In Hollywood, nothing is scarier than the public domain. Because once a film enters it, anyone can make a copy (or horror movie) of it, and it is perfectly legal

At the start of 2024, Walt Disney’s very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Steamboat Willie,” entered the public domain. Just a few months later it’s official: David Howard Thornton, the guy who plays the terrifying Art the Clown of the Terrifier franchise, will star in a “Steamboat Willie” inspired horror movie titled Screamboat directed by Steven LaMorte.


READ MORE: The Most Underrated Horror Movies of the 21st Century

Here is the official synopsis of the film via Bloody Disgusting:

Screamboat follows a group of New Yorkers on a late-night ferry ride that turns deadly when a mischievous mouse begins a rampage, targeting unsuspecting passengers. The unlikely crew must band together to thwart the murderous menace before their relaxing commute turns into a nightmare.

The film will supposedly feature “a mix of practical creature effects, miniatures, and cutting edge virtual production to showcase its very mischievous monster slashing his way through a ferry of fear.”

Ever since Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood & Honey went viral online, this concept of taking a classic children’s text and turning it into a low-budget exploitation film has been turned into a quickie horror formula. We’ve already gotten a Blood & Honey sequel, and there are horror films based on BambiPeter Pan, and Pinocchio all coming out. Then all these horror monsters will supposedly meet up in a Pooniverse crossover film. (The Poohniverse? The Poohniverse.)

If Screamboat is equally successful there’s no telling what other Disney-ish horror movies we could get down the line? Horror Donald Duck? Horror Goofy? Horror Pluto? Or is that basically just Cujo, which could draw a lawsuit from Stephen King? This could get legally tricky...

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Iconic Characters in the Public Domain

These characters were created so long ago that their original texts are now in the public domain and no longer protected by copyright.

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