“The Proud Family” is going to look a lot more diverse when it returns next year.
“The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder,” slated for a 2022 release, will star Zachary Quinto and Billy Porter as Randall and Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins. The characters are described as a mixed-race gay couple who are the adoptive parents of 14-year-old activist Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, to be voiced by Keke Palmer.
EJ Johnson, who is the son of NBA legend Magic Johnson, is also joining the cast as Michael Collins, described in press notes as a gender-nonconforming trendsetter who serves up “fierce looks at school and on the basketball court.” Michael was voiced by Phil LaMarr in the original series.
“The Proud Family” was hailed as a culturally inclusive milestone for children’s entertainment when it premiered on the Disney Channel in 2001. The original series followed the adventures of Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt), a 14-year-old Black girl, and her eccentric family.
A holiday-themed episode in the show’s debut season won praise for exploring the traditions of Kwanzaa. Meanwhile, fans may recall the show’s infectious theme song, which was performed by Solange Knowles and Destiny’s Child.
A made-for-TV feature film, “The Proud Family Movie,” aired in 2005 as the series finale.
Last year, Disney+ announced that most of the original “Proud Family” cast would return for the reboot. In addition to Pratt, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” will feature Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, Cedric the Entertainer as Uncle Bobby and Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer.
In recent weeks, Quinto has been making the festival rounds with Jim Parsons to promote the documentary “Tennessee & Truman: An Intimate Conversation,” in which the two actors provide voiceovers as writers Tennessee Williams (Quinto) and Truman Capote (Parsons).