Hilary Duff recently made her return to TV on a reboot series. Unfortunately for Disney fans, it was not as her beloved character Lizzie McGuire. Duff revealed the scrapped Lizzie McGuire revival plot in a new interview.
Duff stars as Sophie in How I Met Your Father, which debuted on Jan. 18 to Hulu. While fans of How I Met Your Mother are happy to see the actress back on their tv screens, it is a grave disappointment to fans of the classic Disney Channel series, Lizzie McGuire.
The former Disney actress was set to lead the revival on Disney+ alongside many of the series’ original stars. Months after the streaming service first announced the project and multiple episodes were already filmed, the revival was cancelled because of its mature content.
In a Cosmopolitan interview, Duff revealed what the show had planned for Lizzie, detailing why Disney passed over the project.
“My character was moving back home with her parents because she caught her soon-to-be fiancé cheating on her, and she was falling flat on her face at the moment and being like, ‘I need to pivot because everything that I thought was, wasn’t, and I’m turning 30. What the fuck?’” she said.
Duff also shared that she considered leaking the revival episodes herself.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t have those thoughts a few times,” she admitted. “But I wouldn’t, because in my 34 years I’ve realized that everything does happen for a reason. There’s a time and a place for everything. It just wasn’t her moment. I’m constantly asked about it still. All it does is breathe life into the fact that people still want it, and that’s really sweet. It’s not dead, and it’s not alive.”
The revival was announced by Duff herself at the Disney+ event D23 Expo in August 2019. The new version of Lizzie McGuire began production in November of that year in New York City before coming to a screeching halt just a few months later.
Original series creator Terri Minsky exited the show amidst creative differences behind the scenes. Sources close to the production claim that Disney+ pushed for the revival to “appeal to kids and families” and be more “akin to the original series.”
Duff spoke out about the responsibility she felt to honor the character’s legacy and that she’d be doing a “disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30-year-old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating.”
“It’s important to me that just as her experiences as a preteen/teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable,” she shared on her personal Instagram at the time.
She pleaded with Disney at the end of her post to debut the series on Hulu instead. Unfortunately, her pleas went unanswered, and the revival was officially pulled from Disney’s programming in December of 2020.
Womp, womp. Lizzie McGuire fans don’t be too sad. In the words of Duff, it’s neither “dead or alive.” There’s still hope.