Disney’s D23 announces an array of upcoming productions

BRAZIL - 2022/08/05: In this photo illustration, the Walt Disney Company logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
BRAZIL - 2022/08/05: In this photo illustration, the Walt Disney Company logo is displayed on a smartphone screen. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Disney’s D23 expo is back and a slate of upcoming projects including those from Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar have been announced.

Disney’s D23 expo, a biennial event where announcements for upcoming projects from Disney’s movie and television studios are made, returned to the Anaheim Convention Center in California from September 9 through11. While the event was originally scheduled to occur in 2021, it was pushed back to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in time for the expo to be the launching point for the 100th-anniversary celebration of 1923, the year Walt Disney discovered the company and the reason behind the 23 in D23’s name.

Panels included such studios as Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Pixar, 20th Century Studios, Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Disney Branded Television. There was a plethora of information shared, giving audiences a glimpse at what’s to come from Disney, including such popular franchises as the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars.

With Marvel, footage from the last film of Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was shared. It’s the next theatrical MCU release, hitting theaters on November 11 as a sequel to the blockbuster, Black Panther. The first film of Phase 5 of the MCU was screened, featuring new shots of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is slated to be released on February 17.

Tim Blake Nelson and Shira Hass were added to the cast of the theatrical start of Anthony Mackie’s era as Captain America, Captain America: New World Order, which is scheduled to come out May 3, 2024. Other 2024 films include Thunderbolts, which will feature an all-star cast of characters from other MCU films, including Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier, Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, David Harbour’s Red Guardian, Wyatt Russell’s John Walker, Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus’  Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.

While no casting announcements were made yet, Matt Shakman was announced as the director for the anticipated reboot of the Fantastic Four, which is to be released on November 8, 2024.

As for the television front for Marvel, the trailer for 2023’s Secret Invasion, featuring Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, premiered along with the trailer for Marvel Studio’s first TV special, a Halloween-themed title called Werewolf by Night, and casting announcements for IronheartArmor Wars, and Loki season 2, featuring Shakira Barrera, Don Cheadle, and Ke Huy Quan, respectively, were made. There was a special look at Echo as well as a discussion about Daredevil: Born Again, set to begin production in 2023.

Lucasfilm made its presence known with the trailer for Indiana Jones 5, starring Harrison Ford in the iconic role, along with a new trailer for Willow, a new take on the 1988 fantasy with the announcement of Christian Slater being added to the cast.

On the television side of things, trailers for the Diego Luna starring series Andor, which will premiere on Disney+ on September 21, season 3 of The Mandalorian starring Pedro Pascal, and the “short-form animated anthology series” Tales of the Jedi, set to premiere October 26, were all released. It was also announced that season 2 of Star Wars: The Bad Batch was pushed from September 28 to January 4.

The D23 crowd was greeted with footage from the 20th Century for Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-awaited sequel of one of the highest-grossing films of all time, 2009’s Avatar.  There were also sneak peeks for theatrical films including the prequel to 2019’s The Lion King, called, Mufasa: The Lion King set for a 2024 release, along with a new teaser trailer for 2023’s The Little Mermaid, starring Halle Bailey paying incredible homage to 1989 beloved animated classic.

For theatrical live-action films being released on Disney+, there was a 2023 announcement made for Peter Pan & Wendy, as well as new trailers for Hocus Pocus 2, set to be released just in time for Halloween season on September 30, and Disenchanted, the sequel of the 2007 film to be released November 24.

Animation helped make Disney famous and a household name and this D23 proves that Disney still has a stronghold in the world of drawn images come to life. With theatrical releases, the trailer was released for the next Disney Animation feature film, Strange World, described as following, “a legendary family of explorers on a mission to a mysterious planet inhabited by surreal lifeforms,” which opens on November 23 in theaters.

Wish will be the next original feature film from the legendary Walt Disney Animation Studio. It is set for a fall 2023 release and takes place in, “Rosas, the kingdom of wishes where wishes can literally come true,” and follows the lesson, as Deadline reports from D23, “that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.”

The next Pixar films were also announced, including Elemental, where there’s the unlikely pair of Ember and Wade from, “a city where fire, water, land, and air residents live together,” Elio, which follows 11-year-old Elio who is beamed into space and, “mistaken for an intergalactic Ambassador for Earth,” and confirmation of the sequel for 2015’s Inside Out, the film that follows the personified emotions inside a young girl’s mind, set for the summer of 2024 with Amy Poehler confirmed to return.

There were also first-time looks at an array of new seasons and new series from Disney+ including American Born ChineseBig ShotIwájú, The Muppets Mayhem, National Treasure: Edge of History, The Proud Family: Louder and ProuderThe Santa ClausesWin or Lose, and Zootopia+, along with films such as Prom Pact.

Disney+ will also have unscripted holiday specials such as Best In Snow hosted by Tituss Burgess, Pentatonix: Around the World for the Holidays, and The Hip Hop Nutcracker, hosted by Rev Run of Run-D.M.C. Disney Channel is giving fans Under Wraps 2 and the animated Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur while Disney Junior is giving the younger ones a chance to enjoy Star Wars: Young Jedi Adventures.

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With so many productions being announced at D23, there looks to be something for everyone in the coming months and years from the studios of Disney.