Lizzie McGuire star Hilary Duff will reprise her Disney Channel role as a 30-year-old Lizzie in a Disney+ sequel series announced Friday at D23 Expo, but a former series writer says Disney once planned a start-from-scratch reboot without Duff when the star said she "didn't want to return."
After Disney and Duff unveiled the revival, Lizzie McGuire executive story editor Nina Bargiel published a Twitter thread explaining she's not involved in the followup series despite penning 17 episodes of the original show that ran between 2001 and 2004.
Lizzie McGuire was my first writing job. I was still working with my older brother @JeremyBargiel. We wrote 17 episodes, including the Aaron Carter and the bra episode. I have had many (MANY!) jobs in the past 19 years, but Lizzie was my favorite.— Nina (I Stand With the WGA) Bargiel (@slackmistress) August 24, 2019
Bargiel then said she was approached by Lizzie McGuire executive producer Stan Rogow about a reboot. "Hilary had said she didn't want to return to Lizzie so we worked on it as a high school reboot," Bargiel wrote, adding she was tapped to pen a holiday movie for Disney-owned Freeform in 2018.
When Duff expressed an interest in revisiting the character in a 2018 interview with Buzzfeed, Bargiel paused her Freeform project and Rogow made contact with Disney.
However, in the middle of the outline stage at Freeform, I saw a Hilary interview on Buzzfeed where she said she was finally ready to come back to the character!!! I stopped writing and sent it to Stan, who sent it to Disney.— Nina (I Stand With the WGA) Bargiel (@slackmistress) August 24, 2019
"The Freeform movie was put on hold, because HELLO? Of course we want to see Hilary back as Lizzie! I was told to hang tight as the deal was made," Bargiel tweeted. "I waited... and waited... and then in February (or March?) of this year, I was told that I was no longer going to be involved."
Bargiel added the original series' run was "a privilege to write on" before admitting she's "sad not to be involved" with the sequel, which catches up with Lizzie as a decorator's apprentice working in New York City.
I waited...and waited...and then in February (or March?) of this year, I was told that I was no longer going to be involved.— Nina (I Stand With the WGA) Bargiel (@slackmistress) August 24, 2019
Asked if she would ever return for a Lizzie McGuire reboot, Duff told Buzzfeed in June 2018, "Honestly, the idea sounded terrible like two years ago when reboots were happening. But you never know. I don't know, I loved Lizzie McGuire and it might be really fun to see where she is now."
By December, Duff confirmed with ET she participated in "conversations" for a reprisal of her role, but stressed the series was not yet officially moving forward.
"I mean I love her so much," Duff said of her character, who famously fielded commentary from her animated counterpart. "I think she was so important to girls at an important time in their life. If she could be important to them again at this age, I think that would be amazing."
During the D23 presentation unveiling the coming project, Duff revealed Lizzie is about to turn 30 and has the "perfect life" with her dream job and her dream guy. Despite having what sounds like a picture perfect plan, Lizzie is "still dealing with that 13-year-old, no-holds-barred, animated Lizzie that's constantly babbling in her adult-Lizzie head."
A premiere date for the new Lizzie McGuire has not been announced. Disney+ launches November 12.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images