Magical DIStractions has been buzzing with all of the Breaking News that came from the annual D23 Expo in Anaheim, California. We are so pleased to have had team-members of our DIStracted team there live, sharing all the exciting news! At D23, Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their Live Action film slates. The presentations gave fans a peek into all of the amazing things that all of these respective studios have in the works for us in the near future!
Sean Bailey, president of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production took the stage to introduce the film The Finest Hours. This film is based on the amazing and true story of the most daring rescue mission in the Coast Guard’s history. Chris Pine who will star in the film as Bernie Webber, captain of the rescue boat, joined Bailey on stage to give D23 fans a peek into the film. The film, which will be presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D, will also star Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana and is directed by Craig Gillespie. The film is sure to transport the audience to the heart of the action by creating a “fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.”
The Finest Hours is produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero and is executive-produced by Doug Merrifield. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman. The screenplay is written by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. The Finest Hours has a scheduled release date of January 29, 2016.
Next, Jon Favreau joined Mr. Bailey on stage to introduce Disney’s upcoming The Jungle Book. Together they welcomed Neel Sethi, the newcomer who was selected from thousands to play Mowgli the man-cub, as well as Sir Ben Kingsley who helps to bring Bagherra the panther to life and Lupita Nyong’o who voices a protective mother wolf Raksha. Favereau showed the audience a peek at some film footage and the movie’s film poster was revealed.
The new live-action version of the story features state-of-the-art technology that immerses the audience in Mowgli’s world, and shows his journey of self-discovery when he must leave the only home he has known. The film will also feature the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. It is produced by Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor with screenplay by Justin Marks. Look for The Jungle Book when it is released in 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016.
The next film announced was Alice Through the Looking Glass. Mr. Bailey was joined by Mia Wasikowska and they gave the audience a preview of Alice’s all-new adventure. Wasikowska reprises the role of Alice, along with Johnny Depp Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall. There will be several new characters introduced such as Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans); the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen); who is a strange creature who is part clock and part human.
The film is produced by Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd and Tim Burton and is executive-produced by John G. Scotti. Screenplay is by Linda Woolverton. Alice Through The Looking Glass will be presented in Digital 3D™, Real D 3D and IMAX® 3D and opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.
Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on the stage to talk about her exciting starring role in Pete’s Dragon. This inspiring adventure is reimagined from Disney’s original family film. It is a heartfelt adventure of the orphaned boy Pete and his best friend Elliott, the dragon.
Pete’s Dragon is directed by David Lowery and produced by Jim Whitaker. Barrie Osborne is the executive producer and it also stars Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Robert Redford. Pete’s Dragon opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
Mr. Bailey with the help of Lupita Nyong’o introduced the crowd to an upcoming film entitled Queen of Katwe. This true-story inspired film tells the story of a girl from the slums of rural Uganda. This poverty-stricken girl dreams of becoming a champion chess player. The film is directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler that is based on the book by Tim Crothers. Queen of Katwe stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga. A release date has not yet been announced.
Beauty and the Beast was the next film presented. This is a musical retell of the classic animated film. Audience members enjoyed a musical greeting from stars Emma Watson, Josh Gad and Luke Evans which was sent from the London set where the film is currently shooting. The film stars Watson, Dan Stevens, Evans, Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald as well as newcomer Nathan Mac. The film is directed by Bill Condon. The score is provided by Alan Menken who won two Academy Awards® for the animated version, and will include new recordings of the original songs as well as several new songs. Beauty and the Beast is scheduled to be released in U.S. theatres on March 17, 2017.
The finale of the Disney Studios portion of the presentation brought down the house and thrilled fans as they were treated to a surprise visit from Johnny Depp, who showed up on stage decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow to join Mr. Bailey in the introduction of the next film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. This all new adventure finds a “down-on-his-luck” Captain Jack battling deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the frightening Captain Salazar who escapes from Devil’s Triangle, and is determined to kill every pirate at sea including Jack. The only hope of surviving is to find the legendary Trident of Poseidon, which gives its possessor total control of the seas.
The film is directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning and will star Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. The return of Orlando Bloom has also been confirmed.
Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. The screenplay is written by Jeff Nathanson. Look for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in theaters on July 7, 2017.
It looks like all the studios, Disney, Marvel Productions and Lucasfilm have heard the fans’ desire to keep the movies coming. From revisiting our favorite movie franchises to thrilling us will new and exciting stories, they are delivering new and creative films to entertain us. And it looks like the next few years will be very exciting and entertaining! Grab your family and popcorn bucket and see you at the movies!