This weekend, Disney is fulfilling the dreams of movie-goers at the company’s D23 Expo, a bi-annual celebration and conference of all things Mickey Mouse and co., including upcoming films, video games and theme park attractions.
This year’s conference, which launched on Aug. 14 and ends today, brought brief summits about the new Star Wars
and Captain America
installments, in addition to further details on the upcoming cinematic adaptions for Beauty and the Beast
and The Jungle Book
– and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
With the Star Wars: The Force Awakens
hitting theatres this December, organizers at the D23 conference used the sci-fi flick’s upcoming release to generate buzz about Star Wars: Rouge One
, a standalone slated for the big screen in late 2016.
Directed by Gareth Edwards, Disney put out the first official photo of the cast, which includes Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, and Donnie Yen. Lucasfilm President, Kathleen Kennedy, said the story behind Rouge One
touches on a group of rebels on the quest to steal the plans for the original Death Star. On hand to hype up its release were Harrison Ford, JJ Abrams and the rest of the cast from The Force Awakens.
If you’re more of a Captain America
fan than a Star Wars
buff, you’ll be happy to hear Civil War
stole the spotlight at D23 over the weekend. The flick hits theatres May 16, 2016 and features Chris Evans (Captain America) and Anthony Mackie (Falcon) duking it out against their Avengers counterparts, which include Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Don Cheadle (War Machine). Footage for the trailer featured exactly what you’d expect – explosions, epic combat and massive superhero egos. Can’t wait!
But D23 wasn’t all about comics and sci-fi, as Disney used the two-day event as a platform to dish about its live-action interpretations of two of its most beloved classic animated films, The Jungle Book
and Beauty and the Beast.
D23 attendees had the chance to feast their eyes on the new poster for The Jungle Book
as well as never-before-seen footage, which was so good that it received a standing ovation from viewers. Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Neel Sethi, the newcomer playing our favourite little jungle child, Mogli, will all be lending their talent to the new release, which is based off the animated classic that hit theatres in 1967.
Emma Watson (Belle) and Downton Abbey
’s ultra hunk Dan Stevens (The Beast) appeared in the first footage released for Beauty and the Beast
, alongside their costars Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (LeFou). The original movie had arguably one of the best soundtracks from an animated Disney film, and we can’t wait to hear these big names belt out the timeless score on the silver screen.
Other honourable mentions at this year’s D23 conference include your boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch staring in Doctor Strange Love
, Tim Burton’s Alice Through the Looking Glass
, which serves as a sequel and prequel to his 2010 film, and the fifth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean
franchise, titled Dead Man Tell No Tales