It's been announced that Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union have joined the upcoming Cheaper by the Dozen re-imagining being developed for Disney+. According to Deadline, Braff and Union will play the parents of a "multiracial, blended family of 12, navigating a hectic home life while managing their family business." Braff commented on the news of his casting by tweeting, "I dreamt I married Gabrielle Union and had 12 kids. It came true!!! Written by Kenya Barris. I'm sooooo excited."
As Braff mentioned, the film is being written by Black-ish creator/executive producer Kenya Barris and Grown-Ish executive producer Jenifer Rice-Genzuk Henry. Gail Lerner has been tapped to direct the film, while Union serves as an executive producer alongside Shawn Levy, who directed the 2003 remake. This will be the third version of Cheaper by the Dozen, with the first premiering in theaters way back in 1950. The original movie was actually based on the real lives of journalist Frank Bunker Gilbreth Jr. and his sister Ernestine Gilbreth Carey and was adapted from Gilbreth's autobiographical book, Cheaper by the Dozen.
Zach Braff will star alongside Gabrielle Union in #DisneyPlus’ ‘CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN’ reboot. The story centers on a multiracial family managing their hectic home and family business. Kenya Barris wrote the script and Gail Lerner will direct. (Source: https://t.co/nUDkBcPbLS) pic.twitter.com/yBJypYXc1M— Disney+ Updates (@moredisneyplus) January 28, 2021
Cheaper by the Dozen was then remade in 2003, with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt playing the parents in a blended family of mischievous children. The film was such a success that a 2005 sequel — Cheaper by the Dozen 2 — was produced bringing back much of its predecessor's cast, which included Piper Perabo, Tom Welling, Hilary Duff, and Alyson Stoner. Levy did not direct the sequel, instead, he handed over the reins to Adam Shankman (A Walk to Remember), though he did still serve as a producer.
Union has been working in Hollywood since the early '90s, starring in a number of teen comedy films such as She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Bring It On. Most recently, she starred alongside Jessica Alba in the Bad Boys TV spinoff, L.A.'s Finest. Braff is most well-known for his leading role as J.D. in Scrubs which ran on NBC from 2001 to 2007, and then on ABC from 2007 until its finale in 2010. However, he has also stepped behind the camera to helm films such as the critically heralded Garden State (2008) — which he also starred in, with Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard — the 2017 heist comedy Going in Style. The new Cheaper by the Dozen is scheduled to begin streaming on Disney+ sometime in 2022.