Director Adam Shankman has provided an update on Enchanted 2 aka. Disenchanted, revealing that the script is almost complete, and that the Enchanted movie sequel currently includes a lot more songs than its predecessor. Amy Adams is set to reprise her role as the animated-turned live action Princess Giselle from the original Enchanted in the sequel, with Patrick Dempsey also looking to return as (former?) divorce lawyer Robert Philip. It's not clear yet if James Marsden and Idina Menzel will also be returning as Prince Edward and Robert's ex Nancy Tremaine, but both are expected back for Disenchanted.
Disenchanted will pick up in real time (read: about ten years) after the events of Enchanted and, as its title implies, find Giselle dealing with the reality of what her life is like living her "happily ever after" with Robert. Shrek 2 writing duo J. David Stem and David N. Weiss scripted an early draft of the Disenchanted screenplay, with Rita Hsiao (My Little Pony: The Movie, Toy Story 2) and Jessie Nelson (Because I Said So, Fred Claus) having also worked on the project over the past decade. However, it's not entirely clear which writers (if any of those listed here) are actively fine-turning the screenplay now.
/Film caught up with Shankman at the TCA press tour, where he is promoting the YouTube Red series Step Up: High Water (which Shankman is producing), and asked him about the current status of Disenchanted. Shankman, who has been loosely attached to direct Disenchanted since October 2016, revealed that “We are handing in a script in a couple weeks that I’m super happy with. Then gotta get the music written.”
The Hairspray and Rock of Ages movie musical director also confirmed to /Film that Disenchanted's "fundamental story" has changed somewhat over the years that the script has been in development, but "not from the base story [of] Giselle 10 years later going, ‘What is happily ever after?’” He also mentioned that in its current form "there's a lot more songs" in Disenchanted than its predecessor. Enchanted itself included five original songs, three of which were Oscar-nominated tunes cowritten by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.
The original Enchanted was an unexpected critical and commercial smash hit for Disney, grossing over $340 million worldwide against an $85 million budget and firmly putting Adams' name on the map two years after her indie movie breakout in Junebug. Enchanted has long been celebrated as a gentle satire and deconstruction of Disney's old-school princess animated movie tropes, and the hope is that Disenchanted will follow suit in its approach. In a way, Enchanted helped to pave the way for the last decade of revisionist and/or post-modern takes on the animated Disney princess musical (a la Tangled, Frozen, Moana), so it will be interesting to see if the sequel can add something meaningful to that ongoing trend.
Although it was initially thought that Disenchanted could begin filming by 2017 when Shankman signed on, the sequel has been somewhat slower to take the next step forward than expected. A 2019 theatrical release feels possible for the Enchanted sequel now, what with the music still needing to be written. Shankman has also confirmed that the followup will include "probably about the same amount" of animation as its predecessor, so that too will impact its production timeline. As always, we will keep you posted.