This week Disney’s 1928 animated short film, “Steamboat Willie” enters the public domain for the first time and already people have big plans for the famous mouse character…
According to reports, at least two horror films starring an early version of Mickey are in the works…
A film like this might have been considered a copyright infringement just a few days ago; Mickey has been synonymous with the Disney brand for nearly a century. But since US law allows copyright to be held for 95 years, on January 1, 2024, Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” copyright officially expired, opening the door for more Mickey-themed content.
A second Steamboat Willie horror film, directed by Steven LaMorte, was announced Tuesday via a press release. The film will start production in the Spring of 2024.
“Steamboat Willie has brought joy to generations, but beneath that cheerful exterior lies a potential for pure, unhinged terror,” LaMorte said in the release. “I can’t wait to unleash our twisted take on this beloved character to the world.
There are some differences between Mickey in “Steamboat Willie” and Disney’s modern iconic mascot. Steamboat Willie lacks the current Mickey’s gloves and oversized shoes, and his eyes are small black ovals without pupils.
The two films follow last year’s “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” a slasher movie made possible by the 2022 copyright expiration of A.A. Milne’s original Winnie the Pooh character.