Millennial Disney fans were devastated to learn that the media company wouldn’t be going forward with its planned modern reboot of classic series Lizzie McGuire, but no one was more upset about the change of plans than Hilary Duff herself. The worst part about it? There are new episodes of the show that have already been filmed, but they just won’t ever see the light of day.
The Lizzie McGuire reboot was among one of the most highly anticipated projects in Disney+’s initial rollout. It would see the cast of the original series reunite almost 17 years after the final episode, focusing on Lizzie’s struggle as a thirty-something trying to navigate life, work, and love in New York City.
Given Lizzie’s age (and the age range of the fans who grew up watching her show), the reboot's storyline realistically should skew a little older and even taken on some darker themes — it only makes sense that our protagonist would be juggling the stress of dating apps, crippling student loan debt, and mental health issues in the Big Apple — but Disney hit the series with a PG rating, limiting the breadth of stories that show runners could tell. Duff passionately petitioned for the rating to be lifted so that the plot could be practical, but the company refused to change its mind.
“I want any reboot of Lizzie to be honest and authentic to who Lizzie would be today," the Disney alum shared in a statement about the show's future. "It’s what the character deserves."
So the project was shelved, to Duff and her fans’ disappointment, but not before filming two episodes. In a recent appearance on Good Morning America, Duff discussed her thoughts on the reboot’s trajectory and the legacy of Lizzie McGuire. She also revealed that she and her cast mates had actually filmed two episodes of the would-be Disney+ series before the production was shut down.
"It was a big disappointment obviously," Duff said on GMA. "I will forever be grateful for the two episodes that we did shoot."
In the meantime, Duff is okay with simply imagining what Lizzie’s life might be like in 2021. According to the actress, her character probably still wouldn’t have anything figured it out, but she would still have her heart of gold.
"I think she would be quirky, I think that she would struggle with confidence, but I think at the end of the day, she finds her footing," Duff mused. "That's what’s so lovely about her, and that's what is so relatable, is that she doesn't have all the answers right away, but she's on the right path."
While Duff and Disney may not have been able to come to an agreement about Lizzie’s life path, I’m going to need them to release those two episodes at some point, even if they’re repackaged as a reunion special à la Friends or Parks and Recreation. Some Lizzie McGuire is better than none at all, so we'll take it, please and thank you.