Disney Cancels 'Mouse Guard' Just Two Weeks Before Production Start

David Petersen's Mouse Guard comic series charmed a generation of viewers when they first debuted, but it sounds like it will be a bit longer until the story hits the big screen.

According to a new report from Deadline, the Mouse Guard motion-capture movie has been put on hold by the Walt Disney Company, just two weeks before the project was expected to begin production. The film was initially developed by 20th Century Fox, which Disney now owns thanks to the iconic merger between the two companies.

The report says that "Disney brass looked at it carefully and the feeling was it wasn't a good fit", adding that the film is among the "younger demo projects" that the company already has a lot of. The filmmakers are reportedly trying to find another home for the film, including possibly at Netflix.

Mouse Guard would follow a brotherhood of mice in a medieval era, with a cast that includes Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Sonoya Mizuno.

The film, which will be directed by Wes Ball, will have a sizeable budget and use the same WETA technology that was used to bring the apes to life in the most-recent Planet of the Apes trilogy to recreate the animals from Petersen’s world.

“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.”

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“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.”

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