We are less than three weeks away from the release of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ newest original film, Raya and the Last Dragon. One of the film’s directors, Carlos López Estrada shared what it was like being part of this new project.
Here is what López Estrada had to say while speaking with the LA Times En Español:
“It was an unexpected opportunity for me. I grew up watching Disney movies and if you asked me two years ago if I could see myself directing a Disney movie I would say ‘No’. It was unexpected, one of those people from Disney’s development department watched “Blindspotting” on Sundance and invited me, they were looking for new directors, young directors with diverse voices, with different backgrounds. And when we were talking I saw they were really interested on telling stories from a very different point of view and that’s what I was doing at the time. It was a very interesting contrast because, I wrapped filming “Summertime” one day and two days later I was at Disney planning my new movie and as you can imagine, both are completely different worlds. Disney has showed a lot of support to the stories I want to tell in my movies, and to be honest it’s really special to me to have these opportunities. I directed “Raya” first, which is the movie that’s about to be released, and the next one is a very intimate movie for me and I started developing it from zero, it’ll be releaed in two years. I love it, I found a new creative home in an unexpected place but I’m really happy and let’s see what happens with these stories. “
Later the interviewer asks him if the second movie he’s talking about has something to do with the live-action adaptation of Robin Hood he is directing for Disney+, and Carlos says:
“It’s an original movie for Disney Animation, they haven’t announced it yet, so everything is confidential at this point but we know it will come out on 2023, it’s in development and we will start with storyboards, the music and the script in a few months”
The interviewer asks again about Robin Hood and Carlos says:
“For now it doesn’t have a release date, we don’t have plans for it yet I hope one day we can continue with this project but for now I think they’re still figuring out some internal stuff”
Raya and the Last Dragon features an all-star voice cast that includes Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Jona Xiao, Sandra Oh, Thalia Tran, Lucille Soong, Alan Tudyk, Gordon Ip, Dichen Lachman, Patti Harrison, Jon “Dumbfoundead” Park, Sung Kang, Sierra Katow, Ross Butler, François Chau and Paul Yen. Don Hall and López Estrada are directing, with Paul Briggs and John Ripa co-directing. Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho are the producers, and Qui Nguyen and Adele Lim wrote the screenplay.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Raya and the Last Dragon will be available on Disney+ with Premier Access in most Disney+ markets, at the same time as it is released in select theaters on March 5, 2021.
The following interview was transcribed in English by our content and graphics manager, Alexis Miguel.