‘Steamboat Willie’ Horror Film Turns Mickey Mouse Into Sadistic Killer

The entertainment industry continues to have a field day, now that the Steamboat Willie version of Mickey Mouse has entered public domain. First, there was the announcement of Infestation 88, a new survival horror game starring a twisted version of Disney’s mascot. Then, filmmaker Jamie Bailey unveiled a trailer for horror-comedy Mickey’s Mouse Trap.

Steamboat Willie Horror Film

Now, get ready for another Steamboat Willie horror movie. Steven LaMorte (The Mean One, Bury Me Twice) is helming the untitled project, which will centre on “a sadistic mouse” who torments “a group of unsuspecting ferry passengers”. Production is set to begin in spring this year.

Steamboat Willie has brought joy to generations, but beneath that cheerful exterior lies a potential for pure, unhinged terror,” he said in a press release. “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.”

“It all comes from our love of these characters. Filmmakers — we’re all kids in the sandbox. We love taking them and playing with them in different ways. It’s not a desire to ruin these characters or make a quick buck, but to love them and honor them and show them in a new light,” LaMorte told Variety.

Disney’s copyright to Steamboat Willie, as well as the original versions of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, expired on Monday. However, the more familiar modern day depictions of the character are still off limits, so using the name “Mickey Mouse” will likely result in legal trouble with the company.

“We will, of course, continue to protect our rights in the more modern versions of Mickey Mouse and other works that remain subject to copyright, and we will work to safeguard against consumer confusion caused by unauthorised uses of Mickey and our other iconic characters,” the House of Mouse said in a statement last month.

Steamboat Willie Horror Film (2)
A still from Mickey’s Mouse Trap.

No release date has been set for LaMorte’s film, but Mickey’s Mouse Trap is expected to be out sometime in March.