Back in 2019, Disney cancelled the Mouse Guard movie adaptation just two weeks before production was to start on the project. Now, nearly three years later writer Gary Whitta is sharing a look at the screenplay for the project and while his post doesn’t reveal any details for the cancelled project, it does reveal just how much he loved the film’s script, calling it his favorite thing he’s ever written.
When I was tweeting recently about abandoned projects I didn’t include this one because it’s still too painful. Probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written, poured my heart and soul into it. Everybody loved it. Ripped my guts out when it got shitcanned. Ugh. pic.twitter.com/YgY7bpJr3P
“When I was tweeting recently about abandoned projects I didn’t include this one because it’s still too painful,” Whitta wrote on Twitter. “Probably my favorite thing I’ve ever written, poured my heart and soul into it. Everybody loved it. Ripped my guts out when it got sh-itcanned. Ugh.”
Based on David Petersen’s comic series of the same name, Mouse Guard would have followed a brotherhood of mice in a medieval era. The film was set to be directed by Wes Ball and would have starred Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Sonoya Mizuno. The film ultimately ended up one of the biggest casualties of the Disney/Fox merger when it was put on hold in April 2019 and while reports initially indicated that the film would be shopped elsewhere, that has not come to pass leaving fans to wonder what might have been.
“Not to make any news or anything, but I think that will be my next movie,” Petersen explained in a previous interview. “I kind of went off after this movie, had a vacation and was sort of dreaming about what could be next, but if all goes according to plan this might be it. It could be pretty special, actually. We’re just in the early stages, of course, but it’s gonna be a giant friggin’ movie. My next movie is probably going to cost what my last three movies combined cost. It’s kinda crazy, because it’s going to be one giant visual effects movie, essentially. It’s a fairly beloved little comic series, same as Maze Runner in a lot of ways. There’s a lot of people who love these books.”
“The trick with this one is we have to thread that needle with tone,” he explained. “I’m not interested in doing a DreamWorks or Pixar-type movie, I’m interested in doing something closer to Planet of the Apes where you’re really gonna nail characters and show the harsh reality of what they live in. It’s gonna be a little bit of both, probably, but at the same time because of the cost I need as big an audience as possible. So, I want 10-year-olds to see this as much as 40- and 50-year-olds, you know? That’s the needle we have to thread, but for me personally… the way Star Wars appealed to me as a kid growing up hit that tone in a weird way. It appealed to the kid in everybody but still took itself seriously. That’s really exciting to me, that kind of film, that kind of target, but obviously set in this really harsh world of mice and swords.”
What do you think? Are you still disappointed Mouse Guard was canceled? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.