Regardless of where you ultimately land in the whole nature vs. nurture debate, it's pretty hard to argue that a lot of us grow up to be very similar to at least one of our parents. In some cases, this is a sweet tribute to our folks, but in the case of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, it’s a bit of a problem.
We say this because Disney is apparently rebooting the classic 1989 sci-fi comedy, and in doing so it's taking the “legacyquel” route. In this case, that means we will get to see an adult Nick Szalinski start to make the same kind of ridiculous scientific mistakes that his father did when he was a kid. According to Slash Film, the project will be titled Shrunk, and feature Josh Gad in the lead role. With a star attached and a theatrical release strategy in mind, the studio is apparently now looking for a director that doubles as a fan of the original franchise to move the feature from concept into reality.
This new film isn’t to be confused with the previously rumored remake of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids that’s been mentioned on and off for almost a decade. Instead, this is a new project that will see Nick start doing his own experiments with shrinking technology that winds up miniaturizing his own family.
What’s interesting is that Shrunk is supposed to take place within the canon of the original Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, leaving us to wonder just how much sequel continuity it’ll fold into its own story. The rest of the franchise's feature film legacy includes Honey, I Blew Up The Kid and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, but only the first of those two titles actually made its way in to theaters. The second was made during Disney’s bygone era of direct-to-video sequels.
Following the example of the Jurassic World movies, the filmmakers behind Shrunk could leave that question vaguely answered with character appearances and references to events that took place in those follow-ups, while specifically leaning hard on the nostalgia for the first film. One can expect that the calls will ultimately depend on the sensibilities of the writers and director involved, so we'll just have to wait and see what kind of moves the project makes in those arenas.
One last question that’ll undoubtedly start cropping up as Shrunk pushes through development is whether or not Wayne Szalinski, Nick’s father and the original genius of the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids mythos, will make an appearance. Played by Rick Moranis in all three of the films that were made in the series, there’s a chance that Disney is already trying to make an offer that will entice him to play one of his most iconic roles yet again.
Unfortunately, that may not be an easy sell, as we previously saw with Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. Rick Moranis turned down the offer to return for a cameo in that movie, having been retired from the movie world since starring in Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. That being said, he’s semi-returning to the industry by appearing in an upcoming documentary about SCTV, so perhaps that will loosen his resolve a little. Should he still reject a return to the world of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, though, there’s another option that could be taken by Shrunk that would make things very interesting.
When Honey, I Shrunk The Kids became a syndicated TV series in the late ‘90s, veteran character actor Peter Scolari was cast to play the small screen version of Wayne for that show’s duration. So if they really wanted to, Shrunk could draft Scolari to keep the character alive in the franchise.
Not much else is known about Shrunk right now, but with Josh Gad on board to lead the “legacyquel," it’s already a promising start to what could be an interesting extension and resurrection of a family comedy hit that’s been sorely missed in the world. And as this project develops, we’ll report back to you here at CinemaBlend to continue the story.