Disney Censors Stephen King’s ‘The Boogeyman’

in Disney, Movies, Star Wars

Disney Censors Stephen King's 'The Boogeyman'; The Boogeyman on the left and Little Actress from The Boogeyman' on the right

Credit: Inside the Magic

After wanting to include a reference to a beloved Disney IP, the Walt Disney Company stepped in and forced director Rob Savage to remove it from his horror movie The Boogeyman (2023).

Vivien Lyra Blair with her glowing ball in The Boogeyman
Credit: 20th Century

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Based on the 1973 Stephen King short story, The Boogeyman tells the story of high school student Sadie Harper and her younger sister Sawyer as they try to deal with their mother’s death. Despite being a therapist, their father, Will, fails to support his daughters while he tries to handle the loss. However, when one of his patients shows up at his door screaming for help, she brings a terrifying entity that feeds on their suffering.

The film is produced by 20th Century and directed by Rob Savage. It stars Sophie Thatcher as Sadie Harper, Vivien Lyra Blair as Sawyer Harper, Chris Messina as Will Harper, Marin Ireland as Rita, and David Dastmalchian as Lester. It also features Madison Hu and LisaGay Hamilton in unnamed roles.

While the film hasn’t been released yet, it has already received rave reviews from preview audiences and Stephen King himself. However, The Walt Disney Company, which owns 20th Century, stepped in and made some changes to the original screenplay that drastically affected the production.

Disney Blocked a Star Wars Reference in ‘The Boogeyman’

Vivien Lyra Blair as Young Leia
Credit: Lucasfilm

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When writing the script for The Boogeyman, director Rob Savage wanted to light the monster up with a “knockoff lightsaber.” However, Disney stepped in to stop this because they didn’t want to have an in-joke at the expense of actress Vivien Lyra Blair, who played young Leia Organa in the Obi-Wan Kenobi (2022) mini-series.

Rob Savage explained, “Because I had a toy lightsaber that was rubbish as a kid, a knockoff one, and the idea was that it was going to fritz and it was going to start sending these lighthouse beams of light up the hallway and then back. It was kind of like we were playing with that same idea of what’s visible and what’s not.”

Savage continued, “Then, of course, I had completely forgotten that we’d cast young Princess Leia, and the idea of young Princess Leia holding a faulty lightsaber wasn’t one that Disney wanted to go forward with, so we had to madly scramble to come up with something else.”

Instead, Savage and his production team had to find something to do the same job as a lighthouse-style lightsaber.

“Me and the production team just spent a night Googling ‘kids toys that make light,’ and we found this moonball and wrote these couple of scenes within a couple of hours, and they ended up being the best scenes in the movie.”

The scene with Blair rolling the moon ball under the bed was featured in the trailer for the movie and has already become iconic. It turns out the moonball was a worthy substitution for a lightsaber.

Do you think the glowing ball is a worthy substitute? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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