As self proclaimed geeks of the higher order, there’s nothing we love more than conventions; bad-ass cosplayers wandering the halls dressed as our favourite characters, spending a stupid amount of money on ridiculously nice things and having no regrets about it whatsoever, and getting little bits and pieces of upcoming films from all our favourite studios. It’s an amazing time for us, and D23 was no exception. So far we’ve only taken a crack at Ava Duvernay’s A Wrinkle in Time trailer – Which you must check out if you haven’t already – but let’s take a look at all the other wonderful things that were on offer.
Kicking things off is Jon Favreau. Now, I don’t know if you knew this, Jon Favreau is the shit; an all round great filmmaker who kickstarted our beloved MCU, and the brought Disney classic The Jungle Book to life in stunning form. Now, he’s working his magic again on the perhaps more beloved classic The Lion King. This new adaptation, starring Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, has been both anticipated and and dreaded by fans of the 1994 original. We always have to accept the risk that it might just not be as good as the one we hold dear, but they’ve had an excellent streak of live action Disney classics with Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast – I didn’t see Pete’s Dragon, but the reception to that was fairly warm too – So we shouldn’t be too afraid just yet. Still not convinced? Favreau unveiled some footage from the new film that received thunderous applause from viewers, so let’s hope our reaction is exactly the same.
Speaking of live action Disney, Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin is still a thing, and we finally have some more casting news. Upcoming actors Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott will be taking on the legendary roles of Aladdin and Jasmine; the casting is very respectful, and no doubt they both have some real talent. And of course, as already confirmed, Will Smith will being playing the Genie, and not everyone is too happy about that. But let’s just be honest for a second: Nobody will ever do it as good as Robin Williams. His performance as the Genie is a staple of animation, and as such, we’re very unwilling to accept any other actors. But we also have to remember that nobody is trying to replicate Williams; no one is trying to tarnish his legacy, copy exactly what he did etc. At the end of the day, painful as it is, we can’t have Williams back, so Will Smith is arguably the next best thing. His recent filmography has been a bit lackluster but he has charm, energy and great comedic timing. Personally, I don’t see how he couldn’t be right for the role.
Guys, there a lot of Disney movies coming out in the next years. Like, so many. Beyond 2017, we’re being treated to Marvel properties such as Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the next two installments of the Avengers franchise – Infinity War in particular is very exciting, especially with the reveal of Thanos and his Black Order. There have also been small hints at sequels to fan favourites such as Frozen, Toy Story, Wreck-It Ralph, and The Incredibles. On top of this, Mary Poppins Returns’ short but sweet trailer won over the crowd.
There have also been aforementioned live action Disney classics and Duvernay’s A Wrinkle in Time, and some more Star Wars installments, specifically Colin Trevorrow’s Episode 9 and the still untitled-kind-of-a-clusterfuck-Han Solo Movie. Man, what an amazing time to be a film lover. Speaking of Star Wars, we were also graced with some amazing new character posters for The Last Jedi, depicting Rey, Leia, Luke, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren all draped in red. They’re absolutely beautiful, but do you know what’s more beautiful? The fact that Disney World is getting it’s own Star Wars land called Galaxy’s Edge, and a Star Wars hotel too, with actors in costumes and everything. The models look amazing, and this will be an essential experience for all Star Wars fans.
D23 is over for another year, but don’t say we haven’t been spoiled; a whole slate of great releases, excellent casting news and footage reveals – Sadly it may be a while before we get to see any Infinity War or Incredibles 2 trailers…Comic Con maybe? – and an overwhelming sense of glee at what’s to come.
What is your D23 Expo Highlight?