Walt Disney Studios panel shares new details on upcoming films at D23 Expo 2019

by Brittani Tuttle

Today’s main panel at D23 Expo 2019 showcased what’s to come from The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar, and Walt Disney Animation – and there’s plenty to get excited about.

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All photos courtest of @DisneyD23 on Twitter


The panel kicked off with one property that everyone’s been waiting to learn more about: “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”

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Nearly all of the cast and director J.J. Abrams took the stage with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to showcase a sizzle reel from the film and a new theatrical poster. The sizzle reel will release on Monday, Aug. 26.

Marvel Studios

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Next up was Marvel Studios, who straight out of the gate revealed that “Black Panther 2” was in development and set to release on May 6, 2022. Ryan Coogler, director of the first Oscar-winning film, will return to helm the sequel.

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Next up was “The Eternals,” which will hit theaters on Nov. 6, 2020. Nearly the entire ensemble cast arrived on stage and their character costumes were debuted. It was announced that Gemma Chan and Kit Harrington would join the cast as the Sersi and Dane Witman/Black Knight, respectively.

The panel also showed clips from the upcoming “Black Widow” film, along with an apology from the cast who said they “wished” they could be there. The film is currently in production and set to release on May 1, 2020.

Walt Disney Studios

First up from Walt Disney Studios was “Jungle Cruise,” starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt. Johnson arrived to the panel on his boat from the film, named “La Quila.”

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In the film, Johnson plays Frank, a guy who gives “unscrupulous” boat tours. Blunt’s character hires him to take her on a journey through dangerous waters. The panel didn’t show any official trailers, but did showcase clips highlighting both main characters. You can catch “Jungle Cruise” in theaters July 2020.

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Next up was “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” also starring Angelina Jolie as the titular fairy. She was joined on stage by Elle Fanning (Aurora), Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Maleficent’s brother in the film.


The panel then showed an exclusive clip from the film, in which Maleficent is invited to dinner to celebrate Aurora’s engagement… but it doesn’t go as planned and incites a war. A new key art image was released as well. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” flies into theaters on Oct. 18.

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Next was a quick look at “Mulan,” hosted by director Niki Caro. This section featured a couple of scenes from the film – one of which featured score inspired by songs from the original animated film. “Mulan” will open in theaters on March 20, 2020.


After that, we got a look at the upcoming Cruella deVil origin film, starring Emma Stone as the iconic villain. The film will be set in 1970s London and have a very punk rock feel. Disney’s “Cruella” will hit theaters on May 28, 2021.

Pixar Animation Studios

Grab your tissues, because Pixar is here to pull at your heartstrings with their 2020 releases.

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Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter took to the stage to introduce “Soul,” which hits theaters on June 19, 2020.


The film is about a music teacher named Joe Gardner (played by Jamie Foxx) who yearns to be a jazz musician. Right as he’s about to get his big break, however, he dies – and his soul ends up at the You Seminar, where souls are trained for life on Earth. The film seeks to answer one of life’s toughest questions: “Why are we here?”


“Soul” features a knockout ensemble cast including Tina Fey, The Roots’ Questlove, Phylicia Rashad, and Daveed Diggs. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross will compose the film’s score, and Jon Batiste will write the music.

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Next up was “Onward,” starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, who both made an appearance at the panel. Fans were treated to an 8-minute clip from the film. “Onward” is set to release on March 6, 2020.


Walt Disney Animation Studios

First up from Walt Disney Animation Studios was a new film called “Raya and the Last Dragon,” starring Cassie Steele as Raya and Awkwafina as Sisu, the Last Dragon.

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The story is set in an alternate Earth created by dragons, and is inspired by the culture of Southeast Asia. “Raya and the Last Dragon” will hit theaters in November 2020.

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Frozen 2” closed out today’s panel, with the reveal that Evan Rachel Wood would be playing a younger Queen Iduna, Anna and Elsa’s mother in the film. Sterling K. Brown was also announced to have joined the cast as Lieutenant Matthias.

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A new poster for the film was also revealed. You can catch “Frozen 2” in theaters on Nov. 22.

We’ll have much more coverage throughout D23 Expo 2019, so be sure to stay tuned to our websiteTwitterInstagram, and YouTube channel for the latest updates.


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