Disney has decided to scrap its completed live-action adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles. Based on the popular children’s fantasy books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, the eight-episode series, which hails from Paramount Television Studios and 20th Television, is currently being shopped to other potential buyers.
The decision forms part of Disney’s cost-cutting initiative, which aims to reduce content on Disney+. “We are in the process of reviewing the content on our DTC services to align with the strategic changes in our approach to content curation,” Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said via Deadline. As a result, we will be removing certain content from our streaming platforms.
Disney is canceling its live-action The Spiderwick Chronicles series even though production has already been completed
Disney expects to take a financial impairment charge of approximately $1.5 to $1.8 billion. Shortly after the May announcement, dozens of original series were removed from Disney+ and Hulu. In July, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that the company would also pull back on new Marvel and Star Wars content. However, The Spiderwick Chronicles was a rare project based on non-Disney IP from an outside studio.
Before Disney, The Spiderwick Chronicles began as a series of children’s books published between 2003 and 2004. The catalog includes The Field Guide, The Seeing Stone, Lucinda’s Secret, The Ironwood Tree, and The Wrath of Mulgarath. The series revolves around the Grace children – Jared, Simon, and Mallory – who move into the old Spiderwick Estate with their mother following a divorce.
On the grounds of their new home, the children discover a hidden world of magical creatures and adventures when they stumble upon Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the “Fantastical World Around You.” The guide details the existence of various magical creatures, some of which are friendly, while others are dangerous.
In 2008, a non-Disney film adaptation titled The Spiderwick Chronicles was released. The movie was directed by Mark Waters and starred Freddie Highmore as both Jared and Simon. Sarah Bolger appeared as Mallory, with Mary-Louise Parker as their mother, Helen Grace. The film combined elements from the first three books of the series and adapted them into a single story.
The movie follows the Grace family’s experiences as they uncover the hidden world of magical creatures and face the challenges posed by these creatures, including an evil ogre named Mulgarath. The Disney series adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles was announced in November 2021. Production began in September 2022 and wrapped in early 2023.
The cast of the now-defunct Disney series featured Lyon Daniels as Jared, Noah Cottrell as Simon, Mychala Lee as Mallory, Jack Joy Bryant as Helen Grace, Momona Tamada as Emiko, and Christian Slater as Dr. Dorian Brauer/Mulgarath. Dylan Grazer provides the voice of Thimbletack. The series was written by Aron Eli Coleite, who also serves as showrunner.
Disney described its version of The Spiderwick Chronicles as a modern coming-of-age story blended with fantasy and adventure
Disney described its version of The Spiderwick Chronicles as a modern coming-of-age story blended with fantasy and adventure as the Grace Family – twins Jared and Simon, their sister Mallory, and mom Helen – move into their rundown ancestral home. Once there, the children discover a dark mystery about their great-great uncle, who once found a secret world parallel to their own.
While Disney+ has opted to skip The Spiderwick Chronicles, it will still house the upcoming Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. The series is based on the five-book fantasy novel series by Rick Riordan, which follows the story of a young demigod named Percy Jackson who must stop the Titans from destroying everything.