Why Wasn’t Kimberly J. Brown in ‘Return to Halloweentown’?
Why wasn't Kimberly J. Brown in the fourth Halloweentown movie, Return to Halloweentown?
Brown was just 14 when she originated the role of Marnie Piper in the first Halloweentown movie, which aired on the Disney Channel in 1998. She continued to play the role in the sequel released in 2001, Halloweentown: Kalabar's Revenge, as well as the third installment, 2004's Halloweentown High. But just two years after the third movie debuted, the role of Marnie was recast.
The 2006 film follows Marnie, now played by Sara Paxton, attending witch college and diving into her family ancestry. Surprisingly, the roles of Marnie's brother Dylan Piper (Joey Zimmerman), grandmother Aggie Cromwell (Debbie Reynolds) and boyfriend Ethan Dalloway (Lucas Grabeel) were not recast.
In 2016, Brown spoke with Seventeen and revealed that it was not her choice to leave the franchise.
"The entertainment industry is a crazy business. I've been in the business for over 25 years," she shared. "At the end of the day, there's been a lot of things that I've had to chalk up to just being an actor in a crazy industry. That was one of those things. I was disappointed for the fans. And I guess a little disappointed in general just because I love Marnie and love the series and just would always love to continue to play her. But that was a decision that they made and that's how it went."
In a separate YouTube video, she admitted that she didn't know the exact reason she wasn't asked to return to the beloved series.
"I'm not really sure," she said. "Some people asked me or said that they heard that I was working on something, which was not the case at the time. I was available and ready to do it and had talked to them about possibly doing it. But Disney decided to go in a different direction and recast the role."
Ironically, Brown grew up with Paxton, who she called "awesome." At the time, Paxton had recently starred in the Aquamarine film and the Disney series Darcy's Wild Life.
Today, Brown is still involved with the franchise and regularly participates in fan Q&A sessions and the annual Halloweentown event in St. Helens, Ore. She also owns an Etsy shop where she designs spooky merchandise.