The D23 Expo had their Marvel and Star Wars panels yesterday, giving those at the conference a chance to catch a sneak peek at some of the biggest properties coming later this year and beyond. Among them: a new director to the Star Wars, a new cast member for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a run-time for The Force Awakens, and a preview at upcoming Pixar movies.
- After J.J. Abrams directs The Force Awakens and Looper director Rian Johnson helms Episode VII, Colin Trevorrow, who most recently directed the massive hit Jurassic World, will go behind the camera for Star Wars: Episode IX. Trevorrow is set to direct Book of Henry next as well as help write the sequel to Jurassic World with Episode IX coming out in 2019.
- It isn’t the most inspired choice, even though Trevorrow just made nearly a billion dollars with Jurassic World, and especially after they hired Johnson and Lord/Miller to direct their other upcoming features. Trevorrow made a sweet and inventive movie with Safety Not Guaranteed and Jurassic World suffered massively from a poor script. As of now, he doesn’t have writing duties, but that could change in the four years we have until his movie comes out.
- The runtime for The Force Awakens was also mentioned during the press conference with director J.J. Abrams with the movie clocking in right now at just a little over two hours. Abrams said this is still subject to change because they are deep into editing the movie, but said he is hoping to keep it around this length and not dive into the 140-150 minute range that some of the prequels did.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- While teasing the upcoming return to the land of pirates, Disney confirmed the return of Orlando Bloom as Will Turner. The character was last seen at the end of At World’s End taking over Davey Jones’ ship, but returning after 10 years to visit Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Swan and their son. No word yet if Knightley will join also, but Bloom is added to a cast that includes the return of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, Geoffrey Rush as Barbosa, and the introduction of Javier Bardem as the film’s antagonist.
- The first footage of Captain America: Civil War was shown with a fight sequence between Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, and Crossbones taking place. Following his accident in the last movie, Frank Grillo’s character has morphed into the villain, Crossbones, and the movie will highlight a fight between him and Cap’s team. There was also a scene with Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man meeting the rest of the crew. According to those who saw it, the film seems to be focusing on how much power The Avengers should have and what they’re doing with it now.
- The company announced a new original film coming from Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich about the Mexican holiday, Dia de los Muertos, called Coco. According to Unkrich,
In our story, the celebration of Dia de los Muertos serves as the perfect backdrop for our main character to ask where he comes from, what his place is within his family, and how families stay woven together across time through the simple act of remembrance.
- Coco is dated for Fall 2017.
- The studio also offered plot details for the upcoming Toy Story 4, directed by John Lasseter, which seems to find Woody in a love story with Bo Peep. Lasseter said
As we were looking around we came up with this idea because Bo Peep was not in Toy Story 3, and it actually worked beautifully into this….so Woody and Buzz light-year go out to find Bo Peep and bring her back, and it’s a very special and emotional love story. But it’s extremely funny too.
- They also highlighted the upcoming sequel, Finding Dory, and some of the voice cast members that have joined including: Diane Keaton as Dory’s mother, Eugene Levy as her father, Modern Family‘s Ed O’Neill as an octopus named Hank, Modern Family‘s Ty Burrell as a beluga named Bailey, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Kaitlin Olson as a whale shark named Destiny. Original characters Marlin and Nemo will also play a major part.