We are less than two months away from the biggest Disney fan event in the world, the D23 Expo. The three day event, which takes place September 9-11, will be the place to be for announcements, news, never-before-seen footage, and first looks from Disney’s movie, tv, and streaming studios.
We have decided to take a look at 10 projects we believe Disney will announce during the highly-anticipated event (this includes theatrical or streaming projects).
10. Frozen 3
Since 2013, the Frozen franchise has been a cash cow for The Walt Disney Company. The first film was met with critical acclaim and commercial success and grossing over $1.2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office. Six years later, Frozen II arrives and once again the studio finds the same success, but this time grossing over $1.4 billion, making it the 11th highest grossing movie of all-time. The success has expanded to theme park attractions, 4 short films and a short series on Disney+. Disney will look to continue that success. Franchise stars Josh Gad and Kristen Bell have already teased a third film and what better way to announce the project than at D23.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean
There is so unknown factors to this franchise at the moment. However, one thing is for sure, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the most successful franchises in all of cinema. We believe Margot Robbie will officially be announced as the new lead of the Pirates film. We would also expect a title announcement, a director, and possible additional cast members. While their is no director attached, Christina Hodson (Bumblebee) has completed her draft of the script and I hear Disney was quite happy with it. We should get this out of the way, don’t expect a Johnny Depp reveal here.
8. Tower of Terror
Not much is known about this project in general. However, Disney has been trying to get Tower of Terror off the ground for a few years now. We expect Scarlett Johansson to be in attendance to officially announce the movie. While late last year we reported Thor: Love and Thunder Director Taika Waititi was in talks to direct, his schedule has been gotten quite busy, I’d also expect a director announcement, whether it happens to be Waititi (unlikely at this point as he is working on Star Wars movie) or a new name, we will have wait and see.
7. Cruella 2
Just like all the movies we are discussing, Cruella 2 has been reported on but not officially announced. That will change at D23, the core team including Emma Stone is returning and there is already hints that the sequel could film early next year. We expect a full title announcement, we highly doubt Cruella 2 is the title.
The Disney live-action remakes have become blockbuster events and have been financially successful the studio. Guy Ritchie, who directed Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin is now set to bring Hercules to life, with the Russo Brothers attached to produce. We expect Disney to officially announce the project and its lead actor of Hercules (our money is on Austin Butler). This is something Disney did at the D23 Expo in 2017 for Aladdin and again in 2019 for The Little Mermaid, expect the same treatment for Hercules.
5. Space Mountain
Disney has a Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Jungle Cruise is becoming a franchise with a sequel in the works, and the studio hopes that success will transition to Space Mountain. Disney adaptations of popular theme park attractions have seen tons of financial success and with Haunted Mansion coming next March, Disney will want Space Mountain to continue the trend. A script is already completed by Obi-Wan Kenobi writer Joby Harold. We expect Space Mountain to quickly be announced with a director and possible star.
4. Shang-Chi 2
So, when is a Marvel project making this list? Now. Of all the phase four films, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings received the most positive word of mouth. Like Black Panther and the world of Wakanda before it, people are wanting to explore the characters and mythology of Shang-Chi. Now, we expect a title announcement, but this next part is a total guess that we would love, Marvel announces the introduction of Iron Fist into the MCU with a new actor, with his first appearance being in the sequel. Imagine that.
3. Tron 3
Tron: Legacy remains a Disney favorite among many fans, not to mention grossed a modest $400 million at the worldwide box office. Since the film’s release in 2010, everyone has been waiting to revisit the grid. Well, at D23, we expect the studio to finally announce Tron 3 (tentatively titled Tron: Ares). We believe Disney will announce the additional cast starring alongside Morbius himself, Jared Leto. We could also get an official title announcement, maybe go back to Tron: Ascension.
2. Hunchback of Notre Dame/Bambi
There are two live-action remakes we expect Disney to discuss. First is the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Talks of this remake first surfaced in 2017 when composer Alan Menken teased that an adaptation is on the way. Two years later reports surfaced that Menken would be writing and developing new music, with Josh Gad on produce and possibly star as Quasimodo. Gad has continuously teased that the project is moving forward. With a script already completed by M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang, we expect an official announcement with a director. Bambi is in a similar situation, with two scripts turned in by Lindsey Beer (Barbie) and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (Captain Marvel). We expect a director announcement and a possible voice cast reveal.
1. Maleficent 3
Let’s get this one out of the way quickly. Maleficent 3 is happening and it’s been in development for quite some time with Angelina Jolie reprising as the iconic Disney Villain. We expect Jolie to be in attendance to officially announce the project, which would also bring back Elle Fanning as Aurora. While we hear Maleficent: Mistress of Evil director Joachim Rønning is expected to return for the third film, it is unknown what the studio plans are come D23.
Of course, we expect more projects to get announced but these are the ones we would put our money on. Stick with The DisInsider as we will be at the D23 Expo covering all the biggest stories. Visit D23Expo.com for more information.