream job as an interior-design apprentice. However, a series of events unfold that “force” her out of New York City and back to Los Angeles. Original cast members Robert Carradine, Hallie Todd, Jake Thomas, and Adam Lamberg were set to reprise their roles. “Now, stepping into the role as a 30-year-old trying to navigate life is equally interesting,” Duff previously told us about returning to the character. “Or more specifically, waking up on your 30th birthday and thinking, This isn’t how I planned this to look, what do I do now? That’s an interesting story to me, and that’s a good journey I want to go on with everyone again who was there for her preteen years.”
Update, 6:15 p.m.: In a new report, Variety shed some gossipy light about what was allegedly causing difficulties with the Lizzie McGuire revival. Multiple sources close to the show say that Hilary Duff was incensed that Terri Minsky was unexpectedly fired, which occurred when Duff was off the grid for her honeymoon in Mozambique. While executives for Disney+ initially approved of the “adult” angle for the show, they were ultimately swayed to a family-friendly format “more akin to the original series” after being on set for the two filmed episodes. (What occurs with Lizzie and the other characters in these two episodes is unclear.) “Our goal is to resume production and to tell an authentic story that connects to the millions who are emotionally invested in the character,” a Disney spokesperson said in a statement, “and a new generation of viewers too.”
In a separate interview with Variety, Minsky said that’s she’s “proud” of her two episodes and would “love” the show to move to Hulu (like Love, Simon), so that she and Duff can “do the show that we were doing” for viewers. “Hilary has a grasp of Lizzie McGuire at 30 that needs to be seen. It’s a wonderful thing to watch,” Minsky added. “It’s important to me that this show was important to people. I felt like I wanted to do a show that was worthy of that kind of devotion.”