EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Kinney on the Possibility of Developing an Original ‘Wimpy Kid’ Story for D+

Since author Jeff Kinney first published Diary of a Wimpy Kid in 2007, more than 275 million copies of his Wimpy Kid books have been sold worldwide. Earlier this year, the 18th book in the series, No Brainer, was published and now a third animated feature, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever, is set to debut on Disney Plus on December 8th. Despite being in the business for nearly two decades, it seems like Kinney is just getting started. The author told us that there are no plans to end the series and that he hopes to ultimately adapt each of his books into an animated feature for the streaming service but for a creative mind like Kinney, there are certainly a lot of ideas that haven’t made it into a book just yet and new ideas being generated by the day. So what to do with all those ideas?

Working alongside Disney to develop the series of animated Wimpy Kid features means that while Kinney serves as the writer and producer of each project he’s also one half of a creative partnership with a studio that has its own streaming service. While talking to Kinney about his latest project, we wondered if Kinney had considered creating an original Wimpy Kid story for Disney Plus.

I hadn’t thought of that,” expressed a genuinely pensive Kinney, “but I wouldn’t be too surprised if they approached me with that idea. Sometimes you find…like I said, this time around they were like ‘we really could use a holiday story’ and if I hadn’t written one before, I think that Disney probably would have asked me to write one. So that would be interesting to have a feature that’s not in the Wimpy Kid canon.

While the author was clearly open to the idea, he quickly indicated that if he ever did create a project for the streamer, he wouldn’t forget about his first love: the Wimpy Kid books. “What I’d probably do is say, ‘Ok, sure I’ll do that but I’m also gonna make this into a book.‘” said Kinney, “because I want to sort of duplicate my efforts.” Given Kinney’s willingness to try something new and the success of the series of animated features on the streaming service so far, it would seem anything’s possible.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever debuts on Disney Plus at 12 AM PST/3 AM EST on December 8th.

About Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever

Get ready for the Wimpiest Christmas ever! The original animated adventure, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever, the latest animated movie based on Jeff Kinney’s wildly successful book series, will premiere December 8, 2023, exclusively on Disney+. The film is a hilarious and heartfelt holiday tale centered around everyone’s favorite disaster-prone middle school student.

The winter holidays are turning out to be especially stressful for Greg Heffley this year. After
accidentally damaging a snowplow while making a snowman with best friend Rowley Jefferson, Greg worries he won’t get the new video game console he so desperately wants for Christmas. To make matters worse, he gets snowed in with his family, including his grumpy older brother Rodrick and annoying younger brother Manny.

Directed by Luke Cormican (Teen Titans Go!) and written and produced by Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever features the voices of Wesley Kimmel (The Mandalorian), Spencer Howell (Ithaca), Chris Diamantopoulos (Beavis and Butt-Head), Erica Cerra (Power Rangers), and Hunter Dillon (Deadpool 2).

The Characters

Wesley Kimmel (The Mandalorian) is the voice of Greg Heffley, the disaster-prone middle
school student having a stressful winter holiday. He is trying to be on his best behavior so he will get the new video game console he desperately wants for Christmas but gets into trouble with best friend Rowley Jefferson when they damage a snowplow while innocently building a snowman.

Spencer Howell (Ithaca) voices Rowley Jefferson, who enjoys spending the winter holidays
inside sipping hot cocoa and singing Christmas carols with his parents, eagerly anticipating the arrival of Santa Claus on the big night. He is an unwilling accomplice to Greg Heffley’s snowplow cover-up.

Erica Cerra (Power Rangers) is the voice of Greg Heffley’s mother, Susan, who lives for the
Christmas holiday season and all its traditions. She is happiest when the family can celebrate the Yuletide season together.

Chris Diamantopoulos (Beavis and Butt-Head) voices Frank, Greg Heffley’s father, who is so busy anticipating a massive winter snowstorm that he is missing out on the family’s holiday
traditions that are so important to his wife Susan.

Hunter Dillon (Deadpool 2) is the voice of Greg’s older brother, Rodrick Heffley, who is spending the winter holidays lazy and unmoving from the couch until he decides he will find the culprits wanted by the police so he can take the reward money for himself.

Lisa Ann Walter (Abbott Elementary) voices Gabby, who drives a snowplow to make extra
money for the holidays. She is a single mother to her son Tyler, who is the light of her life.

Elfriendo is a homemade doll from Susan Heffley’s childhood who keeps watch over children and reports any bad behavior to Santa and his elves at the North Pole.

The Filmmakers

Jeff Kinney (Writer/Producer) is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Diary of a
Wimpy Kid series and the Awesome Friendly Kid series. He is a six-time Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award winner for Favorite Book and has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England, where he and his wife own a bookstore named An Unlikely Story.

Luke Cormican’s (Director) numerous animated credits include over 78 episodes of Teen Titans Go, on which he served as writer, producer, and director, as well as The Penguins of
Madagascar
, Brandy and Mr. Whiskers, The Buzz on Maggie, and Ren and Stimpy Adult
Party Cartoon, among others. Cormican also served as head of story on Teen Titans Go to the Movies.

John Paesano (Composer) is a BAFTA-winning, Emmy®-nominated composer with a range of credits that include The Maze Runner film trilogy, both of PlayStation’s Spider-Man videogames, 50 episodes of Marvel’s Defenders and Daredevil and 100 episodes of
the How to Train Your Dragon series (for which he won an Annie Award).

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