“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” Turns 35! What Ever Happened to Josh Gad's Sequel “Shrunk”?

Josh Gad, who is set to star in the sequel, previously gave an update on its production (or rather, lack thereof) in June 2023



Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is 35!

The classic 1989 family film starring Rick Moranis as inventor dad Wayne Szalinksi hits its new milestone anniversary on Sunday, June 23, which is once again igniting conversation about the fate of its previously announced Josh Gad-starring sequel, Shrunk.

Directed by Joe Johnston, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids follows Wayne as he accidentally shrinks his children, Amy and Nick (played by Amy O'Neill and Robert Oliveri), and their neighbors, Russ and Ron (Thomas Wilson Brown and Jared Rushton).

The kids battle seemingly innocuous elements in the backyard — and social hurdles among themselves — as they struggle to make it back into the house so that Wayne can turn them back into their full-sized selves.

The film spawned two sequels: Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) and the direct-to-video Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (1997). Both saw Moranis, now 71, reprise his role as Wayne — and the latter marked his final live-action film role before his decades-long break from acting.

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Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection Rick Moranis in <em>Honey, I Shrunk the Kids</em> (1989)
Buena Vista Pictures/Everett Collection Rick Moranis in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Related: Rick Moranis Is 71! Inside His Quiet Life Since Leaving Hollywood 28 Years Ago

Shrunk is set to recreate the films' premise, with Gad’s Nick Szalinski (previously played by Oliveri, now 46, as a child) accidentally shrinking his own kids, setting up the new story decades later.

Slash Film first reported in May 2019 that Walt Disney Pictures had cast Gad, 43, in an upcoming reboot of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. But in June 2023, the Frozen voice actor gave an update about the project, essentially noting that it was still in development.

"A lot of u ask me what’s going on with this film. Truth is, we were inches from starting and then COVID hit, inches from starting again & then my schedule exploded with conflicts, inches from starting again & budget got the best of us," he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) at the time.

"If you want it, let your local @disney know," added Gad, sharing an unofficial poster for the film featuring Moranis that he credited as being made by artist BossLogic and noting in a separate post that Moranis was still on board for the movie.

Reps for Disney have not responded to PEOPLE about the alleged delays in production.

<p>Phillip Faraone/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty; Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic</p> Josh Gad in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2023; Rick Moranis in New York City on April 12, 2017

Phillip Faraone/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty; Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Josh Gad in Los Angeles on Feb. 6, 2023; Rick Moranis in New York City on April 12, 2017

Reflecting on their time making the first film, Brown, now 51, tells PEOPLE that being a part of something so special has really stuck with him.

"To this day, when I meet people and they talk of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and how it affected their lives in such a positive way, it is truly humbling and a great honor to be a small part of those shared memories," he says.

O'Neill, now 52, says she has "[taken] the opportunity to travel about meeting fans, cosplayers and cinema enthusiasts" in recent years, post-pandemic, "and I can confidently report back that the love is still there. After 35 years, the fans really want another sequel!"

She also tells PEOPLE that there was once another sequel in development that never came to fruition, "involving Russ and Amy (and someone left at the altar), and Wayne switching brains with" the family dog, Quark.

"Not long ago, I was told that the Shrunk producers are still hopeful that it will restart, but like so much in life, it will be a surprise for us all!" O'Neill adds.

<p>Moviestore/Shutterstock</p> From L: Jared Rushton, Amy O'Neill, Robert Oliveri and Thomas Wilson Brown in <em>Honey, I Shrunk the Kids</em> (1989)


From L: Jared Rushton, Amy O'Neill, Robert Oliveri and Thomas Wilson Brown in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)

Related: Josh Gad Teases Production on 'Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' Sequel with Photo of Rick Moranis

Shrunk would mark the first movie role for Moranis in over 25 years, after he decided to take a step back following his wife Ann Belsky’s tragic death.

The actor lost his wife, a costume designer with whom he had two children, in February 1991 to breast cancer. Moranis slowly left public life to focus on being a single father, but he’s never retired from the business, as he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2015.

“I took a break, which turned into a longer break,” he told THR at the time. “But I’m interested in anything that I would find interesting. I still get the occasional query about a film or television role and as soon as one comes along that piques my interest.”

Back in 2020, Moranis said during an appearance on Prop Culture, per Entertainment Weekly, that much of the charm of the original Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was owed to director Johnston, 74.

"He had the vision of this in his head," Moranis said. "And on that movie, I was really an actor. I think I drove him crazy a couple of times trying to get more comedy into it 'cause I was always looking for how to disrupt and get some more jokes in, and poor Joe just wanted to make his movie."

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is streaming on Disney+.

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