Break out that 100-watt smile: Life-Size, the Lindsay Lohan/Tyra Banks-starring television movie, is getting a sequel. Wait, what?
Tyra Banks responded to a question about the reboot on Twitter over the weekend (rumors have been circulating since 2012), writing, “Tis true, Love” and then linking to a Digital Spy article in which she’s quoted as saying, “I have a meeting today to go over the script! I don’t think it’ll be out until probably 2015, but I’m guessing – it could be late 2014 or 2015. But it will be back – Life-Size will be back, better than ever…I’m under contract with Disney and I can’t talk about it at all, except that it’s coming. But it will be very different, very different. Very modern – a modern take.” (EW reached out to a rep for Disney, who didn’t return a request for comment.)
For those who didn’t know a 12-year-old in 2000, a quick recap: Life-Size is a 2000 ABC television movie that starred a post-Parent Trap Lohan as a young girl, Casey, whose mother had just died. Desperate to bring her back to life, Casey casts a spell from a magic book, but due to a hair mix-up, instead of bringing her mom back to life Casey accidentally brings a brand-new doll, Eve (Banks), to life instead. As crazy as it is, Eve helps Casey and her father rebuild their lives with a combination of good advice, kindness, and office dance parties. If you were a preteen girl, the cheesy but beloved film was the perfect mix of tragedy, glamour, make believe and fun. And now apparently there will be a round two.
The problem: The movie doesn’t have a whole lot of loose ends that could lend themselves to a second installment; it was a silly Disney movie where everyone lived, essentially, happily ever after. It’s not clear if the “modern take” will be a reboot — new girl, same doll — or an actual sequel where an all-grown-up Lindsay Lohan needs someone to help her out, and it turns out that Tyra Banks, not Oprah, is just the woman for the job. (Evidence: “I was rooting for you!“).
While the campiness level of a true-life Lohan tale would make Liz & Dick look straight-up documentary-like , that clearly is pretty unrealistic, and it seems likely Disney might have in mind rebooting the movie for a new, young generation. What kind of “modern” take should they adapt?
1.) Bye bye, Eve doll. The biggest change might be the most necessary. Disney should take a cue from Her and turn Eve into an operating system or NeoPet-esque doll that lives online. Casey can have a relationship with her on the web (perhaps she’s the picture behind the advice columnist for some Girls Life-type website), that one day is living and breathing in her bedroom. While kids obviously still play with dolls, this could give Disney a way to update the tale with a new fantasy for the young ones: Something that once only lived in your computer can now accompany you to a restaurant. (Butter!)
2.) In the original, Casey’s main hobby is football and she struggles with the fact her dad seems too busy to come to her games. Time for a sport update: Katniss Everdeen-inspired archery. Producers could also flesh out this part of the story and make the character struggle with getting on the boys’ team or some other gender equality message that Eve can help her accomplish. Eve knows girls can do anything guys can do.
3.) The Lohan factor. Cherubic Lindsay Lohan is a big reason why people like the original. Despite all of her issues, a Lohan-free Life-Size would feel like something is missing….but the only parts she could really play are the dead mother (too morbid), or Dad’s co-worker/sort-of love interest. And these days, it’s hard, if not impossible, to watch Lohan onscreen as anyone other than herself. On the other hand, Lohan can always use a shot of public goodwill, and briefly appearing in this return-to-roots movie — even just as an office mate of Casey’s dad — might be a winning PR move that would allow her to show she’s giving the movie her blessing, while allowing some new little girl to have the spotlight.
Special note to producers: Don’t change one second of this:
Should Disney/ABC leave Life-Size alone, or would you like to see an updated version for a new crew of kids? (Miley Cyrus, for one, is psyched!) And while we’re updating early ’00 made-for-TV movies, allow me to formally put in a request for Luck of the Irish.