Mark your calendars with these release dates now, people.
Walt Disney Studios revealed its upcoming live action slate at D23 Expo, and it’s absolutely amazing.
“Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm are some of the most powerful and beloved brands in entertainment,” said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. “We have so many incredible cinematic adventures ahead of us, and it is especially exciting to be able to share the exclusive details with our biggest fans first at the D23 Expo.”
Horn acknowledged the excitement and anticipation surrounding Disney’s first Star Wars film, Star Wars: Episode VII – slated for release in 2015 – but only said, “I do wish I could tell you more, but… there are dark forces. And they are watching.”
Whatever that means, Disney’s not saying. Not yet anyway.
Cue the “Imperial March.”
And heavy sighs.
Until we learn more about the galaxy far, far away, take a first look at the upcoming releases from Disney and Marvel Studios along with title treatments and photos straight from D23:
Walt Disney Studios’ Upcoming Live Action Slate Revealed! 1 of 11
Mark your calendars with these release dates now. Seriously.
Thor: The Dark World 2 of 11
Marvel's Thor: The Dark World thundered into D23 with a presentation by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and hellos from stars Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston and Anthony Hopkins. The big screen adventure carries on the story of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel's "Thor" and "Marvel's The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos... but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. The film releases November 8, 2013.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier 3 of 11
Following the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel's Captain America : The Winter Soldier finds Steve Rogers - aka Captain America - living quietly in Washington , D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve finds himself embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy - the Winter Soldier. Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie made appearances at D23 to introduce a series of never-before-seen clips, and from the buzz that followed, the whole movie - in theaters April 4, 2014 - is going to be good.
Guardians of the Galaxy 4 of 11
Though not much was shared about this epic space adventure, a clip from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy thrilled the D23 crowd. The film, which went into production in London in June, is based on the Marvel comic book that first appeared in 1969, and is slated for an August 1, 2014 release.
Bears 5 of 11
Alan Horn, Chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, hit the stage to share exciting news for Disneynature's newest big-screen adventure - Bears - with a portion of opening week ticket sales going to support our National Parks. Filmed in Alaska, Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting - but risky. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. Bears arrives in theaters April 18, 2014 - Earth Day.
Muppets Most Wanted 6 of 11
Two words: Muppets mayhem. It's what happened when Muppets Most Wanted star Ty Burrell took the stage in Le Maxium, a tiny European car that aptly underscored the actor's portrayal of French Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. The film also stars Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, who greeted guests of the D23 Expo "live" from the film's international set somewhere far, far away. Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theatres in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin , Madrid and London. Trouble follows the Muppets overseas as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper hitting the big screen on March 21, 2014.
Into the Woods 7 of 11
Disney's Into the Woods celebrated its first public introduction at D23! The highly anticipated musical, helmed by Rob Marshall, the talented filmmaker behind the Academy Award-winning musical Chicago and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides stars Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt. Based on the Tony-winning original musical by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods surrounds a baker and his wife's quest to break a witch's curse in order to start a family. Along the way, they encounter several well-known fairy tale characters and together they learn what really happens after "happily ever after." The film is set for a December 2014 holiday release.
Cinderella 8 of 11
The D23 audience was thrilled with as super exclusive, super early, super sneak peek at Disney's Cinderella, courtesy of director Sir Kenneth Branagh. Though many elements are still in development and the whole project is in pre-production, Cinderella promises to be faithful to the original fairy tale. However, filmmakers will elevate the story, characters and the visuals to take audiences on a sweeping dramatic journey never seen before. Starring Game of Thrones' Richard Madden as Prince Charming, Downton Abbey's Lily James as Cinderella, Helena Bonham-Carter as the Fairy Godmother, and Cate Blanchett as the Wicked Stepmother, March 13, 2015 - its slated release date - can't come soon enough.
Maleficent 9 of 11
Academy Award-winning actress Angelina Jolie arrived in Anaheim after audiences were treated to an exclusive first look at Disney's Maleficent. Jolie stars as the film's title character, opening in theatres on July 2, 2014. Maleficent tells the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty, and will surprise you. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be its fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal - an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom - and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well.
Tomorrowland 10 of 11
D23 delved into the mysteries surrounding Disney's Tomorrowland as filmmakers Brad Bird (director, co-writer, producer) and Damon Lindelof (co-writer, producer) talked about the inspiration behind the secrets about visionary Walt Disney found in the black box - featured in a short, behind-the-scenes piece screened for the D23 audience. Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson, the still secretive, action-packed adventure hits theatres on December 12, 2014.
Saving Mr. Banks 11 of 11
Disney's Saving Mr. Banks tells the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney's classic Mary Poppins made it to the big screen. Two-time Academy Award—winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar-winner Tom Hanks topline Saving Mr. Banks, a film about what happened when Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins. He makes them a promise - one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against an uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers. The prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history. Saving Mr. Banks opens for limited release in theatres on December 13, 2013, and nationwide on December 20, 2013.
Photo credits: Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios, D23.com, PBS, Pacific Coast News
Information provided by Walt Disney Studios
Read Pilar’s writing from around the blogosphere here, social creatures. And if you’re in the mood for more magic, join her on Twitter, Facebook (here and here) and Instagram. Because Hefe. Also, Sierra.