Live Action Slate Panel at D23 Expo Featuring Disney, Lucusfilm, and Marvel Studios
I’m still reliving the excitement of D23 Expo in my head from this past weekend. I still can’t believe I was in attendance. I already shared the deets from the animation panel, so here’s all that I can share from the live action panel.
Sean Bailey took to the stage discussing the live action movies we’ve loved in the past. Briefly touching on fan favorites like Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and smash hit Beauty and the Beast. Next, we were treated to special looks at the upcoming live action films from Walt Disney Studios.
A Wrinkle In Time
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. “A Wrinkle in Time” opens nationwide March 9, 2018.
After showing the clip Oprah announced that everyone in the audience was getting a poster from A Wrinkle in Time. The whole arena erupted in cheers. It was hilarious.
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
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 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.
Los 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 performance earned a standing ovation.
“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Mark Gordon and Larry Franco. The film will open in U.S. theaters on Nov. 2, 2018.
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 Whishaw as 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. “Mary Poppins Returns” will be released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 25, 2018.
Emily Blunt, the star of Disney’s sequel “Mary Poppins Returns,” took to the stage with director/producer Rob Marshall to talk about the eagerly-anticipated return of the practically-perfect nanny. In this original musical sequel to the 1964 “Mary Poppins,” Mary and her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, embark on entirely new adventures with the next generation of the Banks family to help them find the joy and wonder missing in their lives.
If you’re a fan of Mary Poppins you’re in for a treat with the newest addition to the film. I can’t wait to see Emily Blunt’s take on this iconic character. I think she will do an amazing job.
Dumbo Confirmed Along with Three Other Films
D23 Expo 2017 fans were greeted from across the pond by visionary filmmaker Tim Burton, who is busy directing his next project—a live-action reimagining of Disney’s 1941 animated classic “Dumbo.” “’Dumbo’ was always one of my favorite Disney films,” said Burton. “We’re trying to give it the same heart, feeling, and emotion that we all loved about the original.”
The film stars Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier, a former circus star and war-veteran charged with the care of a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughingstock of an already struggling circus. Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins were cast as Holt’s children, who discover that Dumbo can fly. Danny DeVito portrays circus owner Max Medici who tries to capitalize on the novelty. And Michael Keaton is persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere who swoops in with aerial artist Colette Marchant, portrayed by Eva Green, to make Dumbo a star.
“Dumbo” is slated for release on March 29, 2019. Katterli Frauenfelder, Derek Frey, Ehren Kruger and Justin Springer are producing from a screenplay by Kruger. Filmed entirely in England, “Dumbo” is utilizing state-of-the-art visual effects to portray the big-eared elephant and many of his animal counterparts.
There is a live action Mulan in preproduction. A new Aladdin and Jungle Cruise #D23Expo— Nickida Stephens (@nickicoupons) July 15, 2017
Bailey confirmed and revealed new films underway at the studio:
- “Mulan,” a live-action take on Disney’s 1998 feature, which will be helmed by Niki Caro (“McFarland, USA,” “Whale Rider”).
- “Jungle Cruise,” 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.
- “Aladdin,” directed by Guy Ritchie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie.
The Lion King
Alan Horn joined Bailey to surprise the D23 Expo crowd with a special look at director Jon Favreau’s new live-action take on Disney’s 1994 classic animated film “The Lion King.” The technology team behind the movie are introducing all-new filmmaking techniques that promise striking visuals never before seen on the big screen—bringing celebrated characters to life in a whole new way.
“The Lion King” is one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office gross of $968.8 million. It won Academy Awards® for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer). In 1997, the stage production inspired by the film made its Broadway debut, subsequently winning six Tony® Awards; 19 years later, it remains one of Broadway’s biggest hits.
Starring Donald Glover as Simba, and James Earl Jones as—naturally—Mufasa, Favreau’s live-action version of “The Lion King” is slated for theaters on July 19, 2019. Favreau, Jeffrey Silver and Karen Gilchrist are producing
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
In Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 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 movie stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is written and directed by Rian Johnson. Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman are producing, with J.J. Abrams, Tom Karnowski and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on Dec. 15, 2017.
Alan Horn welcomed Rian Johnson, the writer, and director of the latest chapter in the Skywalker saga, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Johnson thrilled the audience by introducing talent from the film, including Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern and Benicio Del Toro. The audience was then treated to a special sneak peek of behind-the-scenes footage from the highly anticipated movie.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house looking at the scene with Carrie Fisher. I’m not the biggest Star Wars fans but I’m excited to see more of this amazing story. There will also be a Han Solo Story film released from Lucasfilm in the future.
Marvel Avengers Infinity War
For the finale, Horn brought 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.
Man I'm not sure how Marvel plans to make.movies after Infinity War. The clip we saw was astounding #D23Expo— Nickida Stephens (@nickicoupons) July 15, 2017
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. “Avengers: Infinity War” releases in U.S. theaters on May 4, 2018.
I joked about it after seeing the clip but I really don’t know how Marvel does it over and over, but Avengers Infinity Wars is going to be epic for sure. I can’t wait for May 4th, 2018. Although they didn’t share about Thor or Black Panther at D23 Expo there were costumes from both films on display.
In Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! THOR: RAGNAROK is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.
THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd!
About Black Panther
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
BLACK PANTHER stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, with Angela Bassett, with Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. The film is directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Nate Moore, Jeffrey Chernov and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Ryan Coogler & Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay.
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER arrives in theatres everywhere on February 16, 2018!
Quick Recap of The Walt Disney Studios Live Action Films