Disney's Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel has its sights set on a familiar filmmaker to take the reigns. It's come to light that Joe Johnston, who made his directorial debut with the original 1989 family-friendly classic, is being courted to come back to the franchise a full three decades later to direct Shrunk. Josh Gad (Frozen 2, Murder On the Orient Express) is set to star in the lead role.
According to a new report, Joe Johnston is in negotiations to direct Shrunk. His deal hasn't closed yet, but things seem to be heading in the right direction. The movie came together as a result of a pitch made by Josh Gad. The actor will play a grown-up version of Nick Szalinski, the son of Rick Moranis' character, Wayne Szalinski from the original. Gad will reportedly follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a scientist who also ends up shrinking his kids. Disney is said to have met with other filmmakers, but ultimately felt that Johnston was the best fit for the job.
Joe Johnston has helmed his fair share of blockbusters over the years. The director also tackled 1991's The Rocketeer for Disney before moving onto other movies such as Jumanji and October Sky. Johnston has also dabbled in franchises as well, having directed Jurassic Park III and, perhaps most importantly, Captain America: The First Avenger, one of the earliest entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Johnston is also attached to direct The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, which was going to be his final directorial effort. However, the Narnia franchise is being rebooted at Netflix, so it's likely those plans have changed.
It would be somewhat poetic if Joe Johnston does sign on to direct Shrunk and makes this his final movie instead, as he would be bookending his impressive career with the same franchise. Two sequels to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids were produced. First was 1992's Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, which was followed by the direct-to-video Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves in 1997. Johnston wasn't involved in either of the previous sequels. Todd Rosenberg has been tapped to pen the script for the sequel/reboot, with David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman on board to produce.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was a massive hit for Disney at the time of its release, grossing $222 million at the global box office. At the time, that represented a record for a Disney live-action project. At present, there is no word on how soon production could begin or who else is being eyed to star alongside Josh Gad. It's also not clear if this is being eyed as a theatrical release or something that is being produced for the Disney+ streaming service, which seems like a very real possibility. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.