- May 29, 2023
Thousands of fans gathered last weekend in California for D23 Expo 2022, the largest Disney fan event in the world, to hear big announcements from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. The event also saw the unveiling of a brand new version of the iconic Disney castle—now platinum in honor of Disney’s 100 Years of Wonder celebration.
Here’s a quick rundown of exciting new content we can expect from the Walt Disney Studios:
Disney Live Action
The Little Mermaid is a live-action version of the beloved tale. It stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Javier Bardem as Triton. The film features fan-favorite songs as well as four new songs penned by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Mufasa: The Lion King is a prequel to The Lion King and is scheduled for release in 2024. Told in flashbacks—Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa tell the story of Mufasa to a young lion cub—the movie reveals the rise of one of the greatest kings of the Pride Lands.
Snow White is a live-action reimagining of the classic tale starring Rachel Zegler in the title role and Gal Gadot as Snow White’s Stepmother, The Queen.
Haunted Mansion is about a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters.
Other content announced were Peter Pan and Wendy, Hocus Pocus 2, and Disenchanted.
Pixar Animation Studios
Elemental is an all-new, original feature film releasing in June 2023. The film is set in a big city where fire-, water-, land-, and air-residents live together. The story follows Ember, a fiery character, and Wade, a chill water character, as they discover their similarities despite their differences.
Inside Out 2 is also in the works at Pixar. Director Kelsey Mann, producer Mark Nielsen, and writer Meg LeFauve are hard at work on the all-new adventure inside the head of now-teenager Riley—who may or may not be feeling all kinds of new Emotions.
Also announced were Elio, which is about a young boy who becomes Earth’s ambassador to the rest of the universe, and Win or Lose, a baseball-themed animated series coming to Disney+
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Strange World is about an incredible family who must get past their differences to save a strange world full of danger and surprises. Voice actors includeJake Gyllenhaal (Searcher Clade), Dennis Quaid (Jaeger Clade), Jaboukie Young-White (Ethan Clade), and Lucy Liu (Callisto Mal).
The animated musical filmWish, slated for release next year during the Studio’s 100th year, is inspired by the legacy of films from the studio and asks the question: “How did the wishing star, upon which so many characters wished, come to be?”
Other animated series coming soon on Disney+ include Iwaju and Zootopia Plus.
Disney/Lucasfilm showed off a teaser trailer for the third season of The Mandalorian, a trailer of the new Andor series, which hits Disney+ on September 21, and teased the animated Tales of the Jedi and season two of The Bad Batch.
Meanwhile, Harrison Ford strolled onstage to give fans a first look at Indiana Jones 5. The actor, who was a little emotional on stage, said, “Thank you for making these films such an incredible experience for all of us. I’m very proud to say that this one if fantastic, and [Waller-Bridge] is one of the reasons.
“Indiana Jones movies are about fantasy and mystery, but they’re also about heart,” continued the actor. “I’m really, really happy that we have a really human story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your ass.”
Other titles announced at D23 include Ahsoka, Willow, and Skeleton Crew.
Hot on the heels of San Diego Comic Con in July, Disney unveiled more information about its Marvel Cinematic Universe during the D23 Expo.
Ryan Coogler shared an exclusive look at an incredible scene and some highlights from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2018’s Black Panther. In the story, the Wakandans fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. The heroes must band together to forge a new path for the kingdom.
Ironheart is a new series that takes place after the events of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Dominique Thorne returns as Riri Williams, a young, genius inventor determined to make her mark on the world. Her unique take on building iron suits is both brilliant and flawed—and Ironheart delves into the dynamics of tech versus magic
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania kicks off Phase 5 of the MCU. The film which follows Super Hero partners Scott and Hope, who team up with Hope’s parents, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne—as well as Scott’s daughter, Cassie—to explore the Quantum Realm, interacting with strange new creatures and embarking on an adventure that’ll push them beyond the limits of what they thought was possible.
Gael Garcia Bernal and Laura Donnelly star in Werewolf by Night, a scary new special shot entirely in black and white. The special starts streaming on Disney+ this October 7.
Secret Invasion follows a faction of shapeshifting aliens known as Skrulls who have infiltrated all aspects of life on Earth. Also revealed was the series’ brand new trailer:
Also revealed were Armor Wars, starring Don Cheadle as James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine, and season 2 of Loki, which picks up in the aftermath of the shocking season finale when Loki finds himself in a battle for the soul of the Time Variance Authority.
Kevin Feige, producer and president of Marvel Studios, also officially confirmed that Matt Shakman—who directed every episode of 2021’s WandaVision—would be directing Fantastic Four, which opens in theaters on November 8, 2024.
Also announced were Echo, a series that centers on deaf female heroine Maya Lopez; Daredevil: Born Again, an 18-episode Disney+ series; and Captain America: New World Order, continuing Sam Wilson’s journey as Captain America.
Feige excited the crowd by revealing the identities of the Thunderbolts: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine), David Harbour (Red Guardian), Hannah John-Kamen (Ghost), Wyatt Russell (John Walker/U.S. Agent), and Sebastian Stan (James “Bucky” Barnes/The Winter Soldier). They’ll also be joined by Olga Kurylenko (Taskmaster), and Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova). Thunderbolts opens in theaters on July 26, 2024.
Feige wrapped the Marvel Studios portion by revisiting key moments in the MCU before welcoming to the stage director Nia DaCosta and The Marvels cast members Iman Vellani (Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel), Teyonah Parris (Monica Rambeau), and Brie Larson (Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel). Fans were given a special look at scenes from the new movie, which opens in July 2023.
20th Century Studios
Avatar: The Way of Water, which opens in Philippine theaters on December 14, welcomes back to the big screen returning cast members Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldaña (Neytiri), Sigourney Weaver (Kiri), and Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quaritch). New-generation cast members include Jamie Flatters (Neteyam), Jack Champion (Spider), Bailey Bass (Tsireya), and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss (Tuk). Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family, the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive and the tragedies they endure.