Selena Gomez is heading back to the place it all started…
One of Disney’s signature comedies, Wizards of Waverly Place, which helped turn the 31-year-old Mexican American actress/singer into a household name, is getting a sequel.
Gomez will guest star in the pilot for Disney Channel as the character that helped launch her career, Alex Russo, with Henrie reprising the role of Justin Russo as a series regular.
They’ll be joined by new cast members Janice LeAnn Brown, Alkaio Thiele and Mimi Gianopulos.
The revival pilot comes from writers and executive producers Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas who are behind another Disney Channel comedy spinoff, Raven’s Home.
It picks up after a mysterious incident at WizTech, where an adult Justin Russo has left his wizard powers behind, opting for a normal, human life with his wife and two sons. But he gets a surprise when a powerful young wizard in need of training shows up at his door… and Justin must embrace his past to ensure the future of the Wizard World.
The powerful young wizard Billie, whom Justin takes under his wing, will be portrayed by series lead Brown. Thiele will play Roman Russo, Justin’s oldest son; Gianopulos will play Justin’s wife, Giada.
In addition to Gomez, Henrie, Elinoff and Thomas, Gary Marsh and Andy Fickman will also executive produce, with Fickman directing.
Marsh was the former longtime top Disney Channel creative executive who was the driving force behind Wizards of Waverly Place and was instrumental in getting Gomez on the network after she was discovered during an open casting call in Dallas.
Created by Todd J. Greenwald, the original series, which ran from 2007-2012, followed the Russo family, where three siblings navigated the challenges of adolescence while mastering their magical abilities. The cast also included Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera and David DeLuise, all of whom (minus Henrie), reunited for the TV special The Wizards Return: Alex Vs. Alex in 2013.
The pilot order caps years of online chatter about a potential Wizards Of Waverly Place revival or reboot. It also fits into Disney Branded Television’s strategy of beefing up Disney Channel’s lineup of multi-camera sitcoms.
Gomez is currently in the Disney family as a star and executive producer of the hit Hulu/20th Television comedy series Only Murders In the Building.