Joey, Matthew, and Andy Lawrence ruled the Disney Channel in the late '90s and early '00s. They've joked about building the Disney Channel Original Movie empire, but tbh, they kind of did. Their early films paved the way for Cadet Kelly, High School Musical, and more. Between the three of them, the brothers have worked on 4 percent of all DCOMs thus far — and they're hoping to increase that percentage.
Fifteen years ago today (August 17), their movie Jumping Ship premiered on Disney Channel. A sequel to 1999's Horse Sense, this film reunited cousins Michael Woods (Joey) and Tommy Biggs (Andy) as they set sail on a "luxury" yacht through Australia with standoffish ship captain Jake Hunter (Matthew).
"It's wild," Andy said to MTV News on the phone about the film's 15th anniversary. "Where did the time go? My Lord. It's scary."
Disney didn't originally plan to make a sequel to Horse Sense, but when it happened, they added third brother Matthew to the mix. Now, all the brothers confirm that they're extremely interested in making a third film, since Jumping Ship perfectly set up the future adventures of Michael, Jake, and Tommy.
After the exciting mayhem that was the mega DCOM marathon and 100th premiere, it seems like a no-brainer for the network to continue this saga, and the timing couldn't be more perfect. The brothers have shared their thoughts about a potential third film with Disney; as Joey explained to us, they have "a very clear vision of what [they] think it should be." Naturally, the characters' relationship will have matured, and at least one of them is bound to have kids of his own.
In this peak age of nostalgia culture, having the Lawrence brothers return to their Disney roots is just what we need. Seeing them "reunite" on the red carpet at the premiere of Adventures in Babysitting this summer was enough to make people realize what's been absent from their lives for quite some time.
All three brothers have been involved with different projects over the years. Joey starred on and produced Melissa & Joey and is working on a new LP; Matthew reprised his role as Jack Hunter on Girl Meets World and has a few movies in the works; and Andy's a recurring character on Hawaii Five-0, also has new music coming out, and has produced some independent films, one of which features Matthew. Still, the soft spot in our hearts remains for the boys who jumped ship to escape from pirates so many years ago.
The movie was filmed in Australia, which made it feel like a vacation for the brothers, none of whom had ever been Down Under. They adopted a dog during filming and brought her back to the U.S. when it wrapped. Appropriately, they named her Tiffany, in honor of Jake's boat from the film.
Besides the pirates, the Lawrence brothers were really the only characters for most of the film — except for the island's wildlife. Both Joey and Andy revealed the emu that harassed their characters on the island was a total diva on set. "The days that we shot with the emu, the emu was the priority," Andy confessed. "The emu was definitely the most intimidating." Joey agreed, saying that the emu spit at them continuously during filming.
The brothers definitely had a blast filming and goofing off in between takes — including messing around on the rope swing attached to Jake's boat — but not every scene was necessarily fun to shoot. One in particular stands out for Joey. While trying to prove he can survive on the island without Jake's help, he stumbles into a mud pit and gets covered in dirt and grime. Having to do that once would have been bad enough, but Joey had to get in that muck for three different takes.
When asked what some of their favorite memories from filming were, their answers varied. Joey enjoyed hanging out on the boat with his bros, and Andy loved doing stunts and the spear-fishing scenes, but Matthew had a great story to tell. He got a kick out of watching Joey, who apparently isn't a huge fan of insects and small creatures, having to run through a forest filled with them for several months.
A herpetologist, Matthew viewed being surrounded by the wildlife as his own oasis. However, it was "kind of a nightmare" for his big brother, which, ironically, is exactly how both their characters reacted to the animals in the film. As Matthew pointed out, the line for life imitating art is a blurred one.
All three actors said they could probably survive on a deserted island, since they've already done it once before (kind of). However, Matthew actually has done it before, a few years after Jumping Ship premiered. Studying the Turks and Caicos iguanas, he was dropped off on an island — alone — for almost a week. "I was the only person on the island, it was unbelievable. I could actually trace my footsteps on the beach every day," he said. "I brought a bunch of bananas and some water, and then I had some tackle gear and I caught some fish. It was like an episode of Survivorman. It was really fun." That is so something Captain Jake Hunter would do.
"It was like a giant adventure for three months," Andy said. For Disney Channel's audience, we've been enjoying that adventure for the past 15 years.