Here's your magical guide to Disney's upcoming releases

2017-07-17 11:03

Cape Town – Disney held its annual D23 Expo 2017 this weekend in Anaheim, California.

D23, is a nod to the year 1923 in which Walt Disney founded the company.

The studio showcased footage, talk panels and many magical surprises from their upcoming slate.

Here are the highlights:


The ultimate Marvel Cinematic Universe team-up Avengers: Infinity War got fans really excited.

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige was on hand with a stage full of stars that included Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlett Witch, and Josh Brolin as the ultimate bad guy Thanos.

The trailer, which has not yet been released online, was packed to the brim with tantalising scenes, including Thor floating and near dead in deep space being rescued by the Guardians of the Galaxy; Spider-Man's hair standing up on his arm; Tony Stark ominously warning that, "He's coming for us," likely talking about Thanos; and Thanos himself gripping a weakened Thor's skull and looking ready to crack it with ease.

Avengers: Infinity War comes out 27 April, 2018.


Mary Poppins Returns is a colourful and topsy-turvy new instalment in the world of P.L. Travers from director Rob Marshall.

Emily Blunt, who takes on the role of Mary Poppins, said she wanted to "pay homage" to what Julie Andrews had done in the 1964 classic but also "find my own space."

"I had to do my own version of her," Blunt said. "I think she is a little more acerbic and odd and vain and weird in the books. We went that direction a little more."

Hamilton's Lin-Manuel Miranda co-stars as a lamplighter Jack in a cast that also features Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Meryl Streep and Colin Firth.

Mary Poppins Returns bows on 28 December, 2018.


Director Ava DuVernay was also in Anaheim to preview her adaption of Madeleine L'Engle's fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time, along with stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine and newcomer Storm Reid, who plays the film's lead Meg.

Winfrey said she had not read the book when DuVernay approached her about playing Mrs. Which. But the sell that she "was one of the wisest women in the universe and is an angelic celestial being who is going to get to wear amazing costumes and gets to work with Reese and Mindy as a part of the Mrs. Team" was something she couldn't say no to.

Watch the teaser trailer here:


Audiences were excited to get a glimpse, too, of the behind-the-scenes footage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. A sequel to The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi picks up with that film's near-literal cliffhanger when Daisy Ridley's Rey and Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker meet.

Director Rian Johnson was joined on stage by Ridley, Hamill, John Boyega, Laura Dern, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran and Benicio Del Toro to hype the film and their shared love of Star Wars.

Curious newcomer Tran, Johnson said, treated the whole production like "an episode of Mr. Rogers," as she explored every corner of production, while Dern, also new to the series, couldn't help but mouth the word "pew" when shooting her blaster during filming.

Johnson also assured the audience, who have only seen Boyega's Finn in a seeming comatose state in the teaser trailer, that his character would get to "see some action" in the film.

"Finn is about to have a formidable opponent," Boyega added, as he sauntered over to Christie to size her up. "It's going to be very cool."

The Last Jedi blasts into theatres 15 December, or, as Disney Chairman Alan Horn said, 153 days from now.

Teaser posters for @StarWars: #TheLastJedi. Arriving in your galaxy December 15. ??

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Watch behind-the-scenes video here:

Han Solo?

Mum's the word on the other Star Wars film in the works — the Han Solo spinoff film that recently got a galactic shake-up when deep into production co-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were replaced with Ron Howard.


John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios announced that he would no longer be directing Toy Story 4. The job is going to Inside Out screenwriter Josh Cooley, who was previously going to co-direct with Lasseter. He assured the thousands of fans in attendance that he would be mentoring and guiding Cooley through the process as an Executive Producer.

Toy Story 4 is set for a June 2019 release.


Disney is also getting its most beloved princesses together from Ariel to Mulan for Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet, in a humorous scene in which Sarah Silverman's Vanellope decides to mess with the princesses and finds them to be cooler than she expected.

Some of the familiar voices audiences can hear when the film hits theatres in 2018, will include Beauty and the Beast's Paige O'Hara, The Little Mermaid's Jodi Benson, Mulan's Ming-Na Wen, Moana's Auli'I Cravalho, Pochahontas' Irene Bedard, Tangled's Mandy Moore, and Frozen's Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell.

Taraji P. Henson would be joining the cast as well as an internet savvy character named Yesss (with three s's). The film finds Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) and Vanellope exploring the internet in hopes of finding an essential replacement part for their arcade game.


Fans also got a sneak peek of The Incredibles 2, which will be out in June 2018 and focus on Holly Hunter's Elastagirl while Craig T. Nelson's Mr. Incredible stays at home.

The scene featured the baby, Jack Jack, getting into a scuffle with a raccoon and showing off some wild powers (think: Laser eyes and self-cloning).

@Pixar's #Incredibles2 opens in theatres June 15, 2018. ??

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Concept footage of a plane breaking a sound barrier test from a secretive and untitled new film set for an April 2019 release was also featured. 

Frozen 2, is set for a November 2019. 

Disney also set a release date for its live-action

Disney also set a release date for its live-action Dumbo, from director Tim Burton, for 29 March 2019.

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