Rick Moranis is returning to acting. According to Deadline, the actor has closed a deal to star in Shrunk, an upcoming sequel to Disney’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
Moranis is best-known for his roles in Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, and as distracted scientist Wayne Szalinsky in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels.
Word about a potential reboot has circled for a couple of years, first as a Disney+ project, although Deadline says that Disney is planning to release the film as a regular theatrical release.
Deadline notes that the actor will reprise his role as Wayne Szalinsky, while Josh Gad will play his son, who accidentally follows in his father’s misadventures by shrinking his own kids. Joe Johnston, who directed the original film, has been hired to helm the film.
DisInsider reported (via io9) earlier this month that Moranis was in early talks to reprise his role, and that the story could potentially get darker: Szalinsky has spent years grieving his late wife, who developed cancer, and whom he couldn’t save in time.
While Disney rebooting an older franchise for a new generation isn’t unheard of, getting Moranis back to reprise his role is astounding. The actor famously stepped back from acting back in 1997 following the death of his wife, taking on only occasional roles like the voice of Rutt in Brother Bear and its sequel, or reprising his role as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs in an episode of The Goldbergs. In 2015, he declined to appear in a cameo in the 2016 Ghostbusters: “why would I do just one day of shooting on something I did 30 years ago?” and is notably absent from the list of returning actors for the forthcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
It will also be interesting to see the new film explore creative ways to use shrinking and enlarging technology, especially on the heels of Ant-Man and Ant-Man & The Wasp. Last we knew, Szalinsky’s tech was in the hands of Gordon, the brother to Moranis’ Szalinsky character (who knew the HoneyIShrunkverse was so complex?) but who knows what corp or individual has access to it these days. The implications could be…well, any size!