Gargoyles, one of Disney’s weirdest and best ’90s cartoon experiments, is coming back. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Gary Dauberman and James Wan, who also made the whole Annabelle series of scary movies, are adapting the series as a live-action show for Disney Plus.
Dauberman will write, executive produce, and showrun the series. The series will presumably follow a similar path to the original cartoon, also available on Disney Plus. The cartoon aired from 1994 to 1997 and followed a clan of gargoyles cursed to live as stone. A thousand years pass, and when a billionaire moves them and their castle to his skyscraper in Manhattan, the gargoyles awaken, team up with a local detective, and begin protecting the city from criminals, billionaires, and lots and lots of magical creatures.
It was a notable show not just because it was a serial animated show intended for kids (there were fewer of those than you think in the ’90s) but because half the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation seemed to voice characters in the show. It was also just… a very good kids show that introduced a whole microgeneration to Shakespeare (Macbeth is a gargoyle-hunting antihero. and the fair court of A Midsummer Night’s Dream are regular antagonists).
This isn’t the first time someone’s attempted to adapt the show. The most recent attempt was by Jordan Peele, whom Disney turned down before he cemented himself as a premiere horror director and writer with Get Out. This time, it will be from the team of the doomed Swamp Thing reboot on DC Universe. That show was excellent but was canceled shortly after it aired due to weird tax issues in its filming locations. Hopefully, Dauberman won’t run into the same problem this time.
But I do have one concern. The last time Disney rebooted a beloved Millennial property as a live-action show for Disney Plus was Willow. That show was wonderful and featured a cast of actors rapidly making names for themselves in big hits like Bottoms. But Disney pulled Willow from the streaming service only a few months after the premiere, leaving fans and potential new viewers with no way to legally watch it. Just this week, Willow star Warwick Davis tweeted about the problem and called the removal “embarrassing.”
Let’s hope Disney doesn’t pull the same playbook with Gargoyles. My Millennial heart (and wallet) can’t take it.