The Leprechaun is coming back. Warwick Davis, however, is not.
In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day this past weekend, Syfy dropped the out-of-nowhere announcement that a brand new installment in the *original* Leprechaun franchise is set to debut on the network next March, presumably on/around St. Patrick’s Day 2019. Titled Leprechaun Returns, it’s a 25-years-later sequel to the original film.
Most exciting of all, the new sequel is written by Suzanne Keilly (“Ash vs Evil Dead”) and directed by Steven Kostanski, one half of The Void‘s directing duo!
“The film picks up 25 years after the events of the 1993 original, which found a maniacal Leprechaun doing whatever it takes to track down his stolen pot of gold. Leprechaun Returns finds the leprechaun revived in the modern day when a group of sorority girls unwittingly awaken him while tearing down a cabin to build a new sorority house.”
On the casting front, Leprechaun Returns will see the return of Mark Holton, reprising the role of Ozzie from the original. As for the titular horror icon himself, Warwick Davis has been replaced after playing the pint-sized Lep in the original franchise’s previous six films. The role is being taken over by Linden Porco, who is no stranger to horror.
And if the teaser trailer for Leprechaun Returns is any indication, not only did the makeup team nail the look of the Leprechaun, but Porco is a worthy replacement for Davis…
The 21-year-old Linden Porco , who originally set out to be a professional soccer player, was born on August 29, 1996 with “cartilage-hair hypoplasia, a form of dwarfism that stunts growth, but allows for proportional development.” The actor, who measures 32″ tall, got his first film gig courtesy of 2006’s Little Man, wherein he played the title character’s body double when he was just 9 years old; Porco’s athletic ability made him, according to star Keenan Ivory Wayans, “a gift from the movie gods.”
Marlon Wayans’ head was digitally placed onto Porco’s body for the film.
Linden Porco has also starred in A Very Larry Christmas and “Sunnyside,” and he even played an uncredited “Body” (presumably Chucky’s body) in last year’s Cult of Chucky.
More notably, Porco played the creepy character “Smart Mouth” across six episodes of Syfy’s “Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block,” which just wrapped up its season last week.
With his undeniable acting talent as well as athletic ability, it would certainly be no surprise to see Linden Porco take over as the new Leprechaun for years to come, which of course depends on how well received Leprechaun Returns is next year. And as sad as we are to see Warwick Davis out, we’re thrilled that Linden Porco is in.
He seems to be the perfect man for the job.
To learn more about Linden Porco, watch the 2006 mini doc “Linden’s World” below.