It looks like Disney Channel is once again setting out to reboot a beloved original series from yesteryear. Following in the footsteps of Raven’s Home and Girl Meets World, the Russo family is gearing up to return to the Mouse House with a new series inspired by Wizards of Waverly Place. While Selena Gomez might be thrilled about it, I'm not so sure about it.
Deadline broke the news today, sharing what little details they could about the planned revival. While not officially ordered to series, Disney Branded Television has ordered a pilot episode that will feature David Henrie reprising his role as Justin Russo as a series regular, and Selena Gomez is set to reprise her character Alex in a guest-starring role.
The pilot will follow Justin, a husband, and father of two children, who gets sucked back into the wizarding world after leaving it behind to help train a powerful new wizard who shows up unexpectedly at his doorstep.
A handful of new characters will also be joining the show, however, right now all the attention seems to be on Henrie and Gomez who both seem excited about the opportunity to reprise their roles. While I love the excitement from them, as a fan of the original, I can’t help but be very skeptical about what’s to come.
Selena Gomez Is Ready To Be Alex Russo Again In Wizards Of Waverly Place
Gomez is staying booked and busy in 2024. Not only will the comedic actress be returning to Only Murders in the Building for a fourth season, but she will also be taking on the role of Linda Ronstadt in a brand new biopic. On top of that, the pop singer is also set to reprise one of her best roles as Alex Russo in a guest starring role in the brand new Disney Channel pilot.
After the news broke, Gomez took to her Instagram to share a screenshot of the official Deadline news story, adding a heart emoji and the caption “so excited!!” It was the next story post she shared, though, that had original Wizards of Waverly Place fans jumping for joy. The post contains a picture of herself and Henrie as Alex and Justin lounging on the iconic orange couch. The Emmy Award nominee captioned the image, writing:
Her co-star Henrie, also shared the excitement with his Instagram followers, sharing an image of the pilot script, and writing:
The Russo’s are excited to become a part of your family, once again, but we’ve grown 😊 2024, the year magic comes back! 🪄
While it’s nice to see both of their excitement, I can’t help but wonder if Jake T. Austin, who portrayed their younger brother Max, has been asked to join the fun. And what about the rest of the original cast?
All in all, this announcement is making me feel very skeptical.
The Wizards Of Waverly Place Revival Sounds Great In Theory, But I Can’t Help But Be Skeptical
Call me cynical, but I can’t help but be a bit skeptical about this new revival. Sure, Disney Channel has had successful ones in the past, like Raven’s Home, but my heart has been left broken ever since the Lizzie McGuire revival was canceled.
As much as I love the Russos and the world of one of Selena Gomez's best projects, there’s potential for this reboot to pull a Toy Story 4 and ruin the perfect ending the series and subsequent movie gave fans.
Besides that, fans have also been treated to a podcast hosted by original cast members Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise who have been open about what it was like filming the series. So, we've been getting new and fun content from the Wizarding world.
All that’s to say, do we really need to mess with the perfection that was created the first time around? Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely excited and rooting for the show’s success. However, as a general hater of sequels and revivals, I can’t help but wonder why Disney Branded Television isn’t putting more time and effort into creating new and original comedies, instead of capitalizing on nostalgia.
While it’ll be a while before we get to see Henrie and Gomez step back into these beloved roles, fans can stream the original series with a Disney+ subscription. In the meantime, keep an eye out on the 2024 TV schedule just in case the Mouse House decides to fast-track this show.