Disney Expo 2015: Disney Discusses Their Upcoming Live Action Films

Disney Expo

Disney Expo (or D23 as it’s most commonly known) brings Disney lovers and producers/actors together for one fun-filled weekend. Talk of upcoming films/series occurs and many bits of exclusive information are released as well.

On Saturday August 15th, Disney, Marvel, and Lucasfilm presented their respective live action films at the convention. The presentations included things like: exclusive videos, appearances from various cast members, discussions, etc. “It’s quite something to be able to have Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm all on the same stage, and it’s tremendously gratifying to unveil our upcoming projects to our most dedicated fans first,” stated Walt Disney Studios chairman, Alan Horn, who hosted the event.

Below is a list of many upcoming Disney, Marvel, or Lucasfilm live action films (in order of release date), as well as any information or news that was unveiled during the event for each specific film.

  • Star Wars: The Force AwakensStar Wars: The Force Awakens: When first introducing the discussion of this film/franchise, Horn instantly mentioned the groundbreaking views and fan response the trailer had. The Force Awakens has a December 18th, 2015 release date. In terms of Star Wars: Episode VIII, Rian Johnson will be directing and it has a date set for May 26th, 2017. Star Wars: Episode IX was mentioned as a surprise announcement. Jurassic World‘s Colin Trevorrow is directing and it should hit theaters sometime in 2019.
  • Finest HourThe Finest Hours: Chris Pine plays Bernie Webber, the captain of a rescue boat that participates in the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman, with a screenplay by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson. It rushes into theaters on January 29th, 2016.
  • the jungle bookThe Jungle Book: The first of many animated-turned-live action films still to come from Disney. Newcomer Neel Sethi, the film’s Mowgli, was welcomed onto the stage with open arms. Actors like Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken are also lending their voices to the film. The teaser poster was handed out to each audience member (which can be viewed to the left). I can already tell it’s going to have stunning cinematography. The Rudyard Kipling adaptation swings into theaters on April 15th, 2016.
  • Marvel’s Captain America- Civil War: Stars Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie walked onto the stage to present never-before-seen footage from the upcoming film. Picking up after Avengers: Age of Ultron, “Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity.” The Avengers must simultaneously try to protect the world, while also dealing with a new villain. The premiere date is set for May 6th, 2016.
  • Alice Through the looking GlassAlice Through the Looking Glass: Tim Burton’s 2010 film, Alice In Wonderland, was a huge success. Well, the cast and crew are ready for more Wonderland adventures. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Underland to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Several cast members are returning for the sequel, such as: Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Alan Rickman, etc. But new characters/actors will be appearing also. Rhys Ifans will portray the Mad Hatter’s father, Zanik Hightopp, and Time himself (part human, part clock) will be played by Sacha Baron Cohen. Similar to The Jungle Book, the poster for Alice Through the Looking Glass was released, and it can be viewed to the right. Don’t be late to view this anticipated sequel come May 27th, 2016.
  • Pete’s Dragon: Many may remember this classic Disney film starring Mickey Rooney and Helen Reddy. But coming August 12th, 2016, a new Pete’s Dragon will be flying into your local theater. During the Expo, Bryce Dallas Howard made an appearance to discuss the upcoming movie. She will have a starring role alongside Robert Redford, Oakes Fegley, and Wes Bentley. It’s your typical best friend story, except that it’s a touching story between a boy named Pete and his lovable dragon. While the original film had a more hand-drawn animated dragon, we can probably assume that this dragon will be CGI.
  • Beauty and the Beast: It’s a tale as old as time. The classic animated 1991 film is getting a live-action retelling and could easily be the film everyone is most looking forward to. Emma Watson stars as Belle, alongside actors like: Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, etc. Just like the animated version, it will also be a musical (please tell me I’m not the only one that’s dying to hear Emma belt out “Belle“?). Don’t fret – the original composer, Alan Menken, will be working on the scoring and songs for it, including several new ones. No official footage has been released as of yet. Currently, a photo of Emma dressed in the well-known yellow ball gown has been circulating the internet, but it is very obviously photoshopped. But Watson will wear a version of the dress for the film. This musical film has a scheduled release date of March 17th, 2017.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 5Pirates of the Caribbean-Dead Men Tell No Tales: Guests at the event were surprised by Johnny Depp, who was dressed as the film’s widely known character Captain Jack Sparrow. The synopsis for the film is as follows: “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 (Javier 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.” However, what probably has everyone buzzing is that this will be the first Pirates film in a while that will include Orlando Bloom‘s Will Turner, who has been absent from the franchise since the third one. This film sails into theaters July 7th, 2017. Everyone practice your sword fighting and pirate talk until then.


What upcoming live action Disney film are you most looking forward to?