A few weeks ago Disney and their mega fans all congregated in Anaheim, California for the D23 Expo. If you haven’t heard of D23 here’s the short version: D23 is the official Walt Disney fan club and was created in 2009. The D stands for Disney and 23 is because Walt Disney started his company in 1923. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year. D23 holds a giant event every two years where Disney presents first looks at some of its upcoming projects. In 2015 STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS was the big presentation.
D23 2017: Here’s what’s coming from Disney Studios, Marvel, Pixar, & Walt Disney Animation Studios
Upcoming Disney Studios, Lucasfilm and Marvel Projects
I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS FILM I CANNOT STAND IT!!!!!! This book by Madaline L’Engle is one of my all time favorite books. It was written in the 60’s and helped to strengthen my love affair with science fiction.
Sean Bailey [President of Production for Disney Studios] welcomed A WRINKLE IN TIME cast members Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine along with newcomer Storm Reid and visionary director Ava DuVernay to the D23 stage, where they thrilled fans with a first look at the film’s teaser trailer and teaser poster.
Directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee based upon the beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle, A WRINKLE IN TIME is produced by Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer. The film also stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, André Holland and Rowan Blanchard, with Zach Galifianakis.
Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. As the daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg’s younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), but she has yet to realize it for herself. Making matters even worse is the baffling disappearance of Mr. Murry (Chris Pine), which torments Meg and has left her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) heartbroken. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) to three celestial guides—Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling)—who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they set off on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are soon transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must look deep within herself and embrace her flaws to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness closing in on them.
Watch the teaser trailer below and read the book before March 9th, 2018, when the movie opens everywhere.
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS
Just in time for the holidays, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS hits theaters on November 2nd, 2018!
Sean Bailey shared with D23 Expo 2017 fans Disney’s all-new take on a classic story in THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, newcomer Mackenzie Foy as Clara, Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger, Morgan Freeman as godfather Drosselmeyer, and featuring a special performance by Misty Copeland, the movie is inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale. THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Mark Gordon and Larry Franco.
While we don’t have any teasers or even the movie poster for this filmLos Angeles-based dancer Lil Buck hit the stage at D23 Expo 2017 to demonstrate the kind of street dancing—called jookin—that informed the way his character moves in the film. The film largely takes place in a strange and mysterious parallel world—home to Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. But it’s the ominous Fourth Realm where Clara must take on a tyrant called Mother Ginger as well as a gang of mice who’ve stolen a coveted key from Clara.
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Opening December 25th, 2018, the sequel to a Disney classic film, Mary Poppins is hitting the big screen again!
P.L. Travers first introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 children’s book “Mary Poppins.” However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of the seven other P.L. Travers’ books…until now. MARY POPPINS RETURNS is drawn from the wealth of material in these additional books. The film also stars Ben Whishawas Michael Banks, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary’s William Weatherall Wilkins and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady and Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.MARY POPPINS RETURNS is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca based on The Mary Poppins Stories by P.L. Travers. The producers are Marshall, DeLuca and Marc Platt with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer, and the music is by Marc Shaiman with songs by Shaiman and Scott Wittman.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
The next film in the STAR WARS saga is coming this December 15th! Titled THE LAST JEDI, the film “…the Skywalker saga continues as the heroes of THE FORCE AWAKENS join the galactic legends in an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.” The D23 attenders were privy to a special sneak peek behind the scenes. Do I have it for you? Yes! You’re welcome. So stop what you’re doing now and watch the clip.
And again don’t worry, you won’t have to wait too long before the film is available. STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens everywhere on December 15th!
AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
One of the most buzzed about panels that happened during D23 was the AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR presentation. Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn brought Marvel president, Kevin Feige, to the stage for Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. To start the ball rolling, Feige unveiled the Marvel Studios’ official 10th anniversary logo to the excited audience. Marvel Studios’ 10th anniversary begins with the release of AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and covers an impressive decade of Marvel Studios’ blockbusters released from 2008 through the AVENGERS untitled film in 2019. In celebration of the anniversary, fans can expect exclusive consumer products and collectibles, along with in-theater events and much more in the coming months.
Then, in a surprise for all that brought the house down, talent from the film made a grand entrance, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff. To top it all off, the thrilled fans got an exclusive early look at footage from the movie, introduced by Joe Russo, one of the directors. An unprecedented cinematic journey ten years in the making and spanning the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR brings to the screen the ultimate, deadliest showdown of all time. The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe. Anthony and Joe Russo direct the film, which is produced by Kevin Feige. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee are the executive producers. Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.
Wrapping it up…
If you want more inside scoop from D23, you have to check out my blogging pals’ blogs. Simply use the hashtag (#D23Expo) to find their articles on Facebook or on Twitter.
A few other noteworthy mentionables:
A live-action take on Disney’s 1998 feature, which will be helmed by Niki Caro (“McFarland, USA,” “Whale Rider”).
JUNGLE CRUISE (#JungleCruise)-
A live-action nod to the popular theme park ride. The studio is working with Dwayne Johnson, recently heard as Maui in MOANA, on the project.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie