Fuller House Should Have Recast Michelle Tanner (& Not Doing So Made Her Absence More Noticeable)
2024/03/03

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Consideration of Recasting Michelle: Despite legitimate creative reasons behind the decision, the Full House reboot Fuller House would have been better off recasting Michelle Tanner instead of her character not appearing in the show at all. Full House was a feel-good family sitcom from the 80s and 90s that follows widow Danny Tanner, who is left raising his three daughters after his wife's death, with the help of the girls' live-in uncles. A reboot of the beloved sitcom called Fuller House was released on Netflix in 2016, now centering on the two eldest Tanner daughters, DJ and Stephanie.

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Nearly every main character from the original series returned for Fuller House to some extent, except for one.

Ideal Replacement Consideration: Even before production began on the reboot, producers should have been prepared for the Michelle issue. While it was said that Fuller House star and producer John Stamos was to blame for the Olsen twins' absence in Fuller House due to his failure to reach out to them personally, the twins had already unofficially retired from acting by the time Fuller House was in the works.

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The fact that they'd barely acted since they turned 18 in 2004, focusing instead on building their fashion empire, is more likely the reason for their lack of interest in returning.

Michelle's Ease of Recasting: Recasting Michelle would have been a lot easier than most of the other characters on Full House, considering how young she still was on the show. Michelle was the baby of the Tanner family, and besides her cousins, Alex and Nicky, she was the youngest overall on the show.

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When Full House ended in 1995, Michelle was only eight years old.

Baffling Decision to Ignore the Character: The decision to ignore the character altogether is baffling. Regardless of who played her, Michelle would have looked very different in the reboot 21 years later, because the character wouldn't be a child anymore. While most viewers probably know what the Olsen twins look like as adults, grown-up Michelle didn't have to look exactly like they do now for a recast to work.

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Conspicuous Absence of Michelle in Fuller House: Instead of recasting the role, Michelle was simply written out of Fuller House entirely. Her absence in the pilot is acknowledged by revealing that Michelle is now working as a fashion designer in New York, a not-so-subtle reference to the Olsens' alternate career path that prevented them from returning to the show. The characters continued to make sparing references to Michelle and the Olsen twins on Fuller House, often in the form of meta-jokes that explain Michelle's absence from major holidays and life events while playfully teasing the twins about their own perpetual absence from the show.

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