Disney+ has pulled the plug on one of the higher profile original series, Book of Enchantment, based on the Villains book series by Serena Valentino which features some of the more popular Disney villains, according to Deadline.

 

What’s Happening:

  • The decision to halt production is rumored to be a creative one regarding the show’s tone and direction, with Book of Enchantment in the works at Disney+ for almost a year, even though it had never been formally greenlit.
  • The project was shut down 13 weeks into production, after a team had been working on scripts, and according to Deadline, producers had scouted locations, budget conversations were taking place, and expensive staffing decisions had been made with a May 2020 production start date in mind..
  • The site also notes that it’s possible that Book of Enchantment faced more scrutiny because of its IP content being characters more valuable to the Disney canon. Thus, executives were not pleased with the direction the series was going, as it was darker than anticipated.
  • The pilot script had been written by Michael Seitzman who also served as showrunner, with the series hailing from Seitzman and Christina Davis’ ABC Studios-based Maniac Productions
  • Disney+ is already known for being a family-oriented streaming service, with its programming conforming to that identity. The High Fidelity series reboot starring Zoe Kravitz had more adult subject matter and was moved to Hulu. The upcoming High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, also made creative changes earlier this year as it too was going in a more adult direction with its themes.
  • Deadline says there may have been an effort made to save Book of Enchantment, keeping the writers room open to bring back some levity in tone, but after those efforts, the latest script was still darker than Disney+ executives wanted it to be.
  • The decision was accepted by the show’s creators, and both sides agreed not to compromise further and push the project into a direction the creative team was not comfortable going. While this incarnation of Book of Enchantment has halted production, ABC Studios will continue to own the IP, and a new development may be seen in the future.
  • It is anticipated that Disney+ will likely announce their upcoming lineup at the D23 Expo 2019 this weekend, including shows from Star Wars and Marvel and the aforementioned High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
  • Disney+ will launch on November 12th, 2019