Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm Preview Their Future AWE at D23 EXPO 2015!
Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their live action film slates this morning at the D23 EXPO 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The presentations, which revealed exclusive news and details about the upcoming live action films, were aided by live and video appearances from talent and filmmakers. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted the highly anticipated biennial event.
â€œItâ€™s quite something to be able to have Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm all on the same stage, and itâ€™s tremendously gratifying to unveil our upcoming projects to our most dedicated fans first,â€ said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. â€œWe always have an incredible time at the D23 EXPO.â€
After welcoming the crowd to D23 EXPO 2015, Horn introduced Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, and Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, to present overviews of the Marvel Studios and Disney live action slates. Later Horn returned to the stage to present the Lucasfilm film slate to the enthusiastic audience.
Check out a recap of the presentation after the jump!…
Â· Kevin Feige led off with a glimpse into the world of Marvelâ€™s â€œDoctor Strange,â€ 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.
Â· Marvelâ€™s â€œCaptain America: Civil Warâ€ marched into D23 EXPO with an introduction by its producer, Kevin Feige. To the delight of the audience, Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie showed up on stage to help Feige show never-seen-before footage from the movie. Before the footage rolled, Feige revealed that there was a special â€œEaster eggâ€ for fans to find: it was aptly a nod to D23 EXPO.
Marvelâ€™s â€œCaptain America: Civil Warâ€ picks up where â€œAvengers: Age of Ultronâ€ left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.
The movie stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, Tom Holland, with William Hurt and Daniel BrÃ¼hl. Marvelâ€™s â€œCaptain America: Civil Warâ€ is directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and produced by Kevin Feige. Louis Dâ€™Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee serve as executive producers and the screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Marvelâ€™s â€œCaptain America: Civil Warâ€ opens in the U.S. on May 6, 2016.
Â· Sean Bailey took the stage to introduce the first film in the Disney live-action lineup, â€œThe Finest Hours,â€ 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.
Presented in Digital 3Dâ„¢, Real D 3D and IMAXÂ® 3D, the film, which is directed by Craig Gillespie and also stars Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Holliday Grainger, John Ortiz and Eric Bana, transports audiences to the heart of the action, creating a fully-immersive cinematic experience on an epic scale.
â€œThe Finest Hoursâ€ is produced by Jim Whitaker and Dorothy Aufiero and Doug Merrifield is the executive producer. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. â€œThe Finest Hoursâ€ storms into U.S. theaters on January 29, 2016.
Â· After an introduction by Sean Bailey, Jon Favreau, director of Disneyâ€™s upcoming â€œThe Jungle Book,â€ welcomed to the stage newcomer Neel Sethi, who was selected from thousands of candidates to play man-cub Mowgli; plus OscarÂ® winners Ben Kingsley, who helps bring panther-turned-mentor Bagheera to life, and Lupita Nyongâ€™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 all-new, live-action epic adventure showcases Mowgliâ€™s journey of self-discovery when heâ€™s forced to abandon the only home heâ€™s ever known.
Based on Rudyard Kiplingâ€™s timeless stories and inspired by Disneyâ€™s 1967 animated classic, the film features state-of the-art technology that immerses audiences in the lush world like never before. â€œThe Jungle Bookâ€ also features the voices of Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Jon Favreau and Brigham Taylor produce and the screenplay is by Justin Marks. â€œThe Jungle Bookâ€ hits theaters in stunning 3D and IMAX 3D on April 15, 2016.
Â· Bailey welcomed Mia Wasikowska to the stage, where she thrilled fans with a preview of the all-new spectacular adventure, â€œAlice Through the Looking Glass,â€ featuring the unforgettable characters from Lewis Carrollâ€™s beloved stories. Director James Bobin brings his own unique vision to the spectacular world Tim Burton created on screen in 2010 with â€œAlice in Wonderland,â€ 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 Hatterâ€™s father, and Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen), a peculiar creature who is part human, part clock.
Joe Roth, Suzanne Todd and Jennifer Todd, and Tim Burton produce and John G. Scotti is the executive producer. The screenplay is by Linda Woolverton. Presented in Digital 3Dâ„¢, Real D 3D and IMAXÂ® 3D, Disneyâ€™s â€œAlice Through the Looking Glassâ€ opens in U.S. theaters on May 27, 2016.
In addition to attending the filmâ€™s presentation in Hall D23 at the Convention Center, fans had the opportunity to transform themselves into their favorite characters from Underland with an interactive experience, Travel Through the Looking Glass. By means of a first-to-market face-tracking application, D23 EXPO participants entering one of four photo booths located on the show floor were able to become the Mad Hatter, the Red Queen, the White Rabbit or the Cheshire Cat with full digital-makeup and cinematic 3D objects seamlesslyâ€”and instantlyâ€”applied to their reflections, and in real time. They were then emailed a 10-second video and still image, which they could share on their favorite social media platforms.
Â· Bryce Dallas Howard joined Bailey on stage to talk about her starring role in â€œPeteâ€™s Dragon,â€ a reimagining of Disneyâ€™s cherished family film. The heartwarming adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon, â€œPeteâ€™s Dragonâ€ 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. â€œPeteâ€™s Dragonâ€ opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.
Â· Bailey, with the help of Lupita Nyongâ€™o, introduced the crowd to the upcoming film â€œQueen of Katwe,â€ 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, â€œQueen of Katweâ€ stars Nyongâ€™o, David Oyelowo and newcomer Medina Nalwanga.
Â· Bailey next presented â€œBeauty and the Beast,â€ including a musical greeting from stars Emma Watson, Josh Gad and Luke Evansâ€”sent from the London set where they are currently filming. The live-action musical, a retelling of the studioâ€™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 AwardsÂ® (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. â€œBeauty and the Beastâ€ will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.
Â· 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 Baileyâ€™s presentation of the next exciting film in the â€œPirates of the Caribbean â€œ franchise, â€œPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.â€
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.
The film is directed by Espen Sandberg & Joachim RÃ¸nning and stars Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Brenton Thwaites, Kevin R. McNally, Kaya Scodelario, Golshifteh Farahani, Stephen Graham, David Wenham and Geoffrey Rush. Jerry Bruckheimer is the producer and Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Joe Caracciolo, Jr. and Brigham Taylor serve as executive producers. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay. â€œPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Talesâ€ releases in U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017.
Â· Alan Horn took the stage again to present the Lucasfilm slate and timeline to the D23 EXPO fans. Horn told the audience that there were only 124 days to the release of Episode VII, â€œStar Wars: The Force Awakens,â€ on December 18, 2015 and added that there have been record-breaking trailer views and fantastic fan response. Touching on â€œStar Wars: Episode VIII,â€ 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 (â€œJurassic Worldâ€) has signed on to direct â€œStar Wars: Episode IX,â€ which is scheduled for release in 2019.
Moving on to the new Star Wars stories series, Horn touched on the â€œUntitled Han Soloâ€ 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.
Â· Horn then took the audience by surprise, announcing the cast for â€œRogue One,â€ the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen, which has commenced principal photography. Gareth Edwards (â€œGodzilla,â€ â€œMonstersâ€) is directing â€œRogue One,â€ which tells the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star.
The filmmakers have assembled a stellar cast, including Felicity Jones, nominated for an Academy AwardÂ® for her leading role in â€œThe Theory of Everythingâ€; Diego Luna, who was featured in 2008â€™s OscarÂ®-winning â€œMilkâ€ and the critically acclaimed â€œKilling Them Softlyâ€; Ben Mendelsohn, recently nominated for an EmmyÂ® for his leading role in â€œBloodlineâ€ and co-starring in the upcoming â€œMississippi Grindâ€; Donnie Yen, Hong Kong action star and martial artist who starred in â€œIp Manâ€ and â€œBlade IIâ€; Jiang Wen, who co-wrote, produced , directed and starred in the award-winning â€œLet the Bullets Flyâ€ and â€œDevils on the Doorstepâ€; Forest Whitaker, recently featured in the critically-acclaimed Lee Danielsâ€™ â€œThe Butlerâ€ and winner of an Academy AwardÂ® for his leading role in 2006â€™s â€œThe Last King of Scotland; Mads Mikkelsen, who starred in â€œThe Huntâ€ and was the memorable villain from 2006â€™s â€œCasino Royaleâ€; Alan Tudyk, who plays a performance-capture character in â€œRogue One,â€ stars in the soon-to-be-released â€œCon Manâ€ series and â€œTrumbo,â€ which releases this November; and Riz Ahmed, who was recently featured in â€œNightcrawlerâ€ and starred in the BAFTA-winning film â€œFour Lions.â€
The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy and is slated for a December 16, 2016 release.
Â· â€œStar Wars: The Force Awakensâ€ ended the live-action presentation with a bang as J.J. Abrams introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyongâ€™o. 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.
â€œStar Wars: The Force Awakensâ€ stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyongâ€™o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by J.J. Abrams & Lawrence Kasdan. â€œStar Wars: The Force Awakensâ€ releases in U.S. theaters on December 18, 2015.