Find us on Facebook
It doesn’t get quite as much general hype as the upcoming Comic Con, but the D23 Expo is an exciting time every year for diehard Disney fans. A few Facebook friends of mine went and if their photos are any indication it was an absolute blast. Since Disney owns Marvel and Star Wars, content for some of the biggest upcoming movies of the next several years was released. I’m not a Star Wars fan, and while there was a sizzle reel shown for Avengers: Infinity War, Marvel content was a bit light since they’re saving a lot for Comic Con. Even so, there was plenty of news and lots of announcements, a few in particular that caught my eye.
We now have our first look at Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns, due out Christmas Day of next year. Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer will play adult Michael and Jane Banks. Mary is, of course, ageless. How could she not be, she’s practically perfect in every way! Lin-Manuel Miranda will also appear, because he’s generally crushing it right now. The original Mary Poppins wasn’t one of my all time favorites as a kid, but my sister used to watch it almost every day, so I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen it. It does contain one of my favorite lines in anything ever: “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid.” (Winifred knows what’s up.) Rob Marshall directing means this musical is in excellent hands, because that’s what he does best.
Quite recently there were several stories written about how the team behind the upcoming live-action Aladdin film were having a hard time finding their male lead. Either that information was old, or was never true at all, because it seems unlikely that so soon after those reports Disney has all of a sudden found their man. The main cast was announced at the Expo, and Mena Massoud will play the titular Aladdin alongside Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. She’s my favorite princess, so my hopes for her are high, but I’m sure she’s well up to the task. Aladdin was my favorite movie as a kid, so I’m the most excited but also the most nervous about this live-action adaptation. I love director Guy Ritchie, so I’m hopeful. It was already announced some time ago that Will Smith will be playing Genie, and I think he’s going to have a harder job than anyone. There probably isn’t a single Disney character more closely associated with the person who played them than Genie. It’s been opined that it was Robing Williams’ best role solely because animation was the only medium that could keep up with him. I’m hoping for Smith’s sake that the plan is to take Genie in a completely different direction for this version, because the original isn’t really something that can be gone up against.
It might make me a bad Disney fan, but I forgot that this was being made until I saw it mentioned at the Expo. Having danced ballet for twelve years, I’m obviously familiar with the Nutcracker, and I think it could make a really beautiful live-action movie. Mackenzie Foy will play Clara (#EGBTT), and the supporting cast is crazy good. One of my personal faves Keira Knightley will play the Sugar Plum Fairy, Helen freaking Mirren will play the villain Mother Ginger, and Morgan Freeman will play Drosselmeyer. Not bad at all. Real life ballerina Misty Copeland will also have a role, so we know there’ll be at least some top-tier dancing. We also have to wait until holiday season of next year to see this one, but it’s certainly going to be a movie to keep our eyes on until then.
What was your favorite piece of movie news to come out of the D23 Expo?