All the film revelations announced at Disney’s major D23 convention from The Little Mermaid to The Marvels

·8-min read
All the film revelations announced at Disney’s major D23 convention from The Little Mermaid to The Marvels

Disney’s biggest event of the year, D23 Expo, took place this weekend in California, and every day was packed with exciting announcements, new trailers of upcoming films and sneak peeks of new series. Dozens of Hollywood’s biggest actors, writers, directors and producers including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Ryan Coogler, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Kevin Feige joined in, appearing on stage and announcing the clips.

So if you have been overwhelmed with all the new content, you’re not alone - it’s been a lot. Here’s our round up of all the big film revelations shared at D23 over the weekend.

The Little Mermaid

A new live-action remake of the The Little Mermaid is in the works and its trailer was shared over the weekend. The video is trending online and has already pulled in a whopping 9.1 million views since its release. The film will be directed by Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns) and stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, British actor Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, and Melissa McCarthy as the seawitch Ursula. Audiences were treated to a clip of Bailey singing Ariel’s iconic song Part of Your World. The underwater world that the trailer depicts is gorgeous: simply put, Disney has rarely looked this good.

The only downside: it’s not out until May next year.

Disenchanted

Buckle up, it’s time to board the nostalgia train. The original Enchanted film, which aired all the way back in 2007, starred Amy Adams as Princess Giselle, an animated Disney princess who suddenly found herself thrust into real-life New York due to the actions of (who else?) a wicked witch.

The original film ended happily, with Giselle hooking up with divorce attorney Robert (Patrick Dempsey) and opting to stay 3D rather than head back to her flat fantasy home of Andalasia. The sequel, coming 15 years later, seems to plunge Giselle into fresh peril, as a wish threatens to undo everything. The film trailer itself didn’t feature in the expo, but was shared over the weekend. Even better, it’s coming out soon: November 24 this year.

Hocus Pocus 2

Everybody’s favourite witchy sisters are back, and they’re causing mayhem. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as the Sanderson sisters in the follow-up to the beloved classic, 29 years after it aired.

The first film saw them awake from a centuries’ long slumber to wreak havoc on the town of Salem. Now, the same conceit is getting a modern twist as the sisters seek revenge on the people that defeated them. There are witches with hoverboards, and flashbacks to Salem, 370 years in the past, as they get their powers in the first place. Oh, and it’s Hallowe’en. Three cheers!

Indiana Jones 5

The nostalgia train rolls on! As the Lucasfilm section of the Disney Expo wrapped up, its president Kathleen Kennedy had one more surprise to share.

“I couldn’t leave here without talking about one other project we’ve been hard at work on at Lucasfilm — Indiana Jones,” she said. Cue the theme tune, and everybody losing their minds. After the excitement died down, an 80-year-old Harrison Ford took to the stage alongside co-star Phoebe Waller-Bridge to discuss the long, long awaited fivequel.

“Indiana Jones movies are about fantasy and mystery, but they’re also about heart,” Ford told the audience, before getting slightly emotional. “I’m really, really happy that we have a really human story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your ass.”

The film is scheduled for release on June 30, 2023.

Werewolf by Night

Is it a horror film? Is it a tongue-in-cheek tribute to horror? Who knows at this point - but we’re intrigued. Described by Kevin Feige as “fun-scary”, this black-and-white film stars Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly and is directed by Michael Giacchino and looks to be the furthest Marvel has ever leaned into the horror genre. Feige went on to compare this offering to the classic film Poltergeist, while Giacchino said it “has the right level of scares”. Spooky... and it’ll be out just in time for Hallowe’en (the film will stream on Disney+ on October 7).

Avatar: The Way of Water

A brain-burning 13 years since the last Avatar film, we’re finally getting a sequel. Though the first trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water has already aired, the expo saw the upcoming film’s cast and crew (including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña and Sigourney Weaver) take to the stage to discuss the film. The audience were also treated to some 3D footage from the film itself, which was virtually introduced by director James Cameron, and by the sounds of it the reception has been rapturous. It’s almost here: the release date is slated to be December 16.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Expect this film to tug at the heartstrings. The sequel to Black Panther will sadly be lacking the franchise’s original star, Chadwick Boseman, but his absence will form a key part of the plot. At Disney Expo, director Ryan Coogler shared some exclusive footage from the upcoming film, before cast members Angela Bassett, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke and Tenoch Huerta joined him on stage.

The plot is fairly vague at this point, but the outline seems to be that after King T’Challa’s death, Wakanda must band together and defend itself from intervening world powers. And of course, there’s the matter of who will be the new Black Panther... we’ll find out on November 11.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd at the premiere of the original Ant-Man film (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Evangeline Lilly and Paul Rudd at the premiere of the original Ant-Man film (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

As part of the Expo, fans were treated to an upcoming look at the new Ant-Man and the Wasp film. Titled Quantumania, it will star Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp and Jonathan Majors as new villain Kang the Conqueror (whom we first met in the Disney+ series Loki).

As the title suggests, Quantumania will see Ant-Man and his friends delve into the little explored Quantum Realm, the area that Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) was stuck in for almost two decades. And it looks to be significant: director Peyton Reed has already teased that the film will “permanently change” the MCU when it comes out on February 7 and will stage the stage for the new Avengers film, The Kang Dynasty (scheduled to air 2025). Yikes.

Fantastic Four and more

It’s been rebooted... and rebooted. Now, Fantastic Four is getting yet another reboot. Yes, it’s a film - but wait a moment. It’s also the first Marvel Fantastic Four film ever to hit screens, and it’s going to be directed by Matt Shakman, who directed 2021’s TV series WandaVision. Also, it’s not due to be out until November 8, 2024, so plenty of time to sit back and forget all about the older versions.

It will be part of Feige’s much-touted Phase 6 in the MCU - and will join two new Avengers films, Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars (2025). Time to get hyped.

Captain America: New World Order

Anthony Mackie with Sebastian Stan in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+)
Anthony Mackie with Sebastian Stan in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+)

That’s right, Captain America is back. Fresh from donning the shield in Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson) will be helming his very own film as Cap come May 2024. Though not much has been revealed about the plot, it will also feature Tim Blake Nelson (making a reappearance as villain The Leader, 16 years after his first outing in The Incredible Hulk), Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres and Unorthodox star Shira Haas as Israeli superhero Shabra.

Thunderbolts

Welcome to Marvel’s answer to Suicide Squad: the Thunderbolts. Though this isn’t set to hit theatres until way, way in the future (think July 2024), the identities of Marvel’s team of anti-heroes was finally revealed over the weekend. Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be playing mastermind Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, David Harbour will be Red Guardian (last seen in Black Widow), Hannah John-Kamen will be reprising her role as Ghost from Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Sebastian Stan will be reappearing as fan favourite Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier). Also in the team is Florence Pugh, who will return as Black Widow’s sister Yelena Belova. Colour us very excited.

The Marvels

Kevin Feige brought Marvel Studios’ presentation to an end by teasing one of the studio’s biggest upcoming projects: The Marvels. If that’s not ringing any bells, it’s set to unite Brie Larson (aka Captain Marvel, the original superhero) with Iman Vellani, the new Ms. Marvel, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, who developed superpowers during the events of WandaVision. Though the film isn’t out for another nine months, fans were treated to some scenes from the upcoming film - though non-attendees may have to wait a while before they’re made public.