The two eldest children from the Tanner family are coming back in a new spin-off series of the beloved family sitcom Full House, appropriately titled Fuller House. Candace Cameron-Bure and Jodie Sweeting will reprise their roles as D.J. and Stephanie Tanner, and will be joined by D.J.'s loyal best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber).
The series will feature other cast members from the original series in recurring roles, such as Bob Saget as Danny Tanner, Dave Coulier as the unforgettable uncle Joey, Lori Loughlin as aunt Becky, John Stamos as cool uncle Jesse, and Scott Weinger as Steve Hale, D.J's high-school boyfriend. The big absence will be the Olsen twins, who portrayed the youngest Tanner daughter, Michelle. Producers did their best to get them on the show, and when they declined the offer, they reached out to their sister, Elizabeth Olsen.
In an interview with The Howard Stern Show, John Stamos spoke about the Olsen twins' absence and their reasons for not coming back. Mary-Kate and Ashley have left acting behind in order to focus on their fashion careers, and according to Stamos, acting is not something they are contemplating for the future.
"The seemed very into [Fuller House]; they just were afraid of acting. They hadn't acted; they don't consider themselves actresses."
The Olsen twins, through their production company Dualstar, released various movies, TV shows, magazines, and video-games between 1993 and 2004. As for their individual work, Mary-Kate's last role was in 2011 in Beastly, a retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Ashley, meanwhile, had an uncredited role in Casey Affleck's 2010 film I'm Still Here, starring Joaquin Phoenix.
While the twins stay off camera, their sister, Elizabeth Olsen, has been building an impressive career in the film industry, working on various projects such as Martha Marcy May Marlene, Spike Lee's version of Oldboy, Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, and she can currently be seen running around in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wanda Maximoff, a.k.a. Scarlet Witch. Needless to say, Elizabeth's profile has risen considerably in the past few years, so landing her to play Michelle on the series would have been a huge get for both Fuller House and Netflix.
But it wasn't to be, as Stamos mentioned in separate interview for Sirius XM's Radio Andy, Netflix contacted Olsen's agent in an effort to coax that her into joining the cast of Fuller House. As luck would have it, the plan didn't turn out as they would have liked.
"We actually went to... I don't think this has been talked about. I didn't do it, I think [executive producer] Jeff Franklin did. I said, 'Call the sister. Ask her'. We talked to her agent and her agent was like, 'Come on, she's not going to do that'. But we did call her agent."
Fuller House will follow D.J. Tanner-Fuller, now a veterinarian and recently widowed mother of three; her sister, Stephanie, an aspiring musician, looking to follow the steps of her uncle Jesse; and Kimmy Gibbler, now a single mother of a feisty teenager. Stephanie and Kimmy will move in with D.J. to help her look after her three boys. With a story that is remarkably similar to the one from the original series, and with many characters from the original coming back – either as main or regular cast – this 13-episode first season promises to takes fans back to when Full House dominated TGIF.
While the show certainly could have benefitted from the presence of Elizabeth Olsen, chances are, nostalgia for the old show, combined with curiosity to see whether or not Netflix can pull a Full House sequel series off will be enough to get people binge-watching come February.
Fuller House will premiere on Netflix on February 26th, 2016.