Put away the schoolbooks and pack your wand, because the Russo family is headed on vacation in the Disney Channel's Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie —an extension of the popular tween series.
After a successful sophomore season, executive producer Peter Murrieta was thrilled the Disney Channel chose to make a movie for the small screen. "Rarely have they done a movie based on their series... so we're very excited they chose our show," he told TVGuide.com.
What magical hijinks are the kids up to this time around?
Alex, played by Selena Gomez, gets upset during a Caribbean vacation when her mom won't let her go out with a cute windsurfing instructor. As Jake T. Austin, who plays youngest brother Max, told TVGuide.com, Alex's harsh words accidentally activate "a spell where their parents never met. Max is forced to play a matchmaker and reconnect [parents] Jerry and Teresa," while Alex and Justin (David Henrie) try to reverse the spell.
Murrieta and Austin agree that there's much for fans to be excited about. The movie was shot in Puerto Rico rather than on stage and before a live studio audience. Viewers will see "more than 250 special effects [and] we're going to see more about the wizard competition, the battle to become the family wizard, and more of what that looks like and is," Murrieta explained.
Jake T. Austin thinks fans will also be excited about his on-screen sister, Selena Gomez. "She's singing six or seven songs on the soundtrack," he says.
Selena's growing popularity has helped the show's success, but Murietta mentioned that it created some "interesting challenges [when] people had to switch rooms during the shoot [and] check in under assumed names." He added, "We're very lucky in that our fans are excited to meet their stars that they look up to, but they're also pretty respectful of the work process."
"It was pretty intense, [but] it's good to know you have support being so far away from where you film," Austin mentioned.
Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie premieres on Aug 28 at 8/7c, on Disney Channel.