In a shocking twist of fate, the timeless charm of Mickey Mouse has taken a chilling turn as the earliest version of this beloved character stepped into the public domain on January 1st, 2024. This monumental event has unleashed a torrent of creative possibilities surrounding this iconic figure, one of which has set the entertainment world abuzz – an indie horror masterpiece known as “Mickey Mouse’s Trap,” slated for a spine-tingling release in March 2024. Fans were treated to a hair-raising trailer that dropped on New Year’s Day, igniting intrigue and controversy in equal measure.

According to United States copyright law, intellectual property is protected for a duration of 95 years, after which it becomes fair game for public use. This legal milestone is the catalyst behind “Mickey Mouse’s Trap.” However, it’s imperative to note that this macabre venture bears no official Disney endorsement or affiliation, a fact explicitly emphasized in the film’s unmissable disclaimer.

In bold letters, the disclaimer warns, “DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT A DISNEY FILM OR PRODUCTION. IT IS NOT AFFILIATED OR ENDORSED BY DISNEY IN ANY WAY. This film harnesses the power of the public domain Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse only.”

The significance of this moment cannot be overstated. Walt Disney’s 1928 release, “Steamboat Willie,” marked the world’s introduction to both Mickey and Minnie Mouse. While contemporary renditions of this cherished character remain under tight copyright protection, this marks the very first instance of a Mickey Mouse version entering the public domain.

“Mickey Mouse’s Trap” seizes this extraordinary opportunity, with Simon Phillips fearlessly stepping into the role of a demented murderer garbed as the iconic Mickey Mouse. The mask donned in the film is a striking tribute to the Steamboat Willie era, honoring the character’s roots.

The film’s trailer teases a chilling narrative unfolding within an amusement park, where a group of friends unwittingly becomes the prey of the killer in the mouse mask. What sets it apart is the incorporation of footage from the original Steamboat Willie cartoon, projected onto a screen just before the bloodcurdling rampage ensues.

Director Jamie Bailey shed light on the film’s bizarre concept, stating, “We wanted to revel in the sheer audacity of it all. I mean, it’s Steamboat Willie’s Mickey Mouse committing unspeakable acts.” The film fully embraces the absurdity of its premise, embracing the juxtaposition of a beloved cartoon character turned malevolent.

Joining Simon Phillips in this nightmarish adventure are Sophie McIntosh, Callum Sywyk, Allegra Nocita, Ben Harris, Damir Kovic, Mackenzie Mills, and Nick Biskupek. Behind the scenes, the film was brought to life by the creative minds of Paul Whitney, Mark Popejoy, Alexander Gausman, and Andrew Agopsowicz, with Filmcore’s Mem Ferda contributing as co-producer.

This groundbreaking film follows in the footsteps of another iconic character’s emergence into the public domain – Winnie the Pooh. The newfound public domain status of Winnie the Pooh led to the creation of the indie slasher film “Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey,” demonstrating the untapped potential for creative exploration within this realm.

As the release of “Mickey Mouse’s Trap” looms large in March 2024, it serves as a testament to the enduring allure and adaptability of cherished characters, even when thrust into unexpected and shadowy roles. The public domain status of these iconic figures unlocks doors to inventive interpretations, ensuring that their legacies continue to evolve and enthrall new generations. While this film boldly thrusts Mickey Mouse into uncharted territory, it ultimately pays homage to the character’s rich history and unflagging popularity, reminding us that even the most beloved figures can embark on unforeseen and riveting journeys in the world of cinema.