D23: 9 Things We Learned About Disney’s Monster Slate, From ‘Black Widow’ to ‘Star Wars’

IndieWire | 3/27/2020 | Staff
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At Saturday’s massive D23 Expo in Anaheim, Disney flexed its powerful movie muscles in both live-action and animation, emphasizing cultural diversity and legacy building. Among the standouts were sneak peeks of the “Mulan” live-action remake (March 27, 2020) and Pixar’s “Soul” (June 19, 2020), with the studio’s first predominantly all-black cast (led by Jamie Foxx as an aspiring jazz pianist). And the common thread was the richness of family in all its various forms.

In fact, Walt Disney Studios’ co-chairman Alan Horn literally underscored the point when kicking off the presentation: “You’re not just fans, you’re family,” he told the crowd of 6,800 in D23 Hall.

Takeaways - D23 - Movie - Presentation

Here are nine key takeaways from the D23 movie presentation.

1. Goodbye to the “Skywalker Saga”

Horn - Lucasfilm - President - Kathleen - Kennedy

Horn began by introducing Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams to bid farewell to the “Skywalker Saga” with the ninth and final “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” (December 20). The Resistance battles the First Order to conclude the ancient conflict between the Jedi and Sith, led by Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn), and Oscar Isaac (Poe), who appeared onstage with other cast members along with Billy Dee Williams (Lando). He said: “Lando has never left me.”

Abrams told a prophetic story about including unused footage of the late Carrie Fisher, whose character of Leia is “the heart of the story,” he said. But when reading a warm remembrance about him in her memoir, “The Princess Diarist,” Abrams realized that she thanked him for directing her twice before he even signed on for “Skywalker.”

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“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

2. Marvel’s “Black Widow” Origin Story

Marvel - President - Kevin - Feige - Director

After Marvel president Kevin Feige and director Ryan Coogler teased the date of “Black Panther 2” (May 6, 2022), and Feige announced that Kit Harington (“Game of Thrones”) will play non-Eternal Dane Whitman in the cosmic...
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