Every kid growing up in the '90s had their own favorite Saturday morning cartoon, but it's a pretty good bet that Recess was somewhere at the top of your list. The beloved cartoon series had a simple premise: six friends making the most out of their recess time. But its unique characters and inventive take on a third-grade playground made it a Saturday morning staple. Now 20 years later, a Recess live-action movie is coming that will show what happened to the gang after they graduate elementary school and enter high school.
The new imagining of T.J., Spinelli and friends comes from filmmakers Jerome Yoo and Kent Donguines, who are self-described superfans of the original cartoon. The short film will bring the Recess characters to life and age them up to teenagers in high school, with a plot that revolves around Mikey's heart being broken by one of the Ashleys, which leads the group to uncovering a dark secret at Third Street High School.
The cast and crew of the fan-made movie are all working on the project voluntarily, with the help of money raised from an IndieGoGo campaign. The campaign site makes clear that this new Recess film is not sanctioned by Disney or Recess co-creators Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere, and is merely being made for the love of the series.
The live-action Recess movie has already cast an impressive cast of actors to portray teenage versions of the iconic third graders. Deadly Class lead Benjamin Wadsworth will be putting on T.J. Detweiler's red baseball cap and Wadsworth's Deadly Class co-star Sean Depner will play Mikey. Riverdale star Emilija Baranac is set to play one of the Ashleys, and The Magicians star Adam DiMarco will play Randall. The movie's site also teases a surprise actor to portray King Bob in the film.
The IndieGoGo site stresses that this non-profit Recess short film is being made for fans by fans, and that despite the crew's film festival success in the past, the new movie will not be submitted to any festivals. Instead, the live-action Recess movie will be made available online for fans to watch for free once it is completed.
The original Recess cartoon ran for six seasons from 1997 to 2001 as a part of ABC's One Saturday Morning block of animated television. It was best known for its rich and sprawling cast of imaginative characters, transforming the elementary school playground into an adventure-filled continent. Prior to its series finale, Disney released a feature film called Recess: School's Out in 2001, and three direct-to-video Recess movies were released between 2001 and 2003, ending the franchise.
There is no indication of when this new, fan-made Recess live-action movie will be available for fans to watch online, but given that the full cast is already put together, the script is only 11 pages long, the project is listed as being in post-production on the IndieGoGo site, and the fundraising campaign is set to end at the beginning of August, fans can expect to see it very soon.