Don't give up on the new Lizzie McGuire just yet.
The revival was announced for Disney+ in August of last year, and has since been down a very rocky road. Two episodes were filmed before original creator Terri Minsky left over creative differences, and production was halted. At the time, Disney said they wanted to put a "new lens" on the series, which was described as a show about Lizzie as a 30 year-old woman living her dream life (or so it seems) in New York City.
After the series Love, Victor was moved from Disney+ to Hulu due to "adult themes" (per The Hollywood Reporter), star Hilary Duff spoke out on Instagram, asking for Lizzie to follow suit. Since then, there have been few updates, but now, in an interview to promote the new kids beverage Creative Roots, Duff tells E! News that conversations are still happening.
"We are very much still in conversation with them a couple of times a week, which is really nice," she says.
"We started shooting, and then obviously that got on hold for a couple of different reasons not involving the pandemic," Duff continues. "But you know what, I have high hopes that we are going to make it work."
Duff says she wants to honor the character.
"It's like a responsibility to [Lizzie], honoring her and the fanbase that grew up with her," she says. "We kind of put her on pause, and had to go back to the drawing board, but I feel optimistic that it will happen."
"A lot of writing is happening," Duff says, though there has been no real word on if the show can go forward. "We are being told to have patience, which is good, so I feel optimistic."
When asked what cans can do to help keep the ball rolling, Duff says they should keep speaking out.
"I think they can continue to be vocal about wanting to see the show," she says, hoping for an "outpouring of love and excitement" for Lizzie's return.
According to a report in The Hollywood Reporter, Minsky and Duff's vision for the new series would have acknowledged the existence of sex and cheating in the first episode, which may have been what Disney took issue with.
Through a spokesperson, the company explained that they wanted to move in a "different creative direction."
"Fans have a sentimental attachment to Lizzie McGuire and high expectations for a new series. After filming two episodes, we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the series," Disney's statement read.
"Was incredibly excited to launch Lizzie on D+ and my passion remains! However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans' relationship with Lizzie, who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her," Duff wrote on Instagram in February. "I'd be doing a disservice to everyone by limited the realities of a 30-year-old's journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating. It's important to me that just as her experiences a preteen/teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable. It would be a dream if Disney would let us move the show to Hulu, if they were interested, and I could bring this beloved character to life again."
In an interview with Variety, Minsky said she hoped the episodes she had helped create would be seen eventually.
"I am so proud of the two episodes we did," she said. "Hilary has a grasp of Lizzie McGuire at 30 that needs to be seen. 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. That's the part where I am completely in the dark. It's important to me that this show was important to people. I felt like I wanted to do a show that was worthy of that kind of devotion."
Minsky's version of the new series would have seen Lizzie as an assistant to an interior decorator in New York, dating a guy who owns a fancy restaurant, and about to celebrate her 30th birthday with what appears to be a perfect life.
"There's a confidence that I'm definitely trying to give her, just 'cause she's older and gone through more life than when she was a teenager," Duff told us of adult Lizzie.
Original series stars Hallie Todd, Robert Carradine, Jake Thomas, and Adam Lamberg were all set to return, as well as 13 year-old animated Lizzie.
Hopefully, for the sake of all the fans, Duff will prevail, and we will get to see the grown-up Lizzie that all our dreams are made of.