Disney+’s take on Cheaper by the Dozen, one of this year’s new movie releases, sought to change up the age-old story in a number of key ways. One of its goals was to inject some diversity into the proceedings, something lead actress Gabrielle Union was eager to do after having not seen much in family movies while growing up. And the kid-friendly flick greatly succeeded on that front by depicting the Baker clan as a multicultural, blended family. But as it so happens, the movie was planning to include another layer of representation through a coming out storyline that was ultimately cut.
The movie features a plethora of storylines, from Zoey and Paul’s obstacles as a couple to rising basketball star Deja trying to find her place in new surroundings. Of course, there’s also DJ’s first experience with a crush. When I recently spoke with Cheaper by the Dozen director Gail Lerner though, she explained that fellow Baker child Harley, was to reveal her sexuality to her family. The filmmaker also shared insight into why the arc was cut from the finished film:
Such an arc would’ve been nice to see in the movie but, as the filmmaker mentioned, it was hard to keep the storyline in with so many other things going on in the movie. The director went on to shed a little more light on how Harley’s announcement would’ve been handled:
LGBTQ+ representation in film and television has been steadily increasing over the past several years. Disney is one of the entertainment entities that’s been looking to better portray the experiences of those within the community. For instance, the newly released film Better Nate Than Ever does this, without censoring any crucial moments. These kinds of positive depictions have become increasingly precious to creatives, especially in the midst of the ongoing “Don’t Say Gay” controversy.
While some may be disappointed that Harley’s coming out story didn’t make it into the movie, it could always see the light of day at some point. Gail Lerner and Disney may choose to release a “Snyder Cut” of Cheaper by the Dozen one day. Sure, it’s a longshot but not totally impossible, right?
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Erik Swann is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He began working with the publication in 2020 when he was hired as Weekend Editor. Today, he continues to write, edit and handle social media responsibilities over the weekend. On weekdays, he also writes TV and movie-related news and helps out with editing and social media as needed. He graduated from the University of Maryland, where he received a degree in Broadcast Journalism. After shifting into multi-platform journalism, he started working as a freelance writer and editor before joining CB. Covers superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. He eats more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.