Hilary Duff is just as excited as you are for the return of Lizzie McGuire.

Last week, Duff herself took the stage at the D23 Expo to announce that the early 2000s Disney Channel series where she got her big break will be returning to screens in the near future as a Disney+ revival series. Of course, fans went wild with excitement over reconnecting with their pre-teen pal as she takes on life as a 30 year old navigating a career and boyfriend in New York City — and the actress is just as eager to get the ball rolling. “I’m so excited too as a fan,” Duff tells EW. “The response has been insane. We’re back. The band’s back together!”

LIZZIE MCGUIRE, Hilary Duff, 2001-2004, © Walt Disney Enterprises / Courtesy: Everett Collection
Credit: Everett Collection; Inset: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Duff shares that she went “into the room very pregnant” to talk to Disney executives and told them she felt “really good” about making the revival happen now. “I know that people have heard whispers for a long time: ‘Is it going to happen? Could it happen? Is it a possibility?’ I’ve had the questions for so long and been in talks with Disney for a really long time about it, and right now just felt like the right time,” she explains. “We’re in the thick of getting started over here.”

During the Disney convention, the Younger star shared she’s been working closely with Terri Minsky, the original creator of the show who is returning as showrunner for the Disney+ series, and that her 13-year-old self will be back in animated form as her tells-it-as-it-is alter ego. It was the chance to explore Lizzie as a grownup, though, that really excited her. “Lizzie’s 30 now and I really like the idea of her waking up on her 30th birthday and being like, This isn’t where I thought I was going to be,” explains Duff, adding her personal experience also helps her identify with where the character’s head is at. “My life has taken a few different forms and my moment wasn’t on my 30th birthday, but it was definitely mid-20s, with a kid, already being like, Oh, this isn’t going to look how I thought it was going to look. I really want to tap into that. She’s everyone’s best friend and what everyone loves about her is how relatable she is, so I really wanna go on that 30-year-old journey with everybody.”

Lizzie McGuire originally ran from 2001-2004 on Disney Channel. A feature film titled The Lizzie McGuire Movie was released in 2003.

A premiere date for the Disney+ revival has not yet been set.

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