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Watch the Entire Live-Action Presentation from D23

By Brian B. — July 16th, 2017

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn presented an in-depth look at upcoming live-action releases from Disney, Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios, including A Wrinkle in Time, Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Mary Poppins Returns, Dumbo, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Avengers: Infinity War. The event included surprise announcements and appearances by the films' star talent and filmmakers.

Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm presented their live- action film slates this morning at the D23 Expo 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. Met with enthusiasm from the excited, fan-filled audience, the lively presentations revealed exclusive news and details about upcoming live-action films and showcased surprise live and video appearances from stars and filmmakers. Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn hosted the highly anticipated biennial event. Said Alan Horn, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios. 

"At The Walt Disney Studios, we could not do what we do without the support of the many Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars fans around the world. We feel like our fans are a part of the family, and the D23 Expo is our chance to give a little something extra back to them."

After welcoming the crowd to D23 Expo 2017, Horn introduced Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, to present overviews of the Disney live-action slate. Later Horn returned to the stage to introduce writer/director Rian Johnson for a look at Lucasfilm's upcoming film and ended by introducing Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, for a rousing presentation to close the event.

A recap of the live-action presentation follows: Sean Bailey welcomed A Wrinkle in Time cast members Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine along with newcomer Storm Reid and visionary director Ava DuVernay to the D23 stage, where they thrilled fans with a first look at the film's teaser trailer and teaser poster. The film, which is an epic adventure based on Madeleine L'Engle's timeless classic, takes audiences across dimensions of time and space, examining the nature of darkness versus light and ultimately, the triumph of love.

Directed by Ava DuVernay from a screenplay by Jennifer Lee based upon the beloved novel by Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time is produced by Jim Whitaker and Catherine Hand with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer. The film also stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, André Holland and Rowan Blanchard, with Zach Galifianakis.

Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is a typical middle school student struggling with issues of self-worth who is desperate to fit in. As the daughter of two world-renowned physicists, she is intelligent and uniquely gifted, as is Meg's younger brother Charles Wallace (Deric McCabe), but she has yet to realize it for herself. Making matters even worse is the baffling disappearance of Mr. Murry (Chris Pine), which torments Meg and has left her mother (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) heartbroken. Charles Wallace introduces Meg and her fellow classmate Calvin (Levi Miller) to three celestial guides-Mrs. Which (Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (Reese Witherspoon) and Mrs. Who (Mindy Kaling)-who have journeyed to Earth to help search for their father, and together they set off on their formidable quest. Traveling via a wrinkling of time and space known as tessering, they are soon transported to worlds beyond their imagination where they must confront a powerful evil. To make it back home to Earth, Meg must look deep within herself and embrace her flaws to harness the strength necessary to defeat the darkness closing in on them. A Wrinkle in Time opens nationwide March 9, 2018.

Sean Bailey shared with D23 Expo 2017 fans Disney's all-new take on a classic story in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy, newcomer Mackenzie Foy as Clara, Helen Mirren as Mother Ginger, Morgan Freeman as godfather Drosselmeyer, and featuring a special performance by Misty Copeland, the movie is inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann's classic tale.

The film largely takes place in a strange and mysterious parallel world-home to Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. But it's the ominous Fourth Realm where Clara must take on a tyrant called Mother Ginger as well as a gang of mice who've stolen a coveted key from Clara. Said Bailey.

"The Mouse King is made up of thousands of mice-a cutting-edge CG creation. But we wanted him to move in a way that would be wonderfully surprising and incredibly cool, so we called on Lil Buck to provide the style of dance that defines the character. He is so talented and the way he makes this character move is unbelievable."

Los Angeles-based dancer Lil Buck hit the stage at D23 Expo 2017 to demonstrate the kind of street dancing, called jookin, that informed the way his character moves in the film. The performance earned a standing ovation. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms is directed by Lasse Hallström and produced by Mark Gordon and Larry Franco.  The film will open in U.S. theaters on Nov. 2, 2018.

To the delight of D23 fans, Emily Blunt, the star of Disney's sequel Mary Poppins Returns took to the stage with director/producer Rob Marshall to talk about the eagerly-anticipated return of the practically-perfect nanny. In this original musical sequel to the 1964 "Mary Poppins," Mary and her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter played by Lin-Manuel Miranda, embark on entirely new adventures with the next generation of the Banks family to help them find the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Blunt and Marshall answered questions from Sean Bailey, with Blunt offering insight on how she made the character her own. "I needed to try to pay homage to Julie Andrews, but carve out a new space for myself," said Blunt. "And we were very loyal to the books." Rob Marshall shared, "I was incredibly honored to be approached by Disney about directing a sequel. This is a brand-new original film musical from top to bottom, which is very rare, and it is a wonderful opportunity to create something specifically for the screen." D23 attendees were then treated to an exclusive first look at the film, which was accompanied by a live orchestra performing original new music from the film conducted by composer Marc Shaiman, eliciting thunderous applause.

P.L. Travers first introduced the world to the no-nonsense nanny in her 1934 children's book {Mary Poppins. However, the subsequent adventures of Mary Poppins remained only on the pages of the seven other P.L. Travers' books...until now. Mary Poppins Returns is drawn from the wealth of material in these additional books.  The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks, Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks, Julie Walters as the Banks' housekeeper Ellen, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary's William Weatherall Wilkins and Meryl Streep as Mary's eccentric cousin Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady and Dick Van Dyke as Mr. Dawes Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth's character. Mary Poppins Returns is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Marshall & John DeLuca based on The Mary Poppins Stories by P.L. Travers. The producers are Marshall, DeLuca and Marc Platt with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer, and the music is by Marc Shaiman with songs by Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Mary Poppins Returns will be released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 25, 2018.

Also making a big splash during the live-action showcase were Lucasfilm with their Star Wars: The Last Jedi presentation and Marvel with their Avengers: Infinity War. Luke and Rey didn't get a new trailer, but they did get an epic 3-minute sizzle reel. But what really brought down the house was the Infinity War teaser footage. Here's the video from yesterday's big event thanks to the folks and Disney and D23.

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