Disney’s ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ Reboot Sounds Like the Best Way Possible for Rick Moranis to Come Out of Retirement

For the past few years, Disney has been busy remaking its classic animated films for live action. And with Disney+ in the mix, the studio is poised to ramp up its journey down memory lane. With the Fox deal now resolved, the streaming service is already prepping Home Alone for the reboot treatment. But Disney is dusting off other family favorites.

1989’s Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is one such project. Fans of that film — and its two sequels — might balk at the idea of rebooting the franchise, which also spawned a TV series. However, if the latest reports are true, the new Honey, I Shrunk the Kids could finally coax original star Rick Moranis out of retirement.

Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy in 2017
Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy in 2017 | George Pimentel/Getty Images

Rick Moranis left Hollywood behind

From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s, Moranis was everywhere. He started his career on sketch series SCTV before breaking into movies with 1983’s Strange Brew. In the following decade, Moranis delivered memorable turns in hits like Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors, Spaceballs, and My Blue Heaven.

But after his wife Ann passed away in 1991, the actor slowly began to wind down his on-screen career. Rather than continue acting, Moranis chose to focus on his family life. The 1997 release of Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves — the direct-to-video third entry in the series — served as his last on-screen role.

Since then, Moranis’ only credits have been voice roles, including Disney’s Brother Bear and a 2018 episode of ABC’s The Goldbergs. He has even resisted coming out of retirement for the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot and the forthcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife. But Moranis now could be coming back to theaters in perhaps his most famous role.

How the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ reboot could bring him back

According to The DisInsider, Moranis is in “early talks” to return as Wayne Szalinski, the scientist whose shrinking machine routinely causes trouble. Picking up the story from previous films in real time, the new Honey, I Shrunk the Kids will center on Wayne’s son, Nick, played by Josh Gad. But what really makes the potential addition of Moranis so powerful is the movie’s reported description.

Aware that the family ties have loosened over time but seemingly afraid to confront anyone directly. He has been tinkering alone in his attic for decades, dealing with the grief of losing his wife. When we first meet him, he has accidentally shrunk himself and is flying around on a shrunken drone — seemingly lost in a continuous of tinkering and experimenting that often puts himself and his family in jeopardy. He later reveals he shut himself away to try and invent a solution to help shrink Diane’s cancer but found it hard to cope when he ran out of time. His guilt and shame is palpable. Through the crisis of the kids getting shrunk, the truth emerges and the bonds begin to redevelop between him and his kids.

That description touches directly on Moranis’ decision to step away from the spotlight following his own wife’s death. We’re not sure just yet if the actor will return for the new Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. But it’s hard to imagine a better film for which he could emerge from retirement.

Why the film is perfect for his return

Fans of Moranis’ filmography have been clamoring for his return for years. Since Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves was his final role, it seems fitting his next on-screen role would literally pick up where he left off. Moreover, original Honey, I Shrunk the Kids director Joe Johnston is attached to direct the new movie, bringing it full circle.

Johnston gave Moranis the chance to headline his own franchise. Although the actor has appeared in big films such as Ghostbusters, rarely did he get the chance to play the lead and certainly not in sequels. But for an actor as reticent to fame as Moranis, is the opportunity to take the lead enough incentive? Probably not.

No, the best reason for Moranis to reprise his role is to pay tribute to his late wife. If Wayne Szalinski has indeed shunned the world following Diane’s death, his journey neatly mirrors Moranis’ own life. This approach could be the heart of the story, giving the actor something personal to play. Rather than ignoring his long absence, the new Honey, I Shrunk the Kids might take it on in the most beautiful way. Here’s hoping it happens.