9 cool Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney announcements from the D23 Expo

By Joe Berkowitz

Disney’s D23 expo is a chance for the monolothic family-friendly entertainment conglomerate to flex its mighty muscle. (You know, unlike all the other times of the year?)

The biannual three-day event hit both the Anaheim Convention Center and the internet over the weekend like a Death Star injected with superserum, pummeling those following along breathlessly with precious posters, trailers, and announcements from the worlds of Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar—all of which are owned by the Mouse House. Try and fight it, but there is no escaping. You will want to see at least several of these upcoming projects, and you’ll experience the precise amount of tantalization Disney wants to inflict upon you. Whee!

Here are the 9 announcements from D23 most likely to make you want to fast-forward through time.

Black Panther 2

Although there was obviously always going to be a sequel to the critically beloved, $1.3M-grossing, Best Picture-nominated megahit, the project now officially has a release date (May 6, 2022) and writer/director Ryan Coogler confirmed to return.

Ewan McGregor will be Obi-Wan Kenobi again

The actor has said for years that he’d be open to returning to the Star Wars universe to revive the iconic character he played in the prequels. He even came pretty close to a standalone during that early glut of potential projects after Disney first acquired Star Wars and announced a sequel trilogy. Now, McGregor is officially set to return as Obi-Wan Kenobi for an untitled Disney+ series that will take place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. It will be the third live-action Star Wars series on Disney+, following Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian, which premieres in November, and an as-yet untitled Rogue One spinoff that follows Diego Luna’s character, Cassian Andor.

Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey star in 2020 Pixar movie, Soul

The second original Pixar film in 2020 after Onward in March—looks like you’ll have to wait a bit longer for Cars 14Soul is directed by Inside Out vet Pete Doctor, and has a similarly inward-looking plot. (The tagline is “Ever wonder where your passion, your dreams and your interests come from? What is it that makes you … you?”) Look for Soul on June 19, 2020.

Kit Harington joins Marvel’s The Eternals

It’s not every day that two Stark boys get cast in the same Marvel movie, but here we are. Harrington will apparently play Dane Whitman a/k/a The Black Knight, not to be confused with The Dark Knight a/k/a Batman, despite how naggingly similar they sound. Aside from Game of Thrones brother Richard Madden, Harington joins a cast that includes Kumail Nanjiani, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry, and Gemma Chan. The film is expected on November 6, 2020.

Lizzie McGuire is back, baby

Hilary Duff started playing the popularity-seeking Disney character Lizzie McGuire when she was just 13 and is now set to return for a Disney+ show that picks up with the character entering her 30s. “Lizzie has also grown up, she’s older, she’s wiser, she has a much bigger shoe budget,” Duff said at the Expo. “She has her dream job, the perfect life right now working as an apprentice to a fancy New York City decorator, the perfect man who owns a fancy restaurant. She’s getting ready to celebrate her 30th birthday.”

Cassandra Steele and Awkwafina in Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon

A rare non-Pixar animated film from Disney, Raya and the Last Dragon is said to be “inspired by the culture of Southeast Asia.” It features Steele voicing Raya, Awkwafina voicing Sisu the dragon, and a script from Crazy Rich Asians scribe Adele Lim. The film is due in November 2020.

Tom Holland is still Spider-Man

In case there were any lingering doubts following last week’s announcement that Sony and Marvel have parted ways on future Spider-Man movies, Tom Holland spoke out at D23, where he was on hand to promote his role in Pixar’s Onward, about the MCU-free Spidey of the future for the first time since the news broke. “Basically, we’ve made five great movies,” Holland told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? But all I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It’s going to be so fun, however we choose to do it. The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”

She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Knight are coming to Disney+

During D23, Marvel announced three new superhero series the studio is producing for Disney+, and confirmed that the Ms. Marvel character will figure into future MCU movies as well. Ms. Marvel will be the first Muslim superhero depicted onscreen. These three series, which have not yet announced its lead cast, will join a Marvel lineup on Disney+ that includes Loki, Falcon and Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and a Hawkeye series.

This is what Emma Stone looks like as Cruella de Vil

She will in all likelihood slay in the role, when the film premieres in theaters on May 28, 2021.

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