If you were on social media over the weekend, then I’m sure you saw “#DisneyPlusDay” or “#D23Expo” trending throughout. On Thursday, September 8, The Walt Disney Company held its second annual Disney+ Day which is a yearly celebration for the streaming service that had “content premieres to special promotions, surprise drops, cool perks, and much more” for subscribers. As an added treat this year, new and eligible returning Disney+ subscribers can get one month of Disney+ for $1.99 until Monday, September 19 at 11:59 pm PST.
Disney+ Day led into the D23 Expo coined as “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” D23 Expo (D for Disney and 23 for 1923 – the year Walt Disney was founded) took place in Anaheim, CA and kicked off on Friday, September 9 and went on until Sunday, September 11. The event brought major announcements for the global brand spanning teaser trailers, first looks, cast and project announcements, and more! Below are some of the highlights from D23 Expo.
Mufasa: The Lion King (2024)
The prequel comes in 2024 and will be directed by Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk). The prequel centers around Mufasa and features young versions of Timon, Pumbaa, and Rafiki. “Simba, having become king of the Pride Lands, is determined for his cub follow in his footsteps while the origins of his late father Mufasa are explored.” Aaron Pierre voices Mufasa, Kelvin Harrison Jr. voices Scar, John Kani voices Rafiki, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will reprise their The Lion King live action roles as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively.
First Look: The Little Mermaid Official Teaser (May 26, 2023)
Halle Bailey is #MyAriel in the live-action adaption of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Mary Poppins Returns), The Little Mermaid “is the beloved story of Ariel, a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s daughters, and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea, and while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric. While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, which gives her a chance to experience life on land, but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy.”
Daveed Diggs voices Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay voices Flounder and Awkwafina voices Scuttle. Jonah Hauer-King plays Prince Eric, Art Malik is Sir Grimsby, Noma Dumezweni is Queen Selina, Javier Bardem is King Triton, and Melissa McCarthy is Ursula. The Little Mermaid comes to theaters on May 26, 2023.
Growing Up Documentary Series (September 8)
Created by Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson, Growing Up “is an innovative hybrid docu-series that explores the challenges, triumphs, and complexities of adolescence through ten compelling coming of age stories. The series uses narrative, experimental, and documentary filmmaking to follow one casted individual, ages 18-22, as they tell their story.” Growing Up is streaming now on Disney+.
Hocus Pocus 2 Official Trailer (September 30)
Spooky Season is getting three times more wicked this year when Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reunite for the highly anticipated Disney+ Original Movie Hocus Pocus 2. The ladies reprise their roles as Winifred, Sarah, and Mary Sanderson in the live-action sequel coming to Disney+ on September 30, 2022.
First Look: Peter Pan and Wendy (2023)
“Live-action adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale of a boy who wouldn’t grow up and recruits three young siblings in London to join him on a magical adventure to the enchanted Neverland island.” Alexander Molony plays Peter Pan opposite Ever Anderson as Wendy. Yara Shahidi will play the mischievous fairy Tinker Bell with Jude Law and Jim Gaffigan stepping in as Captain Hook and Smee. Peter Pan and Wendy is expected for a 2023 release.
Disenchanted Official Trailer (November 24)
“Ten years after her happily ever after, Giselle questions her happiness, inadvertently turning the lives of those in the real world and Andalasia upside down in the process.” The stacked cast for the sequel includes Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, Gabriella Baldacchino, Idina Menzel, and James Marsden. Directed by Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Rock of Ages) Disney’s Disenchanted streams on November 24, 2022 on Disney+.
Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four (November 8, 2024)
Although no cast has been announced for the anticipated Fantastic Four film, Matt Shakman (WandaVision) was revealed as the director. Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four comes to theaters on November 8, 2024.
Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion Official Trailer (2023)
Nick Fury is “the last person standing between them and what they really want.” In the Marvel Studios’ Original series Secret Invasion, Samuel L. Jackson is back as S.H.I.E.L.D leader Nick Fury alongside Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) as the pair try to stop the Skrulls who “have infiltrated the highest spheres of the Marvel Universe.” Cobie Smulders returns to the MCU as Maria Hill, Don Cheadle as James Rhodes, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross. Killian Scott, Olivia Colman, Emilia Clarke, Christopher McDonald, and Kingsley Ben-Adir enter the MCU as significant characters in Secret Invasion. Marvel Studios’ Secret Invasion will stream on Disney+ in 2023.
Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: Werewolf By Night Official Trailer (October 7)
In a series unlike what Marvel has done before, Werewolf By Night “follows a lycanthrope superhero who fights crime using the abilities given to him by a curse brought on by his bloodline.” Gael García Bernal, Laura Donnelly, Harriet Sansom Harris, Eugenie Bondurant, Kirk R. Thatcher and Jaycob Maya star in the series coming to Disney+ on October 7, 2022.
First Look: Elemental (June 16, 2023)
Opposites react when Ember (Leah Lewis) and Wade (Mamoudou Athie) fall in love but simply can’t touch because of their combative elements while living in a city “where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together.” The Pixar film is expected to release on June 16, 2023.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians Teaser (2024)
The highly anticipated live-action Disney+ series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians novels and stars Walker Scobell, Aryan Simhadri, and Leah Sava Jeffrie. The series will be released some time in 2024.
The Santa Clauses Teaser (November 16)
Christmas comes early when Tim Allen returns as Scott Calvin/Santa in the Disney+ Original series The Santa Clauses. “Scott Calvin is about to turn 65 and, realizing he can’t be Santa forever, sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in life south of the pole.” Along with Allen, Elizabeth Mitchell, Kal Penn, Matilda Lawler, Austin Kane, and David Krumholtz appear in the show. The two-episode premiere streams November 16, 2022.
Tales of The Jedi Official Trailer (October 26)
Six original animated shorts showcase Jedi from the prequel era and streams on Disney+ on October 26, 2022. Liam Neeson, Janina Gavankar, Matt Lanter, and Ashley Eckstein will lend their voices for the series.
Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts (July 26, 2024)
A group of supervillains across the Marvel Cinematic Universe are recruited to go on missions for the government in Thunderbolts. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine), David Harbour (Red Guardian), Hannah John-Kamen (Ghost), Wyatt Russell (John Walker/U.S. Agent), Sebastian Stan (James “Bucky” Barnes/The Winter Soldier), Olga Kurylenko (Taskmaster) and Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), Thunderbolts opens in theaters on July 26, 2024.
You can get all the updates on what’s coming to Disney and its accompanying brands by visiting d23.com. What announcements were you most excited about? Share in the comments below.
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