Shortly after wrapping the live-action panel at their D23 expo over the weekend, Disney officially unveiled four logos for movies on their upcoming slate, teasing a look at three of their biggest blockbusters for next year – Tomorrowland, Muppets Most Wanted, and Maleficent – and one of their Oscar contenders arriving this December – Saving Mr. Banks.
Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland has been somewhat shrouded in mystery, and not much is known about the secretive project. Disney have thankfully been doing a very good job of keeping it that way, and all that’s really known is the stellar cast, which is led by George Clooney, alongside Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Raffey Cassidy, and Thomas Robinson, with Judy Greer set to board the line-up as well.
The film is set to arrive on December 12th, 2014, and could well be an Oscar contender at the end of next year – given the project’s secrecy, it’s really anybody’s guess.
Then comes James Bobin’s anticipated sequel, Muppets Most Wanted.
The first teaser trailer landed just last week, giving us a look at Kermit and co.’s return to the big screen, due to hit cinemas next spring. Ricky Gervais will be front and centre this time around, with Ty Burrell and Tina Fey leading the human cast as a French Interpol agent and a Russian GULAG officer, respectively.
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 Gervais. Fey is featured as Nadya, a feisty prison guard. Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas 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.
Angelina Jolie will take the lead for Disney’s Maleficent, Robert Stromberg’s fantasy-thriller that retells the tale of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the villain, Maleficent. The film is scheduled for release on July 2nd, 2014, making it one of next summer’s most prominent blockbusters.
“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,” “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast,” wrote the screenplay. “Maleficent” opens in theaters on July 2, 2014.
And finally, that leaves John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr. Banks, which sees Emma Thompson star as P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins, opposite Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, himself.
Disney launched the first trailer for Hancock’s upcoming movie, sure to be an Oscar contender come year’s end, last month. And it was more recently announced as the Closing Night Film for the 57th BFI London Film Festival towards the end of October.
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 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, 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, but 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.
Source: via Collider.