David Howard Thornton To Portray Homicidal Disney Icon In Upcoming ‘SCREAMBOAT’

David Howard Thornton is continuing to transform the faces of children’s entertainment into the stuff of nightmares…and we couldn’t be more excited.

After rising to fame in the Terrifier franchise (our review) as Art, a maniacal killer clown who you certainly don’t want at your kid’s birthday party, he put a horrifying spin on Dr. Seuss’ classic Grinch in The Mean One (our interview). Now, Thornton is about to evilize yet another favorite childhood character — Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie — in the forthcoming horror film Screamboat.

News of Thornton’s casting in the leading role broke this week, with the actor saying in an official statement, “I’m beyond excited to join this incredible cast and bring Steamboat Willie to life with a horror twist. Screamboat is going to be a horrific and hilarious big screen thrill that fans won’t want to miss.”

The plot of Screamboat, which was announced in January 2024 when Mickey Mouse became part of the public domain, is as follows:

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.

Alongside Thornton, the cast is set to include other recognizable horror names like Jarlath Conroy (Day of the Dead 1985) and Charles Edwin Powell (The Exorcist III).

Steamboat Willie first appeared in the 1928 Walt Disney short of the same name, marking the official debut of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. While the original character holds a special place in the hearts of Disney fans, Thornton’s upcoming twisted version of Steamboat Willie may just be the ultimate combo for those Disney adults who can also appreciate some gore.

Screamboat doesn’t have an official release date just yet, but is expected sometime in 2025. In the meantime, Thornton fans can look forward to him reprising his role of Art the Clown in Terrifier 3, which is hitting theaters on Oct. 11.

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