The Spiderwick Chronicles Cast Were Surprised How Dark New TV Series Gets

We talked to Christian Slater and Joy Bryant about The Spiderwick Chronicles.

The Spiderwick Chronicles is debuting on The Roku Channel this weekend, and it marks the latest adaptation of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's beloved book series. There was a film adaptation of the books back in 2008, but the new show's stars promise the upcoming series will be quite different. recently had the chance to chat with some of the show's cast, including Christian Slater (Mulgarath) and Joy Bryant (Helen Grace). During the interview, the actors talked about how dark the new show gets. 

"I think a few people were surprised." Slater shared with a laugh. "There is an element of darkness. I mean, it's scary. We were scared while making it. I mean, the special effects team did an incredible job creating the Mulgarath creature ... We were shooting out in the woods a lot of the time, and it was cold, it was rainy. And there was this 8-foot creature walking around and would sneak up on us and legitimately scare the heck out of us."

You can watch our interview with Slater and Bryant at the top of the page.

What Is The Spiderwick Chronicles About?

In Roku's The Spiderwick Chronicles, the Grace family moves from Brooklyn, New York, to their ancestral home in Henson, Michigan: the Spiderwick Estate. Helen makes the move with her 15-year-old fraternal twin boys, Jared and Simon, and her older daughter, Mallory. Shortly after moving to the Spiderwick Estate Jared discovers a boggart and realizes that magical creatures are real. The only one to believe him is his great-aunt Lucinda, who implores Jared to find the pages of her father's field guide to magical creatures and protect them from the murderous Ogre, Mulgarath. 

The cast of The Spiderwick Chronicles includes Joy Bryant, Lyon Daniels, Noah Cottrell, Mychala Lee, Jack Dylan Grazer, Christian Slater, and Alyvia Alyn Lind. The series is showrun by Aron Eli Coleite, with executive producers including Coleite, Kat Coiro, Tony DiTerlizzi, Holly Black, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, Jeremy Bell, D.J. Goldberg, Julie Kane-Ritsch, and Grace Gilroy.

Why Did Disney+ Cancel The Spiderwick Chronicles?

In a surprising move, many brand-new shows and movies have been scrapped by various studios despite already completing production. This started happening in 2022 with the Batgirl film, and it's a trend that has become a big topic of conversation. Last year, Deadline reported that Disney+ decided not to move forward with the already-completed Spiderwick Chronicles "amid a focus on content curation and Disney-owned IP." The Spiderwick Chronicles was one of the rare projects for Disney+ that was based on non-Disney IP. 

"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 CFO Christine McCarthy explained in May. "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."

Roku picked up the series a couple of months later. 

The Spiderwick Chronicles debuts on The Roku Channel on April 19th.