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Wizards of Waverly Place fans lament Selena Gomez’s limited screen time in reboot

Wizards of Waverly Place fans lament Selena Gomez’s limited screen time in reboot

A sequel series to Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place has officially received a green light – but fans are lamenting that Selena Gomez will only return as a guest star in the first episode.

The fantasy comedy originally ran from 2007 to 2012, and helped to launch Gomez’s career.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has now given a formal series order to a sequel series. Production is set to begin in April, and it is expected to air later this year on the Disney Channel and Disney+.

The original Wizards of Waverly Place centered on teenage wizards living on the titular street in New York’s Greenwich Village.

The new series will reportedly pick up its story after a mysterious incident at WizTech, where an adult Justin Russo has neglected his wizard powers in favour of pursuing a normal, human life with his wife and two sons.

However, he is drawn back into the world of magic when a powerful young wizard turns up at his door in search of training, and Justin realises he must embrace his past to secure the future of the Wizard World.

Selena Gomez and Hayley Kiyoko in the original ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ (Disney)
Selena Gomez and Hayley Kiyoko in the original ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ (Disney)

Fans on social media have celebrated the return of the series, while declaring it “too bad” that Gomez will not be a series regular.

One fan wrote: “I want this so bad. Too bad she’s only in the pilot episode.”

While another added: “only the pilot episode??” with a crying emoji.

Other fans hoped that Gomez might reprise her vocal contribution to the series, saying: “the wizards of waverly place theme song better be sang by selena again! PLS”

Gomez was recently cast as folk rock trailblazer Linda Ronstadt in an upcoming biopic.

Last year, Gomez told her Wizards of Waverly Place costars that her “biggest mistake” was losing touch with them.

She was appearing on the Wizards of Waverly Pod podcast with her former costars Jennifer Stone and David DeLuise – who played her best friend and father, respectively.

During a Q&A segment of the podcast, Gomez was asked what her “biggest mistake” was, to which she replied: “Probably not staying in touch with you guys.”

“I felt ashamed of the decisions that I made,” the Only Murders in the Building star explained. “I didn’t want you guys to see me in the state that I was in because A, you would have told me the truth which terrifies me, and B, I didn’t want to let you down.”

DeLuise responded: “That’s really sweet and thank you for saying that. We obviously… I miss you and I’m happy you’re doing well now.”

Stone, meanwhile, opened up about how she felt when their friendship fell off.

“I appreciate you saying that too,” she said. “To be perfectly blunt... there has been times where I’m like … ‘Did we stop being friends because I didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear,’ you know what I mean… so I appreciate you being here.”

“I appreciate you guys… dearly and I love you so much in a way that I’ve never loved anybody else,” Gomez added.

Gomez has been open about her mental health struggles that have been exacerbated by the showbiz industry and her stardom from a young age.

“I think when I started hitting my early twenties is when it started to get really dark, when I started to feel like I was not in control of what I was feeling, whether that was really great or really bad,” Gomez said in 2022.