honey i shrunk the kids

In what has the potential to be the most exciting news of the week, the mostly retired Rick Moranis has been confirmed to reprise his role as inventor Wayne Szalinski in Shrunk, the forthcoming legacy sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Deadline has confirmed news of Rick Moranis returning for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids sequel Shrunk, which we exclusively revealed was in the works back in May of last year. The DisInsider was actually the first to have the scoop on this exciting casting development, and they’ve officially been proven correct. In fact, they even have a rumored storyline that sounds like it could make the movie very personal for Moranis.

Back when DisInsider first reported the news of Rick Moranis coming back to this franchise, here’s how they described where we find Wayne Szalinski after all these years:

Aware that the family ties have loosened over time but seemingly afraid to confront anyone directly. He has been tinkering alone in his attic for decades, dealing with the grief of losing his wife. When we first meet him, he has accidentally shrunk himself and is flying around on a shrunken drone — seemingly lost in a continuous of tinkering and experimenting that often puts himself and his family in jeopardy. He later reveals he shut himself away to try and invent a solution to help shrink Diane’s cancer but found it hard to cope when he ran out of time. His guilt and shame is palpable. Through the crisis of the kids getting shrunk, the truth emerges and the bonds begin to redevelop between him and his kids.

We’ve confirmed this information comes from a casting breakdown for the movie, but cannot 100% confirm the accuracy of the information. It’s possible the casting breakdown doesn’t have the most accurate details and things could have changed behind the scenes while the casting process was still unfolding. After all, what we heard previously was the movie would find Josh Gad as a grown up Nick Szalinsky who accidentally shrinks his own kids. That doesn’t preclude this character set-up for Wayne Szalinski, and it sounds like exactly the kind of personal story that could lure Rick Moranis out of pseudo-retirement, but it does sound a little dark for a Disney movie. Then again, Disney movies kill parents all the time, so maybe it’s par for the course.

For those unaware, Rick Moranis took a big step back from acting because his wife, Anne Moranis, died of cancer in February 1991. He wanted to be able to spend more time raising his kids in the wake of their mother’s death. But since Moranis’ kids are all grown up, he’s constantly been saying that he’s not retired anymore, but has been simply waiting for the right projects to come along. During that time, he’s turned down plenty of chances to make cheeky cameos tied to past roles, but it sounds like this one may have really struck a chord.

In a strange coincidence, actress Marcia Strassman, who played Moranis’ character’s wife, Diane Szalinski, in both Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and Honey, I Blew Up the Kid, also died of cancer back in 2014. So there are two layers of emotional ties to this sequel’s storyline.

As previously reported, the original film’s director, Joe Johnson, will also be getting back behind the camera, which is something else that might have been a contributing factor in getting Moranis to come back. The Muppets producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing through their Mandeville Films and Television banner, with Todd Rosenberg writing the screenplay. We’re very excited to see how this one turns out, so stay tuned.

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