D23 hosted a handful of panels to promote a slew of upcoming Disney films. Here is a bit about each one:
In addition to the announcement that Game Of Thrones’ Kit Harington was joining the ensemble cast (which consists of Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Gemma Chan, and Barry Keoghan) the costumes for each character was revealed, which you can see below.
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt were on hand to present the teaser trailer for the film based on the popular Disney Parks ride. According to /Film, the trailer opens on the winding Amazon river as Johnson’s character, Frank, ominously narrates, “Everything you see wants to kill you, and can.” Frank is giving a jungle cruise tour that is just like the one from the Disney parks, complete with the “backside of water” bit. Cut to a mysterious woman (Blunt) offering him a hefty sum for an adventure which they negotiate, set to clips of high-octane action from the film, including a shot in which Frank saves Blunt’s scientist Lily Houghton by swinging with her on a rope off the boat. The sizzle reel ends with the appearance of a huge snake-like creature. “It’s impossible,” an awestruck Frank says.
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
The the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil panel, Angelina Jolie stated that “in this one, we return and we see that Aurora is older and they’re facing the world and challenges of the world and it is being emphasized to them how different they are. They are encouraged to not be a family and pulled apart by their differences. We really pose the question and fight for the belief that what is different makes you stronger. What is family and what defines family is what you believe in.”
More details about Disney/Pixar’s upcoming Soul was revealed. The main character is Joe Gardner, a middle school band director with a love of jazz. He dreams of playing at the Half Note, New York’s prestigious jazz club. Then, after 20 years of trying, he gets his wish. In a trailer, we see him emerge from a subway and rehearse on the piano at the club. When he nabs the gig, he’s beaming, and walking back down the city street … where he falls down a manhole and dies. His soul separates from his body and goes to the great beyond. The film revolves around You Seminar, a otherworldly location where souls are trained with quirks, abilities, and interests. “All the things that make you, you,” Doctor said at the presentation. Once ready, the souls graduate from You Seminar. Joe is of the new souls at You Seminar. There, he meets a soul named 22 who thinks Earth sucks, and has remained at You Seminar for a hundred years. His journey with 22 will “make him think about what it means to have a soul.” The cast includes Jamie Foxx, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Questlove and Tina Fey.
Crystal Yifei Liu, the star of Disney’s live action remake of Mulan, skipped the press line and Disney panel at Disney’s D23 expo Saturday in the heat of the #BoycottMulan controversy. Only the film’s director, Niki Caro, was on hand. Caro stated “Mulan herself” drew her to the film, to document “her journey from village girl to male soldier to warrior to hero. She represents all of us. The story is as relevant and inspiring today as it was when written 1500 years ago.”
The cast of Disney/Pixar’s upcoming, including Chris Pratt, Tom Holland and Julia Louis Dreyfus, were on hand to present clips from the film. In the panel, Pratt stated “I do feel like Tom is a little brother to me and you see that reflected in this movie,” Pratt said. “It’s really cool to have that and we get to do a Pixar movie! … to get to share that with a person that you love, it’s a cool experience!”
Disney showed a sneak peak of Frozen II, including scenes involved Elsa being drawn out of her castle by a mystery from her past. The creators of the film stated that the film will answer questions like, why does Elsa have powers? Where were Anna and Elsa’s parents going when their ship went down? And does “happily ever after” even exist? The movie will hit theaters Nov. 22.
Stars Scarlett Johansson, David Harbour, and Florence Pugh introduced scenes from the film from the set of the film, which is finishing production in London. According to Mashable, the film takes place between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Black Widow began its first look with clips from Marvel installments gone by — including the Captain America: Civil War exchange between Natasha and Tony Stark in which Tony remarks, “It must be hard to shake the double agent thing, huh?” It cuts to to Budapest, where Natasha is stealthily entering an apartment complex. Once inside, she faces off with “sister” and fellow assassin Yelena Belova (Pugh). Smash cut to the pair calling a truce over vodka shots. The two share warm banter, with Natasha remarking, “You just had to come to Budapest, didn’t you?” Black Widow opens May 1, 2020.
Raya: The Last Dragon
Disney revealed the upcoming film Raya: The Last Dragon, along with presenting concept art, a short clip, and members of the cast, including Awkwafina (as Susi the Dragon) and Cassie Steele (as Raya). The film takes place in the fictional country of Kumandra (which is inspired by the culture of Southeast Asia and regions including Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Laos) and tells the story of Raya, a lone warrior on a quest to save her world, determined to find the last dragon who she believes has the power to save Kumandra.
The footage showed a fierce Raya treading through a rainy forest, approaching an ancient temple, entering a dark passageway filled with dragon carvings—and being trailed by her narrating, flute-playing, presumably annoying little brother. The clip culminated in the siblings coming face to face with Sisu, a pink-and-teal dragon who also takes the form of a human.
Raya is scheduled to premiere on Nov. 25, 2020.