‘Steamboat Willie’ Horror Movie in the Works as Character Enters Public Domain

Toni Ferrigno

Updated on:

steamboat willie

‘Steamboat Willie’ Horror Movie in the Works as Character Enters Public Domain

Steamboat Willie will soon enter the horror genre, as a horror film starring Steamboat Willie has been announced by director, Steven LaMorte.

steamboat willie horror
Sleight of Hand Productions / Andrew L. Kern

As of January 1, 2024, Mickey Mouse in his Steamboat Willie form is officially part of the public domain, and creators are wasting no time giving the 1928 character their own spin. According to Variety, in the film, “A sadistic mouse will torment a group of unsuspecting ferry passengers.” Steven LaMorte, whose directing credits also include a horror parody of “The Grinch,” shared information about the as-yet-untitled “Steamboat Willie” horror film that will begin production this spring. He said in a press release:

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

Steven LaMorte

This is just one of many new iterations of the Steamboat Willie character to come out of his entrance into the public domain. So far, a “Steamboat Willie” horror video game and a “Steamboat Willie” NFT have already been announced.

steamboat willie

In late 2023, Disney made a statement about Steamboat Willie entering the public domain, saying, in part, “Ever since Mickey Mouse’s first appearance in the 1928 short film ‘Steamboat Willie,’ people have associated the character with Disney’s stories, experiences, and authentic products. That will not change when the copyright in the Steamboat Willie film expires.”

What do you think about creators using Steamboat Willie in new forms of media? Let us know in the comments below.

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