Best. Friday. Ever. We’ve been blessed with news: there’s going to be a contemporary musical update of Freaky Friday on Disney Channel, and never has it been a better time to say “T.G.I.F.” The new Disney Channel Original Movie is set to be directed and executive produced by Steve Carr, featuring Heidi Blickenstaff reprising her role of Katherine from Disney Theatrical’s stage adaptation of Freaky Friday and Cozi Zuehlsdorff playing Ellie. The story follows an overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically swap bodies and begin a musical journey of self-discovery and empathy neither one could have ever imagined. Take a look at Blickenstaff and Zuehlsdorff, aka Katherine and Ellie:
Also joining the cast is newcomer Ricky He as Ellie’s friend, Adam; and Alex Désert as Katherine’s fiancé, Mike. Disney Channel star Jason Maybaum will play Ellie’s little brother, Fletcher. Kahyun Kim has been cast as Torrey, Katherine’s high-strung business associate. Additional cast members include Dara R. Moss as Savannah, Jennifer LaPorte as Monica, Isaiah Lehtinen as Karl and Sarah Willey as Kitty.
“A classic story like Freaky Friday has a magical capacity to engage multiple generations—whether it’s in the form of a book, a theatrical film, a stage show—or all of the above!” said Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. “Working with our partners at Disney Live Theatrical, we’re thrilled to bring this classic story to life in a whole new form—a music-driven movie for television—that will be enjoyed by tens of millions of kids and families around the world.”
Freaky Friday all started with the popular 1976 Disney film starring Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster, then as a Disney Family Movie for ABC in 1995 with lead stars Shelley Long and Gaby Hoffman. A more recent Freaky Friday encounter was when it returned to the big screen in a Walt Disney Pictures feature film headlined by Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan. The stage musical was later developed by Disney Theatrical Productions.
The teleplay for the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie was written by Bridget Carpenter, who also wrote the book for the stage musical Freaky Friday. Also signing on to the upcoming movie are Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning composers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who penned the music and lyrics for the stage version. Emmy nominee David Lawrence will compose the score. Susan Cartsonis and Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions, are also executive producers. Two-time Tony nominee John Carrafa is the choreographer and Perry Andelin Blake is the production designer. Academy Award winner Angus Strathie is the costume designer.
A Freaky Friday Disney Channel Original Movie packed with more music and a talented cast and crew? The greatest thing we could ever imagine. Let us know your thoughts!