D23 Recap: Did You Miss It?

Posted by on August 17, 2015 8:37 am
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Categories: Marvel

D23 Recap: Did You Miss It?

While D23 in 2013 was described by some as “disappointingly boring”, this year’s Disney convention turned more than a few heads. While we couldn’t talk about everything that Disney unveiled, we did want to touch on a few highlights.

 

Marvel: Kevin Feige led off with a glimpse into the world of Marvel’s “Doctor Strange,” featuring a video greeting by Benedict Cumberbatch, who stars as the title character, followed by a pre-production piece that offered fans a taste of the look and feel of the upcoming film, opening in U.S. theaters on October 26, 2016. To the delight of the audience, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up on stage to help Feige show never-seen-before footage from “Captain America: Civil War”. Before the footage rolled, Feige revealed that there was a special “Easter egg” for fans to find: it was aptly a nod to D23 EXPO.

 

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The Finest Hours: Sean Bailey took the stage to introduce the first film in the Disney live-action lineup, “The Finest Hours,” which 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, joined Bailey on stage to give fans a peak at the heroic action-thriller. The movie debuts January 29, 2016.

 

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Jungle Book: After an introduction by Sean Bailey, Jon Favreau, director of Disney’s upcoming “The Jungle Book,” welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus Oscar winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyong’o, who lends her voice to the protective mother wolf Raksha. Favreau treated fans to a sneak peek of footage from the film, and each guest received a copy of the dramatic teaser poster following the presentation. “The Jungle Book” hits theaters on April 15, 2016.

 

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Alice Through the Looking Glass: Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with “Alice in Wonderland,” in which Alice (Wasikowska) returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter. The film, which once again features Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and the voices of Alan Rickman, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, introduces several new characters as well: Zanik Hightopp (Rhys Ifans), the Mad Hatter’s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.

 

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Pete’s Dragon: Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in “Pete’s Dragon,” a reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film. “Pete’s Dragon” is directed by David Lowery, produced by Jim Whitaker, and executive-produced by Barrie Osborne, and 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.

 

 

Queen of Katwe: Bailey, with the help of Lupita Nyong’o, introduced the crowd to the upcoming film “Queen of Katwe,” which is based on the inspirational true story of a girl from the poverty-stricken slums of rural Uganda who dreams of becoming a champion chess player. Directed by Mira Nair from a screenplay by William Wheeler based on the book by Tim Crothers, “Queen of Katwe” stars Nyong’o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga.

 

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Beauty and the Beast: The live-action musical, a retelling of the studio’s animated classic, stars Watson, Dan Stevens, Evans, Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald and newcomer Nathan Mack. The film is directed by Bill Condon. Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated classic, provides the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Tim Rice, as well as several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.

 

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales: A surprise visit by Johnny Depp, who showed up on stage completely decked out as Captain Jack Sparrow, brought down the house and thrilled fans at Sean Bailey’s presentation of the next exciting film in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

 

 

Star Wars: Touching on “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” Horn reminded the audience that Rian Johnson will be directing the film slated for release on May 26, 2017. Then in a surprise announcement, Horn informed everyone that Colin Trevorrow (“Jurassic World”) has signed on to direct “Star Wars: Episode IX,” which is scheduled for release in 2019. Horn touched on the “Untitled Han Solo” stand-alone film, slated for release on May 25, 2018 by reminding everyone that it will be directed by Christopher Miller & Phil Lord, with Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan writing the screenplay.

 

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Star Wars: Rogue One: Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for “Rogue One,” the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards (“Godzilla,” “Monsters”) is directing “Rogue One,” which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star. He then surprised everyone by revealing the cast and crew for the movie. The movie will be released December 16, 2016.

 

Star Wars: Rogue One L to R: Actors Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen Photo Credit: Jonathan Olley ©Lucasfilm 2016

Star Wars: Rogue One
L to R: Actors Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen
Photo Credit: Jonathan Olley
©Lucasfilm 2016

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The crowd cheered when John Boyega announced that everyone there would get a Drew Struzan D23 EXPO commemorative poster to take home. Then, in a bringing-down-the house surprise moment, Harrison Ford, who is reprising his role as Han Solo, joined Abrams on stage to wild applause.

 

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Star Wars Land: Years of rumors have finally be made official. Disney CEO Bob Iger just announced at the D23 Expo that they are making not one, but two, full-on Star Wars-themed lands at their theme parks. One at Hollywood Studios in Orlando and one at Disneyland in Anaheim, marking their largest single land park expansions ever. At 14 acres wide, the parks will transport fans to a whole new Star Wars planet (which, from the images, looks a lot like Naboo) that’s located on the edge of the Outer Rim. Every inch of it will be from the series’ mythos. Everything will tie in. As for the rides, there will be two major ones. One will let fans fly the Millennium Falcon on a secret mission, the other will place them in between a fight with the First Order and the Resistance. Disney offered no details on when these two Star Wars lands would be done, except to say it would take time.

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