Starting January 1, 2024, Steamboat Williethe 1928 short film that introduced Mickey Mouse to everyone, it entered the public domain after its copyright expired. As soon as the clock struck 12:00 am, different horror-themed projects that revolve around this version of Mickey began to be announced.

One of them is the still unofficially titled horror comedy about Steamboat Williewho has signed Steven LaMorte as director. LaMorte directed The Mean One (2023), a horror film that put a terrifying twist on the popular Grinch character.

The horror comedy about Steamboat Willie will focus on a sadistic mouse who torments a group of unsuspecting ferry passengers. (via Variety).

LaMorte said in a press release:

Steamboat Willie has brought joy to generations, but beneath that cheerful exterior lies a potential for pure, deranged terror. “It's a project I've been dreaming about and I can't wait to unleash this twisted version of this beloved character on the world.”

“It all comes from our love for these characters. [Los] Filmmakers, we are children in the sandbox. We love wearing them and playing with them in different ways. It's not a desire to ruin these characters or make a quick buck, but to love them, honor them, and show them in a new light”.

“We are doing our due diligence to make sure there is no doubt or confusion about what we are doing. This is our version of a public domain character. It is a terrifying, exciting journey, with heart and humor, based on this character that everyone knows”.

EYE ON THE DATA: The only version of Mickey that is in the public domain is the one portrayed in Steamboat Willie. Likewise, it will be necessary to know if the name Mickey Mouse can be used in these new and recently announced projects.

Over the weekend, a Disney representative clarified:

“More modern versions of Mickey will not be affected by the expiration of Steamboat Willie's copyright, and Mickey will continue to play a prominent role as a global ambassador for the Walt Disney Company in our storytelling, theme park attractions and products.

“Of course, we will continue to protect our rights in more modern versions of Mickey Mouse and other works that remain subject to copyright, and we will work to protect against consumer confusion caused by unauthorized uses of Mickey and our other iconic characters. “

This is somewhat similar to what happened with Winnie the Pooh, a character originally introduced to the audience in the 1920s by author AA Milne. The version of the character that Disney turned into a pop culture icon is not available in the public domain, while the original incarnation of the character is. That is why projects like the slasher have been possible. Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey (2023), which already has a sequel in the works.

First official image:


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