Disney Brings Out the Stars for D23 Expo

by Adam Benjamin | August 12, 2013 1:04 pm

Crowds of people waited in line to catch a glimpse of Hollywood stars and be the first to hear about Disney’s (DIS[1]) upcoming films at the company’s D23 Expo this past weekend.

The event is billed as the “ultimate Disney fan event,” and has been held every other year since 2009. It’s a chance for Disney to show off the stars of its production and break out new information for its upcoming projects.

And given how many properties Disney has collected, there was plenty to talk about.

The company kicked off the conference with details about its upcoming slate of animated films. It announced the voice cast for upcoming Pixar films The Good Dinosaur — set in an alternate future where dinosaurs never died out — and Finding Dory, the sequel to the studio’s 2003 hit Finding Nemo. Ellen DeGeneres will reprise her role as the friendly fish with short-term memory loss.

In addition to its animated films, Disney has a decent number of live-action films coming out in the near future. The studio brought out Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins and Tom Hiddleston to promote Marvel’s upcoming Thor: The Dark World. And Chris Evans was there to show some footage of Marvel’s most spangled hero in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Disney also teased brief clips and images from Guardians of the Galaxy and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Outside of the Marvel universe, there’s still plenty of live-action going around. Angelina Jolie showed up to talk about her experiences filming next summer’s Maleficent, in which she plays the villain from Sleeping Beauty. Tina Fey talked to Kermit the Frog about Muppets Most Wanted, out in March of next year. Disney also offered quick glimpses into the upcoming adaptation of Sondheim’s Into the Woods, and an adaptation of Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Director Brad Bird and writer Damon Lindelof also came out to talk about Tomorrowland, showing the audience pieces of history from a Disney archives box. But there seemed to be more mystery than information[2], as very few details were revealed about the film.

Star Wars fans left disappointed, though, as Disney made clear that while the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII is still on track for a summer 2015 release, the company didn’t have any new details about the next installment in the blockbuster franchise. But with the amount of post-production the movie will need for special effects, filming is likely to start pretty soon. Don’t be surprised if casting announcements come out by the end of the year.

Adam Benjamin is an Assistant Editor of InvestorPlace. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Endnotes:
  1. DIS: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=DIS
  2. more mystery than information: http://insidemovies.ew.com/2013/08/10/tomorrowland-d23/

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