Disney’s 2017 expo, D23, wrapped this weekend and loads of news has come out of it for fans of the studio.
There were updates aplenty on upcoming animated features, live-action remakes and Disney Pixar features. Here’s the most exciting stuff we've learned:
It was already widely known that Tim Burton would be directing the live-action remake of the 1941 animated film and a photo of Burton on set was revealed during the expo.
Production is underway for the live-action reimagining of Disney's Dumbo, directed by Tim Burton. In theaters March 29, 2019. pic.twitter.com/5deE0yANwH
— Disney (@Disney) July 15, 2017
A life-size sculpted model of the titular elephant of was also wheeled onto stage, though that got a less positive reception…
Wait wait wait. THIS is what Dumbo's going to look like in Tim Burton's DUMBO? For reals? pic.twitter.com/NQUHeP4cbP
— Scott Wampler™ (@ScottWamplerBMD) July 16, 2017
The film’s official synopsis states: ‘Circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) enlists Holt to care for a newborn elephant whose oversized ears make him a laughing stock in an already struggling circus.
‘But when Holt’s children (Nico Parker and Finley Hobbins) discover that Dumbo can fly, persuasive entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton) and an aerial artist named Colette Marchant (Eva Green) swoop in to make the peculiar pachyderm a star.’
You’ve probably already heard but just in case, the main cast for Aladdin was announced at the expo with Will Smith confirmed for the role of Genie while Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud - best known for roles in Jack Ryan and Open Heart - was announced to be playing the titular character. Naomi Scott will portray Princess Jasmine, the actor having recently appeared in the rebooted Power Rangers as the pink ranger.
Mary Poppins Returns
The first teaser trailer for Mary Poppins Returns, showing Emily Blunt in the titular role holding the character’s iconic umbrella, was shown at the expo. The clip has since become available on Twitter. It doesn’t show much but it has us in high anticipation for its release in December 2018:
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) July 15, 2017
Toy Story 4
The fourth instalment of the beloved talking toy series from Pixar will be experiencing a director change-up. John Lasseter, who founded Pixar and directed the first two Toy Story films, was due to co-direct the fourth instalment but will no longer be doing so. Josh Cooley, who wrote the screenplay for Pixar’s Inside Out, will be taking over.
Lasseter explained at the expo: “I always felt like I need to keep directing, and that’s why I decided to do Toy Story 4 initially, but I oversee three studios and I think I counted 24 feature films I’m overseeing, and it was not really practical, to be blunt. But also what made it easy was Josh Cooley was amazing; wait until you see it – he is so good. And it was time to let go of the bike and let him ride, and he’s doing a great job. It’s really fantastic.
“And I do get creative satisfaction from being the executive producer, the chief creative officer, and helping all of these great filmmakers. So that’s what made the decision for me, and I’m loving what I do. I have the best job in the world.”
Wreck It Ralph 2
A new character names Yesss, who will be voiced by Taraji P. Henson, will feature in the sequel Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet. The character is an algorithm used to power a viral news site called Buzzaholic (geddit?). Additionally, there will apparently be a scene putting Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope von Schweetz alongside other Disney animated princesses like snow White, Moana and Ariel, which should provide some laughs and meta commentary.
Other upcoming projects
Other films Disney has in the works include a Jungle Cruise movie starring Dwayne Johnson (because let’s be honest, the guy is box office gold right now) while John Lasseter revealed that there's a new movie about planes (most likely part of the Planes series) coming up in April 2019.