Batgirl syndrome is sadly spreading, as two completed Disney Plus series have now been cancelled by one of the best streaming services, including the highly anticipated The Spiderwick Chronicles, and may never see the light of day as a result.
According to Deadline, The Spiderwick Chronicles, an eight-episode fantasy series already filmed, is part of a major content write-off announced by the House of Mouse earlier this year. Based on Tony DiTerlizzi’s and Holly Black’s novels, The Spiderwick Chronicles follows the adventures of three siblings — Simon, Jared, and Mallory — after discovering a hidden world of fairies and magic in their new home, Spiderwick Estate.
It was previously adapted into a ‘2000s movie starring Freddie Highmore and was distributed by Paramount Pictures. Deadline reports that Paramount and 20th Television were also behind The Spiderwick Chronicles’ adaptation to what could’ve been one of the best Disney Plus show. According to the outlet, Paramount is now shopping the series to other potential buyers.
Not much is known about this adaptation of The Spiderwick Chronicles, but Variety previously reported that Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays one of the best DC characters, Freddy Freeman, in the Shazam! movies was part of the cast.
Meanwhile, Nautilus, a ten-episode drama series about the origins of Captain Nemo, has suffered the same fate. Despite filming already being completed, Deadline reports that the series is being shopped to other networks and platforms as part of Disney Plus’ radical cost-cutting strategy. Starring Shazad Latif, Nautilus was meant to be a prequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea — detailing how Captain Nemo and his infamous submarine came to be.
While other networks may save both shows, the completed episodes will not be released publicly if they aren’t picked up. In February 2023, Disney revealed that the company aims to cut its spending on non-sports content by $3 billion. To achieve this, Disney outlined plans to slow down the volume of Star Wars series and Marvel series, as well as focus more on Disney IPs and removing certain shows from the corportion’s platforms.
Controversially, this led to dozens of Disney Plus and Hulu shows being removed from the platform earlier this year, including Willow, Big Shot, Y: The Last Man, and Dollface. “We are in the process of reviewing the content on our DTC services to align with the strategic changes in our approach to content curation,” Disney’s CFO said at the time [via Deadline].
“As a result, we will be removing certain content from our streaming platforms, and currently expect to take an impairment charge of approximately $1.5 to $1.8 billion.”
To see whether your favorite Disney movies survived the cull, here’s what we know about everything new on Disney Plus. Or, if you’re thinking of turning your attention to other streaming services, check out our guides to what’s new on Netflix, new on Paramount Plus, new on Apple TV Plus, and new on Amazon Prime Video.
You can also take a look at our guide to the best TV series of all time if you feel like you need cheering up.