At The Movies

Disney Reveal Their Upcoming Projects

Disney's Investor's Day has revealed some epic updates coming Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and beyond.

DECEMBER 11th, 2020

© Disney

Disney has announced their upcoming slate of projects for the next few years, and they’ve promised a plethora of exciting developments. From the live-action versions of Disney Classics The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio, the return of Hayden Christensen returning as Darth Vader in the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, to Chris Evans voicing the “real-life” Buzz Lightyear, Disney certainly know how to keep their fans busy. We’ve put together the top announcements which will be entertaining Disney fans over the next few years.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

© Disney/Lucasfilm/IGN

Patty Jenkins will direct a brand-new Star Wars movie, Rogue Squadron, due out December 2023. The acclaimed director, who is currently preparing to release her latest movie Wonder Woman 1984, will helm the upcoming movie which details are still very much under wraps.

It is expected that Rogue Squadron will follow rebel fighter pilots and is described as one of the most ambitious Star Wars movies ever. It was also be the first film in the successful franchise which will be directed by a woman.

Live Action Remakes

© Disney

Disney have been remaking many of their most successful animations, and following on from Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and Mulan, two more of Disney’s classics will be receiving the live-action treatment - The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio.

The movies are yet to receive a release date, but more details were confirmed at the Investor Day, including the official cast list for The Little Mermaid. Halle Bailey will bring the iconic Ariel to life, alongside Daveed Diggs voicing Sebastian the crab. Javier Bardem will play King Triton – Ariel’s father – and Prince Eric will be played by Jonah Hauer-King. Though perhaps, one of the original movies most beloved characters and one of Disney’s greatest ever villains, the sea witch Ursula, will be brought to the screen by Melissa McCarthy. Jacob Trembley and Awkwafina are set to voice Flouder and Scuttle.

The official cast annoucement for The Little Mermaid - © Disney

For Pinocchio, the movie will be directed by iconic director Robert Zemeckis and will partner him with long-time collaborator Tom Hanks, who will bring Geppetto to life. Disney have also promised the movie will utilise new, state-of-the-art technology and CGI to bring the beloved puppet to the big screen like never before.

As well as direct remakes, Disney also announced two upcoming prequels – Cruella, starring Emma Stone as the fashionista obsessed with Dalmatian fur, due 2021, and an unnamed prequel to The Lion King.

Offical titles for Pinocchio - © Disney

On Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, Peter Pan will receive a semi-remake in Peter & Wendy, starring Jude Law as Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi and Tinker Bell and Beauty and the Beast will also be receiving a prequel series too.

Chris Evans is Buzz Lightyear

© Disney/Pixar

Twenty-five years after its initial release, Toy Story’s most beloved spaceman who took us “to infinity and beyond” is set to return, but not in the way you would expect. When Pixar began developing their iconic first movie the idea for the Buzz Lightyear toy always stemmed from the idea that he was based on a real-life character. Finally, the origin story of the “real” Buzz will be told, with Captain America himself, Chris Evans, set to provide the voice.

Lightyear will be released June 2022, and beyond the involvement of the main character, the rest of the plot is a mystery for now, though there is an expectation that Star Command will feature.

Evans retweeted Pixar’s official announcement of the project and commented: “I don’t even have the words.” He followed up the tweet by clarifying; “and just to be clear, this isn’t Buzz Lightyear the toy. This is the origin story of the human Buzz Lightyear that the toy is based on.”

Chris Hemsworth Goes Limitless

© Disney/Nat Geo

The Thor actor will take part in a documentary series for National Geographic, where he will push his body to the limits to discover whether human beings can combat aging and discover the human body’s full potential.

Hemsworth will be joined by scientists and experts, including British athlete Ross Edgley, as he attempts to shatter conventional wisdom about the human body and offer fascinating insight into how we can all unlock our own superpowers to combat illness, perform better and even reverse the aging process.

The global star will undergo a series of epic trials and challenges, including ice swimming in Norway, to see how he can maximise strength, build resilience, supercharge memory and confront mortality.

Limitless will be produced by Darren Aronofsky and will release on Disney+ next year.

Hayden Christensen Dons Darth Vader’s Mask Once Again

© Disney/Lucasfilm

It has been known for some time that Disney and Lucasfilm have been planning a series set around Obi-Wan Kenobi, and finally the series have confirmed more of their casting choices. Ewan McGregor is set to return as the Jedi Master alongside his former co-star Hayden Christensen – who will return as Darth Vader.

The Disney+ series will take place ten-years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, where his former padawan Anakin Skywalker finally transformed into the iconic villain Darth Vader.

Christensen said: “It was such an incredible journey playing Anakin Skywalker. Of course, Anakin and Obi-Wan weren’t on the greatest of terms when we last saw them.

“It will be interesting to see what an amazing director like Deborah Chow has in store for us all. I’m excited to work with Ewan again. It feels good to be back.”

Production is set to start in March 2021 and be shot in Boston, according to reports. The series will be directed by Deborah Chow.

Indiana Jones Returns For His Final Outing

© Paramount Pictures/Disney/Amblin

Harrison Ford is set to return as the iconic adventurer for his final outing. The next instalment of the franchise will be directed by James Mangold and is currently in pre-production for a late-spring 2021 start.

The movie will open in July 2022 and although plot details and under lock and key, it is expected to be Ford’s final turn as Indiana Jones. Whether the character will be taken over by another actor is yet to be seen.

First Official Look At Loki

© Disney/Marvel

Tom Hiddleston’s lovable God of Mischief Loki is one of Marvel’s most beloved characters, and finally Thor’s younger brother is receiving his own series. Disney revealed the first-look trailer at the upcoming Disney+ series.

Alongside Hiddleston, Owen Wilson and Richard E. Grant will both star, which will see Loki, who escaped with the Tesseract from an alternative timeline in Avengers: Endgame, hopping around space and time and crossing paths with a mysterious new organisation called the ‘TVA’.

The series will air in May 2021 on the Disney Streaming service and is expected to be a major draw for fans to subscribe.

Christian Bale Confirmed for Thor: Love and Thunder

© Disney/Marvel

It was perhaps the worst-kept secret in the MCU, and Marvel finally confirmed that the former-Batman would be joining Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman for the fourth Thor movie.

Bale will play the role of villain Gorr the God Butcher, and whilst much is not known about the overall plot, we do know that Natalie Portman will become Lady Thor and carry the iconic hammer.

The movie is set to begin filming in January in Sydney with a debut date of May 6, 2022. Hemsworth has previously described the script as “crazy and insane”, and with Taika Waititi set to return as director, that description is pretty much on brand.

Black Panther Will Not be Recast

© Disney/Marvel

The tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman shocked the world and left the future of the sequel to Marvel’s juggernaut Black Panther in jeopardy. Many fans were left questioning whether Marvel would recast the role made so iconic by Boseman, though Kevin Feige finally put any concerns to bed.

Black Panther 2 would return, but the role of King T’Challa would not be recast. Feige said that Boseman’s performance in the role was “iconic and transcends any iteration of the character in any other medium from Marvel’s past, and it’s for that reason that we will not recast the character.”

Director Ryan Coogler is returning to the movies helm and already “hard at work” on the follow-up, due to be released July 2022.

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