Disney Cancels Long-Awaited Fantasy Series

By Robert Scucci | Published

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

Streaming services are continuing to push forward with their cost-cutting initiatives, and Deadline reports that The Spiderwick Chronicles will have to find a new home after we thought it would be available on Disney+. Though the upcoming series wrapped production earlier this year, it won’t be available on Disney+ and is currently being shopped by potential buyers. As Disney shifts their focus toward releasing intellectual properties that it owns outright, the Paramount and 20th Television-produced Spiderwick Chronicles will be written off by Disney as yet another impairment charge as it focuses more on profitability by having a more native content-focused release slate.

The Spiderwick Chronicles, long in development at Disney, has been canceled before airing a single episode.

As you already know, Disney purged dozens of properties in May and, in doing so, racked up $1.5 billion in impairment charges. Though it’s rumored that the Sony-produced Goosebumps series will still be released on Disney+, The Spiderwick Chronicles was one of many series that the streaming giant will no longer pick up. But not all hope is lost because other networks, including Paramount, are currently shopping the completed six-episode run.

This change may disappoint some, but it makes sense that The Spiderwick Chronicles will no longer be slated for release on Disney+ because it wasn’t a Disney-developed property. And if you think about it, the timing couldn’t be better. The upcoming Aron Eli Coleite-created series can now, at the very least, find a network that will be a better fit, especially if the series has an opportunity to grow across multiple seasons.

Even though The Spiderwick Chronicles won’t air on Disney+, it might be picked up by another streaming service.

In other words, The Spiderwick Chronicles could have had a similar fate to the ill-fated Willow, which was canceled after an eight-episode run and is no longer available for streaming after proving that it wasn’t a financially viable property. Suppose non-Disney properties continue to meet their fate on the chopping block. In that case, it’s only fitting that The Spiderwick Chronicles finds a new home that could prove to be more permanent than what was originally intended. Considering that Willow was a Lucasfilm (owned by Disney) property and still removed from the network, it’s safe to say that The Spiderwick Chronicles would have been treated similarly if the series’ viewership didn’t meet expectations.

The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

In addition to The Spiderwick Chronicles having to find a new means of distribution, Disney CEO Bob Iger has gone on record stating that there will be a slowdown on Marvel and Star Wars projects going forward as the company wants to shift its focus to quality over quantity.

The Spiderwick Chronicles could have had a similar fate to the ill-fated Willow, which was canceled after an eight-episode run and is no longer available for streaming.

The Spiderwick Chronicles will be based on the Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black novels of the same name and has been in the works since November 2021. The six-episode series is said to be a faithful adaptation of the novels and will center on the Grace family, who decide to move from New York to their ancestral home in Michigan known as The Spiderwick Estate. The Grace family encounters mystical creatures like fairies and ogres and will be thrust into a fantastical world that they never knew existed.

As of this writing, we don’t know what network will ultimately pick up The Spiderwick Chronicles for distribution, but given Disney’s new content initiatives, it’s probably for the better that the series, like the Grace family, is looking for a new place to call home.