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Get a First Look at Another Mickey Mouse Horror Film In The Works

Get a First Look at Another Mickey Mouse Horror Film In The Works

And another one, no thank you…

In the wake of the expiration of the copyright for Disney’s 1928 short film “Steamboat Willie,” indie filmmakers are seizing the opportunity to reimagine and bring dark twists to beloved childhood characters. Following the release of the trailer for “Mickey’s Mouse Trap” by director Jamie Bailey, Variety reports that another horror-comedy centered around the iconic character is in the works, directed by Steven LaMorte.

Known for his previous horror parody “The Mean One,” a dark take on the Grinch, LaMorte is set to direct an untitled horror-comedy that promises to unleash a sadistic version of Mickey Mouse tormenting unsuspecting ferry passengers. Production for this unique project is scheduled to begin in the spring, taking advantage of the newfound freedom granted by the public domain status of the 1928 Mickey Mouse.

LaMorte expressed his excitement about the project, stating, “Steamboat Willie has brought joy to generations, but beneath that cheerful exterior lies a potential for pure, unhinged terror. It’s a project I’ve been dreaming of, and I can’t wait to unleash this twisted take on this beloved character to the world.”

He emphasized that the goal is not to ruin or exploit these characters but to explore new creative avenues while still honoring and loving them. LaMorte, along with producers Steven Della Salla and Michael Leavy, is collaborating with a legal team to ensure they stay within the bounds of the law and avoid any potential legal issues with Disney.

Despite the expiration of copyright for “Steamboat Willie” and the original versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Disney maintains its copyrights for the later, more familiar iterations of these characters. The company has made it clear that it will actively protect its trademarks and may take legal action against projects that imply endorsement or affiliation with the Disney brand.

LaMorte reassured that they are diligent in their efforts to avoid confusion and legal challenges, stating, “We are doing our due diligence to make sure there’s no question or confusion of what we’re up to. This is our version of a public domain character. It’s a scary thrill ride with heart and humor, based on this character that everybody knows.”

Notably, in this upcoming film, the character won’t even be referred to as “Mickey Mouse” but will go by the name “Steamboat Willie,” paying homage to the original cartoon. LaMorte’s past project, “The Mean One,” released in 2022, garnered approximately $1 million in theaters worldwide, and the team behind it is joining forces with the producers of “Terrifier 2,” which grossed $15 million.

The surge of creative projects featuring the once-protected Mickey Mouse character comes on the heels of the public domain status, allowing filmmakers to explore new and unconventional narratives. As the trend continues, with both LaMorte’s upcoming project and Jamie Bailey’s “Mickey’s Mouse Trap,” it remains to be seen whether audiences will embrace these dark and twisted reimaginings of iconic childhood characters. The success of last year’s “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey” suggests a growing interest in such unconventional adaptations, sparking curiosity about the reception of these new Mickey Mouse projects.

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