Disney is already starting to axe more Fox projects. Mouse Guard was set to begin production in two weeks, but will not be happening after Disney pulled the plug. The adaptation of the Archaia/Boom! Studios comic was highly anticipated and had everything lined up and ready to go. The long-talked about Disney and Fox deal officially finalized at the end of March and Disney has had no problems cleaning house and getting rid of unneeded Fox projects or employees. A reason behind the scrapping of Mouse Guard has not been revealed.
While a reasoning for the production halt on Mouse Guard was not given, there has been speculation it was due to the fact that Disney has a few live-action CGI projects on its plate at the moment. Mouse Guard is set up to use motion capture and a lot of CGI for the mice and other animals, leading to comparisons of recent and future Disney movies. Others speculate that the budget of $170 million is too high for a Fox-related project under their roof, which may have been the reason behind the sudden cancelation. Another source close to the matter says the money isn’t an issue.
Andy Serkis and Thomas Brodie-Sangster were set to lead the cast of Mouse Guard and Idris Elba was expected to join the cast as of last month. Samson Kayo and Jack Whitehall were also set to star in the project. However, it looks like the cast may have just earned a vacation since the production has been stopped. There is no word if everybody will remain on board or if the movie will have to be recast if someone else picks it up, which is a possibility.
While the production halt on Mouse Guard is certainly not good news for producers Matt Reeves, Ross Ritchie, and Stephen Christy, it is believed they are being allowed to shop the movie. There is apparently already interest in getting the project back up and running, which would be great for the cast and crew who were already set to begin in a few weeks. Director Wes Ball (Maze Runner) is expected to turn the movie into a franchise and there are a lot of high hopes behind him and the movie.
As to where Mouse Guard will end up, that is a mystery for the time being, but it has been rumored Netflix is interested. The streaming platform could make for a good fit for the movie and they are looking to compete with Disney+, which is launching at the end of the year. Taking a project from Disney and turning it into a success would certainly be a way to start the streaming wars off. However, it is unclear at this time where Mouse Guard will end up when the dust settles.
Mouse Guard has been described as Game of Thrones, but with mice. There is a ton of potential for the project and Netflix could be the place to tell the story in a long-form way, though it isn’t clear if they would want to take the movie and turn it into a series instead. As for Disney, it is imagined they will continue to clean house over the next several months while they compete with themselves at the box office and try to wipe out all of the other streaming platforms with Disney+. The Hollywood Reporter was the first to announce the Mouse Guard cancellation news.