Once the Disney-Fox merger went through, it was only a matter of time before one of the latter’s projects got caught in the mouse trap. The first movie to fall prey to new management appears to be Mouse Guard, which saw its production axed two weeks before it was set to begin.
Mouse Guard was based on David Petersen’s 2006 comic, published by Archaia Studios Press.The still-ongoing graphic novel tells the story of sentient medieval mice living through ages parallel to human history, focusing on the eponymous brotherhood of knight mice who have sworn to defend civilians.
The film version was set to be directed by Wes Ball (The Maze Runner), and already had Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Sonoya Mizuno attached to it in various roles. It was to be a motion-capture animated film, and could have been an interesting departure from the usual superhero (or superhero adjacent) fare that makes the journey from comic book to screen.
Alas, Deadline reported that Disney halted production on Mouse Guard merely two week before its start date. Apparently, the studio viewed it as not a good fit, signalling that more casualties may be pending as a result of the acquisition of Fox.
Not all hope is lost, however. The filmmakers (including producers Matt Reeves, Ross Richie, and Stephen Christy) are currently shopping the project elsewhere. Netflix is a big contender, seeing as it’s looking to bulk up its library even more in the face of Disney+’s impending juggernaut streaming status.
According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s sources, potential reasons for the shutdown include not wanting competition in the motion-capture, animals-brought-to-life department and preferring to have Fox handle the smaller-budget projects as well as the adult market. Of course, that’s probably not going to stop Avatar‘s sequels – but it may prevent a few other films from seeing the light of day.
Do you hope to see Mouse Guard find a new home? Let us know in the comments below, and check back with That Hashtag Show for the latest news on your favorite films.