Disney’s D23 rolled out this weekend and there were some big reveals from the heavy hitters. Although the Internet did no favours in hyping up casting announcements that had no clout to them, D23 was a pretty eventful affair. “Star Wars” and “Marvel” released intriguing footage and the Disney Studios panel showcased some exciting projects in the works.
Let’s get into them, shall we?
On the Marvel Studios’ front, despite the rumours that there would be huge casting news to be announced, it was surprisingly quiet. Anthony Ramos was finally announced as the “Ironheart” villain, The Hood. Besides, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Ke Huy Quan was revealed to be involved with the second season of “Loki”.
When it got to “Fantastic Four”, we did not get any cast announcements except for a confirmation that “WandaVision” showrunner, Matt Shakman would indeed be taking on the directorial role.
Nevertheless, there were a bunch of appetizing teasers for some Marvel projects that were also released to the public. The following are some of the big ones.
First up is “Secret Invasion”. The Samuel L. Jackson-led espionage thriller series is set to debut on Disney+ at the start of 2023. Don Cheadle, Cobie Smulders, Ben Mendelsohn and Martin Freeman are set to reprise their roles as James Rhodes, Maria Hill, Talos, and Everett Ross respectively.
Also joining in the fray are Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Christopher McDonald.
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT
Announced as a Marvel Studios Special Presentation, the feature starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly will premiere on Disney+ on 7 October 2022.
The synopsis of “Werewolf By Night” reads: “On a dark and sombre night, a secret cabal of monster hunters emerge from the shadows and gather at the foreboding Bloodstone Temple following the death of their leader. In a strange and macabre memorial to the leader’s life, the attendees are thrust into a mysterious and deadly competition for a powerful relic—a hunt that will ultimately bring them face to face with a dangerous monster.”
7 members of Marvel Studios’ “Thunderbolts” team were officially announced during the D23 presentation. Concept art from Andy Park lit up the screen as it displayed Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Ghost, Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, Winter Soldier, U.S. Agent, and Taskmaster in the group shot.
Helmed by Jake Schreier with a script by Eric Pearson, “The Thunderbolts” will star Florence Pugh, Sebastian Stan, David Harbour, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Hannah John-Kamen, Wyatt Russell, and Olga Kurylenko.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: NEW WORLD ORDER
The cast of Julius Onah’s first feature in the MCU was announced during the presentation. Assisting Anthony Mackie’s Captain America are Danny Ramirez and Carl Lumbly as The Falcon/Joaquin Torres and Isaiah Bradley respectively. Shira Haas will also make her debut as the superhero, Sabra, in the film.
Perhaps most surprising was the announcement that Tim Blake Nelson would return as The Leader. The character was last seen in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk”.
The force was strong as we finally got our first good look at Season 3 of “The Mandalorian”. Besides, we also learned that Season 2 of “The Bad Batch” would be premiering on 4 January 2023, making way for “Tales of The Jedi” this year.
The new season of “The Mandalorian” picks up where we last saw Pedro Pascal’s Din Djarin and Grogu in “The Book of Boba Fett”. It teases a showdown between factions of the Mandalorians, one of whom is led by Bo Ktan-Kryze (Katee Sackhoff).
TALES OF THE JEDI
The Dave Filoni-led anthology will have six unique tales in the style of “Clone Wars”. One episode has been confirmed to focus on a young Ahsoka Tano. The other will explore a young Count Dooku’s fall from grace as he battles alongside Qui Gon-Jinn (Liam Neeson).
The anthology series will premiere on Disney+ this 26 October.
¡Primera imagen de Star Wars: Ahsoka! pic.twitter.com/tY2RySNVAh
— Agente de Marvel #D23Expo #SecretInvasion (@AgentedeMarvel_) September 10, 2022
The “Ahsoka” series will feature the return of the fan favourite “Rebels” crew. There was a glimpse of Sabine Wren, played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo, in a sizzling new image. Eman Esfandi will also board the project as the young Jedi Ezra Bridger.
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” director, Jon Watts, will be making his mark in the “Star Wars” universe with “Skeleton Crew”. The project, starring Jude Law, is confirmed to take place during the New Republic era and will tell the story of a bunch of children getting lost and trying to find their way home.
PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS
Camp Half-Blood will officially roll out as Percy, Annabeth and Grover head toward an all-new adventure on Disney+. “The Adam Project’s” Walker Scobell will headline the series, portraying Percy Jackson as he peels back the curtain behind the Hellenic world of gods and monsters.
Disney and PIXAR’s world is set on expanding their catalogue with a variety of live-action and animated projects. The announcements at D23 are no exception. We got our first look at “The Little Mermaid” and “Disenchanted” along with a slew of concepts from films right up to 2024.
Check out the Disney trailers, concepts, and posters below:
“Disenchanted” will revisit the wonder of Andalasia as it follows up on what the gang have been up to since “Enchanted”. A majority of the original cast, including Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, and Idina Menzel will return to their roles. Newcomers to the series include Maya Rudolph, Oscar Nunez, and Yvette Nicole Brown.
The synopsis reads: “It has been 15 years since Giselle and Robert wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city, so they move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life. Unfortunately, it isn’t the quick fix she had hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe, who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn’t been so easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale and placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy. Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.
“Disenchanted” premieres on Disney+ on 24 November 2022.
THE LITTLE MERMAID
Helmed by Rob Marshall, the reimagining of the Hans Christian Andersen tale aspires to be a part of your world. Starring Halle Bailey as the titular character, Ariel, the film will also feature Jonah Hauer King as Prince Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.
The film swims to theatres on 26 May 2023.
PETER PAN AND WENDY
David Lowery’s “Peter Pan and Wendy” also obtained a brand new poster showcasing Pan and Jude Law’s Captain Hook battling aboard a pirate ship. The film will debut exclusively on Disney+ in 2023.
MUFASA: THE LION KING
“The Lion King” prequel film received its official title “Mufasa”, which will undoubtedly set its scope on the famous paternal figure of Simba. Directed by Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), the film will feature Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, who will return as Timon and Pumbaa respectively.
Set for release in November 2023, “Wish” will follow a young girl named Asha who makes a wish upon a star. However, she gets more than a wish as a troublemaking star comes down to join her.
Featuring an all-new animation style that combines watercolour with CG animation, the film will also feature songs from singer-songwriter Julia Michaels.
The first look at this collaborative project between Disney and African Entertainment company, Kugali Animation, was unveiled during the presentation. The comic-style series will be set in a futuristic version of Lagos, Nigeria and will explore themes such as social class, innocence and challenging the status quo.
“Elio”, a brand-new PIXAR animated film will follow a young outcast who accidentally becomes Eart’s intergalactic ambassador. The only confirmed cast for this film is America Ferrera, who will play Elio’s mother.
The film is set to beam to Earth in the Spring of 2024.
INSIDE OUT 2
Finally, PIXAR left us off with a confirmation of a sequel to the beloved 2015 feature film. “Inside Out 2” will pick up during Riley’s teenage years and bring back Amy Poehler as Joy. The film is set for release during the Summer of 2024.