Disney+ could abandon the TV adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles. This choice would fit into the group’s new strategy to reduce programming costs and focus on its own intellectual properties.
It’s a small earthquake in the world of fantasy series! According to exclusive Deadline revelations, Disney+ would not be moving forward with the highly anticipated adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles, the popular young adult literary saga.
The news is surprising, considering that shooting for the 8-episode series wrapped in early 2023, after starting last September in Canada. Led by Christian Slater and a talented young cast, this ambitious Paramount Television Studios/20th Television production was set to offer Disney+ subscribers a modern and magical dive into the universe of the Grace twins.
But it seems this ultimately won’t be the case. Behind this decision lies a major strategic repositioning from Disney regarding its streaming platform. Explanations.
A Refocusing on Profitability
As Disney announced last May, the company is currently undergoing a shift towards more profitability in the content offered on its Disney+ and Hulu streaming services. The goal is to make substantial savings on programming costs.
With this in mind, Disney has already proceeded with a massive $1.5 to $1.8 billion accounting write-off related to content. As a result, dozens of series have disappeared from the Disney+ and Hulu catalogs in recent months.
A Reorientation of Live-Action Content
Beyond the financial aspects, Disney+’s editorial positioning also appears to be questioned. Until now, the platform featured live-action shows from third-party studios based on works not owned by Disney, like The Spiderwick Chronicles.
But it seems that Disney Branded Television, in charge of non-Marvel/Star Wars/NatGeo content, now wishes to prioritize Disney group intellectual properties. The ambitious adaptation of the Percy Jackson saga, based on the Hyperion Books novels, perfectly illustrates this strategic shift.
A Major Letdown for Fans
If Disney does not move forward with The Spiderwick Chronicles, it will be a real blow for the numerous fans of the popular literary saga created by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. The plot centered around the Grace siblings’ supernatural adventures in the Spiderwick ancestral mansion held promise of a whimsical and family-friendly dive, ideal for Disney+.
It remains to be seen whether the show will find a home elsewhere, as Paramount is currently shopping it to other networks. A story to be continued! In the meantime, enthusiasts can still delve back into the novels or the 2008 film. Even though the experience promised to be magical on the small screen…
Header image credit: Disney+