A HUGE part of the excitement about the #D23Expo is all the panels – and boy did the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel live up to the hype!!! While the Disney & Pixar Animation Panel sure was fun & star-studded, the live action panel really stepped it up a notch! I mean, hello, Captain America, Johnny Depp, AND HARRISON FORD! OHhhh my!! Plus the whole panel ended with the EPIC Star Wars Land announcement from Disney CEO Bob Iger. The excitement was truly palpable and being in the room (especially when Johnny Depp came out in full Captain Jack Sparrow character, when Harrison Ford took the stage, and when Iger announced the Star Wars Land plans) was well…magical! Here’s a little glimpse at how it all went down:
So fun, right?!?! So many fun celebrities and upcoming movies!!!! Let’s take a look on what’s coming out from Disney the next few years, starting with what we are MOST excited about and the next live action film that comes out from Disney. I’m thinking it’s going to break all kinds of box office records…
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18, 2015)
Not even 4 months left to wait for this one!!!!! And we could NOT BE MORE EXCITED! If you share that excitement, you might want to snag a copy of the FREE printable Force Awakens countdown that we made!
We’ve shared the trailer before (along with some fun printable Star Wars BINGO & Movie Trivia games), but here it is again…just in case you haven’t seen it or need to watch it again! 😉
SO good! Can’t wait for the next trailer to come out…and then the movie! Star Wars movie fans should also be excited to know that there is a Star Wars movie slated EVERY YEAR from now through 2019!!!! STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII is slated for May 26, 2017 and STAR WARS: EPISODE IX is slated for release in 2019. Then there’s the new “Stand-alone” Star Wars stories…Rogue One is the first (which tells the story of the Rebels plotting to steal the plans of the Death Star), scheduled to hit the big screen on December 16, 2016. And, the next stand alone in the Star Wars stories series is an “Untitled Han Solo” film (Ahhhhhh!!!), slated for release on May 25, 2018.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (July 7, 2017)
Captain Jack and those crazy pirates of the Caribbean will be back in 2017 with Dead Men Tell No Tales. At the Expo, it was announced that Javier Bardem will be joining the cast and Orlando Bloom will be back as Will Turner. The crowd went nuts at this news, and then Jack Sparrow took the stage! Johnny Depp is just absolutely amazing in this role and played it perfectly live on stage, even while munching on grapes (& throwing them to the crowd)! So fun! This is sure to be a big hit during the summer of 2017!
The Jungle Book – April 15, 2016
As someone who doesn’t like change much, I can tell you that I’ve been cautious about my enthusiasm for live action remakes of the classic Disney movies. But, they did a fabulous job with the live action Cinderella! And, I am SO excited for the live action re-tellings on the slate next (especially after hearing more at #D23Expo)! First up is The Jungle Book – and boy does it have an absolutely amazing voice cast – Ben Kingsley as Bagheera, Bill Murray as Baloo, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, Christopher Walken as King Louie, and Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha. Neel Sethi plays Mowgli and what a great little guy he is – super talented kiddo! And speaking of live action re-tellings of some classic movies, there are some other BIG ones on the slate – including Beauty and the Beast and Pete’s Dragon!! I LOVED both of these movies as a kid, so I am SO excited about these!
Pete’s Dragon, starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert and Oakes Fegley is slated for theaters on August 12, 2016. Fans will have to wait a bit longer for Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017), but from the just little glimpse we saw at the Expo is looks amazing. Emma Watson (of Harry Potter Hermione Granger fame) stars as Belle and she just looks perfect in the role! Then, we got a little song snippet from Josh Gad (voice of Olaf in Frozen and Lafou in Beauty and the Beast) and Luke Evans (Gaston). SO fun!!
Alice in Wonderland fans are also excited as Alice will be back on the big screen next year. Look for Alice Through The Looking Glass in theaters on May 27, 2016. Mia Wasikowska returns as Alice alongside fan-favorites Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Boham Carter, and Sacha Baron Cohen!
Now, how about some inspirational feel-good stories? I LOVE a good “based on a true story” movie! And, Disney has a couple of those on the slate as well – The Finest Hours and the Queen of Katwe.
The Finest Hours – January 29, 2016 The Finest Hours is one amazing, heroic action-thriller! We got a little extended sneak peek at the Expo and it looks intense!!! The movie is based on the remarkable true story of the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. Chris Pine, who plays Bernie Webber, the captain of the rescue boat, came to the Expo to tell us all about it! Here’s the trailer:
The Queen of Katwe is another remarkable true story about a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. The movie stars David Oyelowo and current Disney-darling Lupita Nyong’o (she is amazing – we’ll see her in The Force Awakens, The Jungle Book, and this)!! Look for The Queen of Katwe in theaters in 2016!
And last, but certainly not least…here’s what’s coming from MARVEL!!!
We heard just a little about Dr. Strange first, from Marvel President Kevin Feige. The movie stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr. Strange and is slated to hit theaters in October, 2016. But first comes the next Marvel blockbuster – Captain America: Civil War – May 2016 !!! If you’re a fan of the Avengers movies, you’re going to LOVE this! We got to see some footage and WOW! Another star-studded Marvel cast, with all your favorite characters! Shooting for the film (in Germany) was just wrapping up the week after the D23 Expo, yet Disney managed to fly out Anthony Mackie and the Captain himself, Chris Evans. After interviewing him in December, it was extra fun to see him (and those arms – whoa!) take the stage!
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR picks up where “Avengers: Age of Ultron” left off, as Steve Rogers 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.
This one is sure to be the blockbuster that kicks off next summer’s movie season!
WHEW! And that is ONE incredible movie slate! Add that to all the awesome animated films from Disney and Pixar– and well, I think it’s safe to say that Disney is going to KILL IT at the box office the next few years!
What upcoming live action Disney movie are you most excited about?!
More #D23Expo 2015 coverage:
- Disney Parks New – Star Wars Land, Toy Story Land And Avatar Land Coming!
- Upcoming Moview from Disney-Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
- Disney’s Playmation: The Hottest Tech Toy
- Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection #ShareYourLegacy
- Disney’s Silly Symphony Concert & Collection
Disclosure: I attended the D23 Expo as part of an all-expenses paid media trip at the invitation of Disney for the purposes of this coverage. As always, all opinions, experiences, and love of Disney are entirely my own. All images are property of Disney, used with permission.