Lizzie McGuire revival: are we ever going to get to see Hilary Duff’s Disney+ series?

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Christobel Hastings
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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 22: Hilary Duff seen on the set of 'Younger' in Bryant Park on May 22, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)

She was the ultimate guide to navigating life as a young woman. Now, Lizzie McGuire is coming back as a 30-something millennial taking on New York City, but what’s with the hold up?

It was the show that taught us to always experiment with your look, to grow at your own pace and to find best friends that you can always rely on (Gordo and Miranda, here’s to you).

Fans of Lizzie McGuire thrilled at the idea that a millennial-themed reboot of the show would be coming to Disney’s new streaming platform Disney+, especially after seeing snapshots of star Hilary Duff on set in New York. 

Then, tragedy struck: showrunner and Lizzie McGuire creator Terri Minsky left the reboot, citing “creative differences”. Then, Duff herself revealed on Instagram that the show was on hold, sharing her frustrations that the series was stalled. 

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But why has Disney+ paused the reboot? And will we ever get to see it? 

Why is the Lizzie McGuire revival on hold?

According to multiple reports, the production process for the reboot has been far from smooth sailing.

Disney+: Hilary Duff will reprise her role as Lizzie McGuire in a new series on the streaming platform

In January, original series creator and revival showrunner Terri Minsky left the project unexpectedly after just two episodes had been filmed. At the time, Disney+ said: “We need to move in a different creative direction and put a new lens on the series.”

On 26 February, Duff herself hinted at what was behind the revival problems of the Disney+ series. The actor posted a screenshot of a report about Love, Simon spinoff series, Love, Victor, moving from Disney+ to Hulu because it was not “family-friendly” enough for the platform. “Sounds familiar,” Duff wrote, hinting that the Lizzie McGuire reboot might be facing similar obstacles.

Variety reports that while Disney+ was originally on board with Minsky and Duff wanting to do a more “adult” version of Lizzie, they are now pushing for “a show that would appeal to kids and families” and “something more akin to the original series”.

In an Instagram post shared on 29 February, Duff begged Disney+ to allow the show to move to Hulu in order to ensure that it did not have to “live under the ceiling of a PG-13 rating”. Lizzie’s authenticity in the original TV show, Duff said, mattered to the fans so much. She did not want to be part of a series that did not honour that authenticity by not portraying the realities of a 30-year-old in New York City’s messy, chaotic life.

And what might those realities be? According to The Hollywood Reporter, which obtained a copy of the script for the reboot’s first episode, one of those realities is sex. The first episode, according to the publication, also acknowledged “cheating as a central plot point”. 

So there you have it. Duff wanted to make a Lizzie McGuire that was honest about the way a 30-something would navigate the world of sex, relationships and dating. The Lizzie McGuire reboot was going to be sexy as hell, and we might never get to see it. This isn’t what dreams are made of, it’s the stuff of nightmares. 

What is the Lizzie McGuire revival about?

In August, Disney announced that it would be reviving the hit show, which followed 13-year-old Lizzie, who dreamed of being popular in school, alongside her animated alter ego that revealed her true thoughts and feelings. 

Fifteen years on from when the last episode of Lizzie McGuire aired, and life has moved fast. The sequel series will follow a more self-assured Lizzie navigating life as a millennial in New York City, getting ready to celebrate her 30th birthday. However, there’s still a lot more to figure out.

Who is in the cast of the Lizzie McGuire Revival?

In the style of all great reboots, it was revealed that Hilary Duff would be returning as the titular character.

“The good news is, just like me and everybody who loved Lizzie and has grown up with her, Lizzie’s also grown up,” Duff said on stage at the D23 Expo convention when the revival was announced. “She’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget, which is super exciting. She has her dream job. She has kind of the perfect life right now.”

“She’s working as an apprentice to a fancy New York City decorator,” she continued. “She has her dream guy, who owns a cool SoHo restaurant. She has her dream apartment in Brooklyn. And she’s getting ready to celebrate her 30th birthday.”

However, Duff confirmed that Lizzie is still having to deal with her pesky alter-ego. “She is still dealing with that 13-year-old no-holds-barred animated Lizzie that’s constantly babbling in her adult Lizzie head,” she added. “So she has to deal with that. But I think that’s what’s going to make it really special.”

The original series catapulted Duff into the spotlight and brought huge success as a triple-platinum-selling music artist. She also starred in the successful feature, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, which grossed $55 million at the global box office, and numerous other films and TV shows, including TV Land’s hit series Younger, in which she currently stars.

HIlary Duff hair 2020

Lizzie McGuire: Hilary Duff has hinted at production issues on Instagram

Minsky told Variety she was “so proud” of the two completed episodes and would love to do the project on another platform. “Hilary had a grasp of Lizzie McGuire at 30 that needs to be seen,” the showrunner said. “It’s a wonderful thing to watch. I would love the show to exist, but ideally I would love it if it could be given that treatment of going to Hulu and doing the show that we were doing.”

A spokesperson for Disney denied the show was being scrapped in a statement. “We paused production on Lizzie McGuire a few weeks ago to allow for some creative re-development,” the spokesperson said. “Our goal is to resume production and to tell an authentic story that connects to the millions who are emotionally invested int he character, and a new generation of viewers too.”

Is there a trailer for the Lizzie McGuire revival?

There is no trailer yet – however, we did get our first glimpse at the highly-anticipated reboot, thanks to a new clip from Disney+ foreshadowing the company’s “2020 vision”.

The minute-long video on Twitter shows a sneak peak of everything coming to the platform in 2020, from Toy Story 4 to Aladdin. However, it’s the brief – and first – look at an all-grown-up Lizzie that has fans excited.

We see Hilary Duff’s character leaning through a car window, saying: “Hi it’s me”, though it’s not entirely clear who she is talking to (the suspense!).

There’s no word on when the reboot will air, but after 15 years of wishing, hoping and praying for a return of our favourite Disney show, something tell us that Lizzie taking on adulthood in the Big Apple is going to be a storyline that’s well worth the wait.

Where can I watch the Lizzie McGuire revival?

According to Deadline, the much-loved teen sitcom will stream exclusively on Disney+, an upcoming platform from the network. 

Is there a release date yet?

Not yet, and potentially not ever given this recent news – however, we will be sure to update this story with any information when we get it.

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Images: Getty, Walt Disney Television

This article was originally published on 24 August 2019 and has been updated.