Monday, August 12, 2013

D23 Live Action Movie Update

I wish I could have gone to the D23 Expo this year; there was a lot of amazing news shared these past 3 days. However, I'd like to share what I think will be the most fun: the live action movies. Here's a little preview of what you can expect in the next few years.
All images ©Disney
First up was Thor: The Dark World. I love Marvel movies in general, and I can't wait to see this one. The second film in Phase Two of the Avengers Initiative, this film will see the return of all of the great actors that made the first film such a success. Thor returns to Earth to see Jane Foster and bring her to Asgard. Together, Thor and his companions must risk everything to face an enemy even Odin and the Asgardians cannot defeat. Thor: The Dark World arrives in theaters November 8th.
Next up was Into the Woods. I saw Into the Woods on stage when I was about 13. It wasn't entirely appropriate, but a lot of the inuendo was over my head at the time. I must say I'm a little concerned that Disney is making this film. After all, this particular Sondheim musical is a very dark take on classic fairy tales. By the second act, you realize that no one has had a happily ever after, and all of the characters are completely miserable. All that aside, this film is an example of some really amazing casting. Actors include Anna Kendrick as Cinderella,Chris Pine as Cinderella's Prince, Christine Baransky as Cinderella's Stepmother, Johnny Depp as the Wolf, and Meryl Streep as the Witch who is trying to teach them all a lesson. It should be fun! Into the Woods arrives in theaters in December 2014.
Directed by the legendary Kenneth Branagh, Disney's next adventure is the live action Cinderella. This version is expected to follow the traditional story, so it will be up to the casting to set this film apart. The cast includes: Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother, Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine (Cinderella's wicked stepmother), and Stellan Skarsgard as the Grand Duke (an adviser to the king). Lily James (Lady Rose on Downton Abbey) and Richard Madden (Robb Stark on Game of Thrones) round out the cast as Cinderella and her Prince Charming.  Disney's Cinderella arrives in theaters in March 2015.
We've now arrived at what may be the most intriguing of these live action films: Maleficent. Following the story of Maleficent, rather than Aurora, this is an interesting spin on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty. Starring Angelina Jolie in the title role, Maleficent will show us what events led up to her becoming evil and ultimately caused her to curse a tiny baby, the Princess Aurora. Maleficent arrives in theaters on July 2, 2014.
Next up was the Muppets: Most Wanted. As with all Muppet movies, this one looks to be a wild ride. Following that great Muppet tradition, this film will star all your favorite Muppets alongside great guest stars like Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey. I'm not sure what this one will be about, other than pure Muppet madness, but I'm sure it will be a blast to watch! The Muppets Most Wanted arrives in theaters in Spring 2014.
For more Marvel fun, we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier. In this film, Cap will once again be battling against injustice, cynicism, and intolerance in defense of the American dream. Teaming up once again with Black Widow, he will have to fight a friend from his past in order to save the future. Captain America: The Winter Soldier arrives in theaters April 4, 2014.
Next up is Saving Mr. Banks. The film stars Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as PL Travers, the author of Mary Poppins. It is the story of how Walt promised his daughters that he would turn their favorite book into a movie, without knowing how hard PL Travers would fight to prevent it. In two short weeks in 1961, Walt does his best to change her mind, with the help of the Sherman brothers and their amazing songs. However, it's not until he thinks back on his own childhood that he begins to understand the ghosts that haunt her and how they can work together to create something amazing. Saving Mr. Banks arrives in theaters December 20, 2013.

Other project, which I will admit I know very little about, include Tomorrowland, a science fiction film with an unknown story, and Bears, a Disney Nature film.Tomorrowland stars Britt Robertson (Angie on Under the Dome) as the film's heroine, George Clooney as an inventor, and Hugh Laurie as the villain. Tomorrowland arrives in theaters on December 12, 2014. Bears, a film about the lives of a group of Alaskan bears, arrives in theaters on April 18, 2014. I look forward to seeing these films and will be sure to pass along additional information as I find it.

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