This February saw the release of the trailer for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The fourth movie in the Wimpy Kid film series based on books by Jeff Kinney will premiere five years after the last installment. As such, it features an all-new cast playing beloved characters, like the titular “wimpy kid,” Greg Heffley, and his best friend Rowley.
It also features actor Charlie Wright as Rodrick, Greg’s would-be rock star older brother, originally played by Devon Bostick. In the first three movies, Bostick managed to make Rodrick both a goofy loser and the King of Cool at the same time, and he quickly became a breakout character because, if we’re being honest, he was pretty darn cute. Dude is an icon.
The new Rodrick, meanwhile… Let’s just say he’s different.
The internet retaliated, as it is wont to do, through one great hashtag: #notmyrodrick, a play on the #notmypresident campaign against Donald Trump. Normally, bastardizing a serious political issue like this would be in poor taste, but in this case, it turned out to be the comedic relief we all need. New Rodrick (others would say Not-Rodrick) has been called a “downgrade” and likened to everyone from the person in this Vine, to Willy Wonka circa 2005, to Pleakley from Lilo & Stitch, and the observations really aren’t too far off.
If there’s one thing to glean from this, it’s that it is possible to come together and set aside our differences for the things that ~ really matter ~. That, and you never disrespect the legends.
In the words of Rodrick Heffley himself: “That’s not me.”
You have to feel a little bad for Charlie Wright, though, who never had a chance in the first place. There’s just no way to live up to this.