Gad pitched the story idea to Disney earlier this year, and the studio jumped on board the idea of reviving the classic 1989 pic starring Rick Moranis. “Shrunk” will mark the third sequel following the original film, with “Honey, I Blew Up the Kid” and direct-to-video “Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves” bowing in 1992 and 1997, respectively. Johnston was not involved with either film.
The studio met with other directors but felt bringing Johnston back was a perfect fit for all involved. David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing through their Mandeville Films and Television banner, with Todd Rosenberg penning the script.
In the original film, Moranis plays Wayne Szalinski, a scientist and father who accidentally shrinks his teenage son and daughter, along with the two brothers from next door, to just a quarter of an inch in size. When they are thrown out with the trash, the four kids must travel through their backyard to return home while fending off insects, lawnmowers and other obstacles.
In this version, Gad will play Wayne’s grown-up son, who follows in his father’s footsteps by not only becoming a scientist, but also accidentally shrinking his children.
The studio had flirted with the idea of debuting the film on Disney Plus, but Rosenberg’s recent draft elicited enthusiasm from execs. Now, the plan is to release the film theatrically. Sources also add development is still in early stages and a greenlight has not yet been given.
Gad recently returned to voice Olaf in the smash hit “Frozen 2,” which has already grossed $750 million worldwide. He also will appear in Disney’s “Artemis Fowl,” bowing in 2020, and can be seen in Hulu’s recent horror comedy “Little Monsters.” He is repped by WME.
Johnston most recently helped out Disney with “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” reshoots, so much so that he earned a co-directing credit on the film. Prior to that, he helped launch the Captain America franchise with “Captain America: The First Avenger.” He is repped by Paradigm.