Predictably, Disney+ made quick and easy work of cornering the tween and teen market demographic mere months are starting their streaming service, thanks to the Disney brand's popularity with family audiences. Now, a report by The Disney Insider indicates the Mouse Empire is looking to further cash in on fan nostalgia with an animated follow-up to the Ben Stiller comedy series Night at the Museum.
According to the report, the animated sequel has been temporarily titled Night At The Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, with casting for the project having already started. The movie is expected to go into production on November 2nd in Los Angeles, California.
The original three Night at the Museum movies dealt with the story of Larry Daley, a struggling entrepreneur who is forced to take a job as a night watchman at a museum. Things get strange when Larry discovers the artifacts in the building come to life at night thanks to the presence of an ancient Egyptian amulet that sinister forces are hell-bent on using for their own nefarious purposes.
The animated Disney+ movie is believed to center on Larry's son, Nick Daley, who is given the opportunity to follow in his father's footsteps as the night watchman at the museum. As the title suggests, the film will see the return of the villain from Night At The Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the villainous Kamunrah played with comic aplomb by Hank Azaria.
Other fan-favorite characters are also expected to make a return, including Owen Wilson's cowboy Jebediah, the Roman Legionnaire Octavius (played by Steve Coogan), the 26th President, Teddy Roosevelt (played by Robin Williams), and famous Native American Sacagawea (played by Mizou Peck). French heroine Joan of Arc will also be joining the cast.
The original actors from the live-action movies are not expected to return. A new cast of voice actors will be giving their fresh takes on the characters, although it would be a waste not to include voice-over legend Azaria reprising the role of Kamunrah.
From the description given for the animated movie so far, it seems Disney is aiming for a much younger demographic with the new Night at the Museum movie. But there are a lot of older fans who would love to watch a fourth live-action movie in the series. Unfortunately, the director of the series, Shawn Levy, had revealed a few years ago that the passing of Robin Williams, who played the role of Teddy Roosevelt's wax figure, had made the prospect of a fourth movie very unlikely:
"[The franchise] was a great run. The family film has shifted; I think we see that everywhere. Ben [Stiller] and I knew that the third movie would be about the characters saying goodbye and us also saying goodbye. And then when Robin [Williams] died, that sealed it. That was just a horrible many months."
Hopefully, the animated movie will be a worthy sequel to the legacy of the Night at the Museum franchise that a new generation of fans can enjoy. The D Insider was the first to announce this news.