The Lion King
Initially, there was much excitement as it was falsely reported that Hugh Jackman had been cast in the role of Scar. Following The Lion King panel at D23, Jackman's representatives said there was no truth to the rumors. The Jon Favreau directed live-action remake of one of Disney's best-loved movies is slowly assembling its voice cast, with James Earl Jones back as Mufasa, and Donald Glover playing Simba. Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner play Timon and Pumbaa, and John Oliver is Zazu. Jackman would make the perfect Scar, of course, though it'd also be great to have Jeremy Iron reprise his role from the original. The D23 panel did show footage of 'Circle of Life,' something that is highly unlikely to be seen by the public, but which did, apparently, receive a rapturous reception.
Squashing reports that director Guy Ritchie was having a hard time casting his live-action Aladdin remake, Disney announced all three of its main role castings at D23, though the announcement is not without its controversies. Will Smith will be playing the Genie, something that has been long rumored and is met with mixed views, though to be fair, any Robin Williams replacement was never going to be met entirely favorably. Power Rangers star Naomi Scott takes on the role of Jasmine. She gave an acceptable performance in the Power Rangers reboot, but the actress is of British-Indian descent and not the Arabian origin that many had hoped for. Finally, Mena Massoud will play the titular role of Aladdin. The Egyptian-Arabic actor seems to be a popular enough choice, and this will be his first big screen role.
Also announced; Pasek and Paul will come on board to work on the musical score with Alan Menken. The duo are Oscar winners for their work on La La Land and are also enjoying rave success on Broadway with Dear Evan Hansen. They (with Menken) will write new songs for the movie, which will also incorporate the original songs by Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman. Interestingly, Disney did not give a release date for Aladdin. Filming was expected to begin this summer, but it looks like the roles of Jafar, the Sultan, Iago, and others have yet to be cast, which could mean a delay in filming and in turn means that Disney doesn't want to firm up a release date just yet.
A Wrinkle in Time
The first trailer, poster, and a host of new character images made their debut at D23 for Ava Du'Vernay's adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Based on the book of the same name by Madeline L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time stars Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Zach Galifianakis. Newcomer Storm Reid takes the central role, and the trailer gave an impressive glimpse of what's to come. A Wrinkle in Time is a visual feast, and fans of the book will be really looking forward to the movie's release in March 2018. Du'Vernay has already spoken of her deep love for the source material, and with a script penned by Jennifer Lee of Frozen fame, A Wrinkle in Time will make a fun and magical change to the slew of live-action remakes that Disney also has lined up.
- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018) release date: Nov 02, 2018
- Dumbo (2019) release date: Mar 29, 2019
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019
- Incredibles 2 (2018) release date: Jun 15, 2018
- Ralph Breaks the Internet/Wreck-It Ralph 2 (2018) release date: Nov 21, 2018
- A Wrinkle In Time (2018) release date: Mar 09, 2018
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018
- Toy Story 4 (2019) release date: Jun 21, 2019
- Mary Poppins Returns (2018) release date: Dec 19, 2018
- Frozen II (2019) release date: Nov 22, 2019
- Mulan (2020) release date: Mar 27, 2020
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018