Behold, the proud ranks of visionary science fiction stories that have continued their groundbreaking arcs through multiple decades on the big screen: Blade Runner. Alien. Terminator. And now, to these conceptually audacious and culturally significant works, we can add the true inheritor of the artistic mantle for forward-thinking ambition: Honey, I Shrunk The Kids.
The original film, a dystopian nightmare about children being reduced to the size they psychologically feel fits their existence in the capitalist ennui of American life, starred Rick Moranis as Wayne Szalinski, a scientist whose device accidentally shrinks both his and the neighbor’s children down to roughly a quarter of an inch in height. After a Heart Of Darkness-like trek through the backyard to return home and be brought back to their original size (thereby symbolically embodying the eventual corporate straight-jacketing of individuality that Disney desperately wanted to implant in the world’s youth, as part of their long-term plan to convince everyone to sign up for Disney+), the story continued in sequel Honey, I Blew Up The Kid (an allegory for the stock market’s Black Friday) and the straight-to-video Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (a loose retelling of Sartre’s Being And Nothingness).
Now, /Film reports Walt Disney Pictures is set to continue the story of the original film as a reboot of sorts, albeit one that will be set “in the same world and continue the overall storyline,” which we would normally call a sequel, but for which Disney has created the horrifying portmanteau “legacyequel,” which is a word that should be buried in the dirt for the worms to feast upon. Titled Shrunk (no one calls their spouse “honey” anymore, least of all scientists), Josh Gad is set to star as Nick Szalinski, the grown-up son of Moranis’ Wayne, who continues the tragic fate of his cursed-by-the-gods family by going and shrinking his own children, presumably in an act of Icarus-like hubris. The original film was Disney’s top-grossing live action film for the better part of a decade, in large part because director Joe Johnston is quite good at making movies. If Disney can find the right tone for this new iteration (perhaps admit this premise is a straight-up horror movie idea?)—or maybe just throw Ant-Man in there to save the day—we can probably look forward to the sequel, Blow-Up, sometime in 2022, Antonioni be damned.