Disney’s Live-Action Films Dominated D23 Expo Thanks to Marvel, Star Wars, and The Jungle Book


While Disney may be known for its animation, they’ve been doing live-action film since 1950 with their release of Treasure Island.

With their recent acquisitions of Lucasfilm and Marvel, it’s no wonder the live-action panel at this weekend’s D23 Expo was massive. Unfortunately, none of the footage is available online yet so everyone who wasn’t able to attend is going to have to make do with text recaps.

Starting strong, the Saturday morning panel (which had people camping out overnight) immediately kicked off with Marvel.


Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took the stage to talk about Doctor Strange, accompanied by lead actor Benedict Cumberbatch via a recorded message. Art was shown from the film, leading many people to make Inception comparisons:


Next up was the film that got everyone on their feet: Captain America: Civil War. Actors Anthony Mackie (Falcon) and Chris Evans (Captain America) took the stage to present new footage from the film. From io9, here’s a description of the first scene:

“It starts with Captain America in a bedroom. “Eyes on target,” he says. Falcon is on the roof and launches a “red wing.” This is a small drone that shoots out of his pack, flies down to the street and under a car. It begins sending Falcon X-rays of the car, and they realize it’s a battering ram. Crossones jumps out of the back, Captain America jumps down to fight him, and he shoots a bomb onto Cap’s shield. Cap is forced to throw his shield into the air, so the explosion doesn’t hurt anyone. The two fight, Falcon flies in and Black Widow runs toward the action—this all takes place in a crowded foreign market place. Crossbones lands some huge punches on Cap with his mechanical arms, and there are knives embedded in them. Widow takes out four men. And just as Cap is about to beat Crossbones, he mentions Bucky. “What did you say?” Cap asks.”


There was also a scene between Captain America and the Winter Soldier, as well as Hawkeye and Black Widow trying to fix their newly damaged friendship. A lot of people, however, couldn’t stop talking about Ant-Man meeting Cap.


While the panel saved Star Wars for last, that’s not what we’re going to do.

There was no new footage shown, but they still had treats for us. The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams and some of the cast took the stage to talk about what the movie means to them, as well as show off a new poster.

GUYS. John Boyega’s Finn is holding a lightsaber! Anakin and Luke’s lightsaber! WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Han Solo is also on the poster. They sure have been pushing Han a lot more than Luke and Leia. Does that mean Han plays a bigger role than the siblings? Should we be worried?

Well, we can’t answer that but we can tell you more about Rogue One, the first film that’s part of the Star Wars stories series (previously known as the Star Wars anthology series).

The full cast was announced, including: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Riz Ahmed. Mikkelsen and Tudyk? Dang.


Colin Trevorrow, director of Jurassic World, was announced to helm Episode IX.

Lastly, they blew the roof off by revealing that a Star Wars expansion is coming to both Disneyland and Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.


Of course, this is still Disney so what about the live-action flicks at Walt Disney Studios?

Perhaps the most buzzed about was Jon Favreau’s upcoming live-action version of The Jungle Book, which includes names like Sir Ben Kingsley, Lupita Nyong’o, Bill Murray, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, and Neel Sethi as Mowgli.

Tweets poured in about the gorgeous CGI, as well as Bill Murray and Christopher Walken’s performances as Baloo and King Louie, respectively, from the footage.


Other highlights included Orlando Bloom returning as Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (the fifth in the series); the plot of Alice Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Tim Burton’s film, which will be about time-travel for some reason; and Beauty and the Beast, for which Alan Menken is writing two new songs.

Did you see this panel? What was your favorite part? What are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!



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