I shared about all of the amazing animated film announcements from D23 Expo 2015 and I have to say I’m still giddy when I think about them. I cannot wait to take the kids to the movies with me. But I also had the chance to sit in on the Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios panel and experience all of the surprises that came with it! And it was AMAZING!
D23 Expo 2015 Highlights of Live Action New Releases
If you’re wondering what’s coming to theaters over the next few years, check out this slate!
- Doctor Strange (hitting theaters October 26, 2016)
- Captain America: Civil War (May 6, 2016)
- The Finest Hours (January 29, 2016)
- The Jungle Book (April 15, 2016)
- Alice Through the Looking Glass (May 27, 2016)
- Pete’s Dragon (August 12, 2016)
- Queen of Katwe
- Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (July 7, 2017)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakes (December 18, 2015)
- Rogue One, A Star Wars Story (December 16, 2016)
Talk about an amazing line up!
In addition to getting tons of new information about the films, there were tons of surprises and celebrity appearances along the way!
Kicking off the panel was the announcement that Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing the latest addition to the Marvel Universe as the title character in the film. Although he wasn’t there in person, we did get a special video message that was pretty cool!
Captain America: Civil War
Then the excitement started as the discussion turned to Captain America: Civil War. Anthony Mackie, also known as Falcon, made an appearance that thrilled the audience before introducing the star of the film. Yes, Chris Evans walked on to that stage! Captain America himself! I’ve been a Chris Evans fan for quite a while so I might have added to the cheering in the room… maybe.
The actors had flown in from Germany where they were filming to make the appearance and were headed right back! Talk about dedication to the fans!
If those were the only celebrities to grace the stage during the panel, I would have be completely content. But that was only the beginning!
The Finest Hours
Another favorite Chris of mine then took the stage to talk about the upcoming film based on a true story, The Finest Hours. Chris Pine stars as the captain of the rescue boat in the most daring rescue mission in the history of the Coast Guard. The trailer is intense guys!
The Jungle Book
We then met some of the stars of the new live action version of Disney’s The Jungle Book including Oscar winners Ben Kingsley and Lupita Nyong’o! They are amazing and inspiring actors but I was blown away by how humble the star of the movie, Neel Sethi, was on stage! The role of Mowgli marks his film debut and his enthusiasm was refreshing!
We got to see a sneak peek of some footage from the film and I can tell you that I’m counting down the days until April 15, 2016! I’m also humming Bare Necessities.
Oh, and we learned later on in the panel that Lupita Nyong’o is also starring in the Queen of Katwe so we will be seeing a lot of her in the next few years! So exciting!
Alice Through the Looking Glass
We also got to hear from Mia Wasikowska who reprises the role of Alice in Alice Through the Looking Glass. She shared some footage from the film from it and I think the story of how Alice interacts with Time as she returns to help the Mad Hatter will be an exciting adventure. And yes, that’s Time with a capital T! In the film we will meet Time himself, played by Sacha Baron Cohen.
I’m not even sure how many times I watched Disney’s Pete’s Dragon as a kid. But I do know it has strong connections to my childhood. And I’m excited to see it turned into a live action film. I cannot wait to see what they do with this retelling. Plus, Bryce Dallas Howard, one of my favorite actresses stars in the film! And she made an appearance at D23 Expo 2015! It was amazing to hear her speak about her love for the story!
Beauty and the Beast
One of the most exciting announcements for me was about the live action version of Disney’s classic Beauty and the Beast! During the panel, I sent out a tweet about Emma Watson as Belle. It got a lot of activity and I loved hearing what other fans had to say!
What I didn’t realize is that the live action version is going to be a musical just like the animated version! Emma Watson had sent us a taped message and it showcased Josh Gad (LeFou) and Luke Evans (Gaston) singing just a bit of the song, Gaston. The theater lover in me almost lost it. This movie cannot come quick enough for me! Is it March 2017 yet?
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Next came the announcement of the next installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean adventures. And if you’ve been on the internet at all since the weekend, you know that Johnny Depp himself made an appearance. When he took the stage completely in character as Captain Jack Sparrow, the room went wild. He was throwing grapes at people and everything! It was amazing!
We also learned that Orlando Bloom will be returning to the Pirates franchise, so fans get ready!
Star Wars: The Force Awakes
To wrap up the panel came all things Star Wars. That included an appearance by the director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams! He then introduced stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and Lupita Nyong’o (yes, she’s in this movie too!). But the biggest appearance and one that once again set the room on fire was Harrison Ford, the one and only Han Solo. Talk about a Star Wars‘ fan dream come true! All of the fans in the audience were thrilled.
They also discussed Rogue One, the first of the standalone Star Wars stories to hit the big screen. It will tell the story of resistance fighters who have united to steal plans to the dreaded Death Star!
It was an amazing morning at D23 Expo 2015 and I can still barely believe that I was there for it all! Check out this short recap video to see how it all went down!