Disney's Future: Top 5 Upcoming Live Action Films

Jul 25, 2017
Disney just announced a series of new movie productions set for release over the next two years, and fans are buzzing.

The exclusive announcements came during D23 Expo, a three-day extravaganza put on by D23, the official Disney fan club. The event, which took place July 14-16 in Anaheim, brought together more than 7000 Disney fans from around the globe and featured Disney stars, immersive experiences and exclusive displays.

Travelzoo joined international media and influencers for a first-hand look at what’s new on the Disney film front. Here are our top five upcoming releases to put on your calendar.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Actors Daisy Ridley, Mark Hamill and director Rian Johnson of STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI

Mark Hamill, the original Luke Skywalker, joined fellow cast members at D23 Expo to debut behind-the-scenes footage of the newest Star Wars vehicle. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” was directed by Rian Johnson and also features Laura Dern, Daisy Ridley and Benicio del Toro. The Lucasfilm production picks up where “The Force Awakens” left off and, according to Disney, features “an epic adventure that unlocks age-old mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.” It hits theaters Dec. 15.

"A Wrinkle in Time"

Actors Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine, Storm Reid; Director Ava DuVernay; and President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey

Stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine attended D23 Expo to debut the teaser trailer and poster for “A Wrinkle in Time”. Directed by Ava DuVernay, the highly-anticipated epic adventure is based on Madeleine L’Engle’s popular novel. It tells the magical story of Meg Murry (Storm Reid), a struggling middle school student who is led by three celestial guides through a wrinkle in time and space to an enchanted world. According to Disney, the film “takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and ultimately, the triumph of love.” “A Wrinkle in Time” is due in theaters March 9, 2018.

"Avengers: Infinity War"

Actors Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, and Chris Hemsworth, producer Kevin Feige, and actors Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, and Anthony Mackie

Call it the ultimate showdown of all time. The highly anticipated “Avengers: Infinity War” spans the entire Marvel cinematic universe and brings together all of your favorite heroes. According to Marvel Studios: “The Avengers and their Super Hero allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.” A cavalcade of stars from the film wowed the crowd at D23: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Josh Brolin, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff. Infinity War launches May 4, 2018. A subsequent yet-untitled “Avengers” film is slated for 2019.

"Mary Poppins Returns"

Actor Emily Blunt and director Rob Marshall

Actress Emily Blunt and director/producer Rob Marshall talked to D23 Expo fans about “Mary Poppins Returns,” the musical sequel to the Disney classic. The presentation included the premier of new video content from the film, which also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Emily Mortimer. Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke make cameos. The 1934 children’s book “Mary Poppins” by P.L. Travers inspired the original 1964 film, with Julie Andrews in the title role. “Mary Poppins Returns” explores the spirited nanny’s subsequent adventures, as told in seven other books by Travers. It premieres Dec. 25, 2018.


Director Jon Favreau of "The Lion King"

Disney confirmed it’s making a live-action version of the 1941 animated mega-classic, “Dumbo.” Directed by Tim Burton and shot entirely in England, “Dumbo” is using state-of-the-art visual effects to portray the starring pachyderm and his many animal cohorts. Colin Farrell plays Holt Farrier, who’s charged with caring for the newborn Dumbo, and Danny De Vito is Max Medici, the circus owner who aims to capitalize on his ability to fly. Michael Keaton and Eva Green also star. Mr. Burton addressed D23 fans via video from across the pond and said, “We’re trying to give it the same heart, feeling and emotion that we all loved about the original.” “Dumbo” soars into theaters March 29, 2019.

Disney also confirmed a live-action adaptation of “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau and due out July 19, 2019; the original animated movie will join the Walt Disney Signature Collection when it’s released on digital on Aug. 15 and on Blu-ray Aug. 29. Also getting live-action adaptations over the next few years: “Mulan,” based on the 1998 animated film, “Aladdin,” directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith, and “Jungle Cruise,” inspired by the popular theme park ride and starring Dwayne Johnson.

Stay tuned for our top picks of upcoming Disney animated films and new attractions at Disney parks around the world. D23 Expo returns in 2019.

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