I received the following information and images as a blogger via Walt Disney Publications. All opinions and views expressed are 100% my own.
You have no idea how BUMMED I was to turn down the chance to attend the D23 Expo this month. None the less, I was still able to stalk the hashtag #D23Expo, and follow along with all the Disney fun! I’m going to try my best this week to share with you some of the exciting news that was announced at the Expo just in case you missed it.
Today I’m sharing with you info and images from the Live Action Slate Presentation!! So many amazing upcoming films! Now if you are a regular reader of this blog, you know I know I’m a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So of course, let’s chat Marvel first… Kevin Feige, President of Marvel, was on hand for the presentation.(Psst, I have the privilege to participate in an interview with him back in April. Check it out!)
Marvel’s DR. STRANGE starts filming this November, and the D23 Expo audience got to view a reel of concept art, plus there was a a video greeting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who will star as the eponymous sorcerer, Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange.
He starts out as a doctor, but after an accident that leaves his hands crippled, he finds himself drawn to the world of magic with the guidance of the Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton. Apparently the concept art got a huge positive reaction! DR. STRANGE hits theaters on October 26, 2016.
Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR was also part of the live action slate presentation! This is one film that I’m beyond excited to see in 2016. Seriously. I. Cannot. Wait.
Once again, Kevin Feige gave the introduction, but fans received a special surprise when Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up to help present never-seen-before footage from the film! Feige revealed to Expo-goers that there was a special “Easter egg” for fans to find that was a nod to the D23 Expo. CIVIL WAR picks up where AGE OF ULTRON left off. You’ll find that Steve Rogers now leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain! Seriously… this movie is going to be awesome.
Want to know another upcoming movie I’m excited for? STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS! Yes! THIS DECEMBER STAR WARS will be on the big screen! … But that’s not all… Chairman of the Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn presented a line up of future STAR WARS films to come, including ROGUE ONE, the first of the standalone stories to hit the big screen. This film tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the Death Star. The film is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.Of course the cast of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS was there! J.J. Abrams introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o. From what I gathered, the crowd cheered when John Boyega announced that everyone there would get a Drew Struzan D23 EXPO commemorative poster to take home! Lucky ducks!But then… the crowd went crazy for when surprise guest, Harrison Ford, rolled up on stage! He will be reprising his role as Han Solo. Seriously… is it December yet???I should also mention that in reference to the STAR WARS series, Horn touched on the “Untitled Han Solo” stand-alone film, slated for release on May 25, 2018 by reminding everyone that it will be directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.
The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger also took part in the presentation confirming Disney’s expansion of STAR WARS-themed attractions and lands in their theme parks. Yay!!Next up… Telling the story of the SS Pendleton rescue mission up in New England back in the 1950s, Disney’s THE FINEST HOURS will detail the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history!The film is directed by Craig Gillespie and stars some amazing talent, including Chris Pine; Academy Award® and Golden Globe® nominee Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana. THE FINEST HOURS storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016.Next year Disney will also bring their 1867 animated classic to live action in THE JUNGLE BOOK! Check out the poster below…Jon Favreau, director of the upcoming film, welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar® winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha.Favreau generously treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film!! Each expo guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation.
President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey took part in the presentation by giving fans a preview of the new adventure, ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS! The film, which once again features Mia Wasikowska as Alice, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. Speaking of Alice… Wasikowska took the stage, where she thrilled fans with a preview of the the film! Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to a story in which Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. Speaking of Johnny Depp, who plays the Mad Hatter…
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES will hit U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017! In a beyond awesome moment, Johnny Depp showed up on stage completely decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow! In the latest installment of the PIRATES series, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself on a new adventure when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including Jack! His only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.The film stars Depp and Bardem, along with Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. Jerry Bruckheimer returns as the producer and Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay.
Another film slated for next year is a live action version of PETE’S DRAGON! Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in the film. The movie is a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family classic that tells the heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. The film also stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford, and opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
Another upcoming film that Disney has in the works is QUEEN OF KATWE. Lupita Nyong’o, who stars in the film, introduced the crowd to the inspirational true story of a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. The film also stars David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga.
Also I have to mention probably one of my favorite Disney animation classics that is coming to live action… last, but certainly not least… I can’t tell you have excited I am for BEAUTY & THE BEAST!! Bailey next the film presentation with a musical greeting from stars Emma Watson, Josh Gad and Luke Evans—sent from the London set where they are currently filming!! The film will also star Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald and newcomer Nathan Mack! Seriously… check out all that talent! Now I know I’m more of a Marvel gal, but this is one Disney film I’m counting down to it’s release on March 17, 2017. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated classic, provides the score (YES!!!), which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Tim Rice, as well as several new songs (YES!! again). Can’t wait!