Disney revealed new title treatments for four of their most anxiously awaited live action moves today during their big D23 Live Action Presentation. The films included Maleficent, Tomorrowland, Muppets Most Wanted and Saving Mr. Banks.
Academy Award®-winning actress Angelina Jolie joined Sean Bailey on stage after the audience had an exclusive first look at Disney's Maleficent. Starring as the title character in the highly anticipated live action film, Angelina Jolie chatted with Sean Bailey about the film before exiting to wild applause.
Maleficent is the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's 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.
The film also stars Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville and is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg. Linda Woolverton, the screenwriter of Alice in Wonderland, wrote the screenplay. Maleficent opens in theaters on July 2, 2014.
The D23 audience was treated to a glimpse into the mysteries surrounding Disney's Tomorrowland as Sean Bailey and filmmakers Brad Bird (director, co-writer, producer) and Damon Lindelof (co-writer, producer) talked about the inspiration of the secrets of the black box, which was featured in a short behind-the-scenes piece screened for the audience about the visionary Walt Disney. Although the audience was buzzing with questions, Sean Bailey remained coy, but then announced a special, surprise Tomorrowland exhibit opening in the afternoon on the D23 floor that would reveal the contents of the box and more. Starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy and Thomas Robinson, the action-packed adventure hits theaters December 12, 2014.
Muppets Most Wanted
President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production Sean Bailey came on and stirred up Muppet mayhem with details about Disney's Muppets Most Wanted welcoming Ty Burrell to the stage, via 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, plus 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.
Directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, Disney's Muppets Most Wanted takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. Tina Fey is featured as Nadya, a feisty prison guard. James Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nick Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, Muppets Most Wanted hits the big screen March 21, 2014.
Saving Mr. Banks
Sean Bailey set up the story and talented cast of Disney's Saving Mr. Banks the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney's classic Mary Poppins made it to the screen, and reminded everyone that Mary Poppins is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. After showing two clips from the movie to the D23 audience, Sean Bailey introduced Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak, who portray the famous composing team of Richard M. Sherman and Robert Sherman, respectively, in the film. In a big surprise moment, Jason Schwartzman and B.J. Novak welcomed Mary Poppins composer Richard M. Sherman on stage to greet the excited audience. The two talented actors then engaged the crowd in a rousing, confetti-filled, grand finale sing-along performance of "Let's Go Fly a Kite," the classic song from Mary Poppins.
Two-time Academy Award®-winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney's Saving Mr. Banks, which is directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) and produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer. Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith wrote the screenplay.
When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' Mary Poppins, he made them a promise-one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt Disney comes up against a curmudgeonly, 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, P.L. Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Walt 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 Disney launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as P.L. 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 Disney 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 releases in theaters December 13, 2013, limited, December 20, 2013, wide.