Castings Announced for Beauty and the Beast, National Treasure, and More

By Zach Johnson

Storytelling is what Disney does best—and today, Disney Branded Television announced it will be adding new titles to its growing slate of premium original programming across Disney+ and Disney Channels. Ayo Davis, President, Disney Branded Television, shared magical details, along with key casting updates, at today’s Television Critics Association’s Winter Press Tour. “With each one of these projects, we see an opportunity to build upon the strong foundation of storytelling that is a hallmark of the Disney brand,” she said. “I am so proud to be working with some of the most creative and diverse talent in the industry, both in front of and behind the camera, to bring these fresh, inventive, and impactful stories—new and reimagined—to life for our audiences to enjoy, regardless of platform.”

Davis announced that Rita Ora has joined the cast of the Beauty and the Beast (working title) prequel limited series, while Daveed Diggs will narrate The Crossover series. In addition, Catherine Zeta-Jones has joined the cast of the National Treasure series, while Michelle Yeoh will star alongside a global cast in American Born Chinese. New greenlights announced today include the original movies Prom Pact (working title), The Naughty Nine, and Under Wraps 2; the unscripted series Growing Up and Rennervations; and the scripted series Goosebumps. Secrets of Sulphur Springs was also renewed for a third season, and The Proud Family: Louder and Prouderwill now debut with two episodes on Wednesday, February 23, only on Disney+. Developing projects include two series, Paola Santiago and the River of Tears and Tiny Trailblazers, and a movie, Superfudge.

Additionally, Disney Junior’s groundbreaking animated series Doc McStuffins will turn 10 this year. To celebrate the anniversary, Davis announced a new animated music special inspired by the series will debut later in 2022. Disney Junior will also air episodes daily throughout March, including a marathon on March 23 to mark the anniversary of its debut.

Read on for more detailed descriptions of each project…

Prom Pact (Working Title) (Disney+ Original Movie)
It’s the height of prom season and high school senior Mandy Coleman (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) and her best friend and fellow outsider Ben (Milo Manheim) are surrounded by over-the-top ’80s-themed Promposals. However, Mandy keeps her eyes focused on a different goal: her lifelong dream of attending Harvard. When she finds out her acceptance has been deferred, she is determined to do whatever she can do to get herself off the waitlist, even if that means asking for help from the one person she abhors—popular all-star jock Graham Lansing, whose father is a powerful senator and Harvard alum. Once Mandy becomes Graham’s tutor, she begins to realize there’s more to him than she thought and perhaps something more to life than Harvard.

The Naughty Nine (Disney Channel and Disney+)
The Naughty Nine is a holiday heist movie—think Ocean’s 11 at the North Pole—that follows fifth grader Andy, who has been a bit of a troublemaker this year. When Christmas morning rolls around and Andy gets stiffed by Santa, he realizes he’s on the “naughty list.” Feeling unfairly maligned, Andy pulls together a crack team of fellow “naughty listers” to execute an elaborate heist to get the presents he and the others feel they deserve. The determined ensemble includes Dulce, Andy’s best friend and archery expert; Lewis, a North Pole conspiracy theorist; Ha-Yoon, a daredevil “wheel woman”; Rose, an animal whisperer; Jon Anthony, a master-of-disguise; Albert, an adorable charmer; and Laurel, Andy’s older sister, a talented gymnast seeking to regain her confidence. Andy also enlists the help of Bruno, a disgruntled cargo pilot who claims to have witnessed Santa’s sleigh. However, in the process of finding their gifts, the gang begins to realize that Christmas is more about giving than taking. The Naughty Nine stars Winslow Fegley, Camila Rodriguez, Anthony Joo, Clara Stack, Imogen Cohen, Madilyn Kellam, and Deric McCabe.

Under Wraps 2 (Disney Channel and Disney+)
The sequel to Under Wraps, the remake of the very first Disney Channel Original Movie, Under Wraps 2 picks up as Amy (Sophia Hammons) is preparing for her father’s spooktacular Halloween-themed wedding to his fiancé, Carl. However, plans quickly go awry when Amy, Gilbert (Christian J. Simon), and Marshall (Malachi Barton) discover that their mummy friend Harold (Phil Wright) and his beloved Rose may be in danger. Sobek, an evil mummy with a 1,000-year-old grudge against his best friend-turned-bitter rival Harold, is unexpectedly awakened and out for revenge. With help from his hypnotized lackey Larry, Sobek kidnaps Rose, and Amy, Gilbert, Marshall, Buzzy and Harold must use their skills once again to save her and get back in time for the wedding. Melanie Brook, T.J. Storm, Rryla McIntosh, Jordan Conley, and Adam Wylie round out the Under Wraps 2 cast.

Growing Up (Disney+ Original Series)
Executive produced by Brie Larson, Growing Up is a groundbreaking hybrid docu-series that explores the challenges, triumphs, and complexities of adolescence through 10 compelling coming-of-age stories. It uses narrative, experimental, and documentary filmmaking to follow one casted individual, ages 18-22, as they tell their story. They represent a wide range of lived experiences, with powerful narratives that offer an engaging look at teenage-hood and the diverse social, familial, and internal obstacles they face on their path to self-discovery and acceptance. Each 30-minute episode features one young person, or “hero,” and their experience growing up and is anchored by a deeply personal interview that allows them to walk us through their childhood and teenage years. Alongside these interviews, creative cinematic reenactments help bring their major inflection points to life.

Rennervations (Disney+ Original Series)
Rennervations is an original four-part series that embraces Jeremy Renner’s lifelong passion for giving back to communities around the world by reimagining unique purpose-built vehicles to meet a community’s needs. Behind the big screen, Renner is a construction aficionado. He is heavily invested in the highly creative fabricator culture that exists across the globe and hopes to change lives with these skills and inspire others to do the same.

Goosebumps (Disney+ Original Series)
Based on R.L. Stine’s best-selling book series, Goosebumps combines teen comedy with horror, action-adventure, mystery, and psychological thrill. The series follows a group of five high schoolers who unleash supernatural forces upon their town and must all work together—thanks to and in spite of their friendships, rivalries, and pasts with each other—in order to save it, learning much about their own parents’ teenage secrets in the process. The television series is influenced by five of the most popular Goosebumps books.

Secrets of Sulphur Springs Season 3 (Disney Channel and Disney+)
In season three of the popular live-action, time-travel mystery series, a new ghost will torment The Tremont. In addition, Griffin (Preston Oliver) will travel to the future and then back to the present, where he and Harper (Kyliegh Curran) will have to figure out a way to change the timelines of their lives in order to save both their friendship and their families.

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder (Disney+ Original Series)
A continuation of the acclaimed series, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder follows the adventures and misadventures of newly 14-year-old Penny Proud and the Proud family as they navigate modern life with hilarity and heart. The 2020s bring new career highs for matriarch Trudy, wilder dreams for patriarch Oscar and new challenges for Penny, including a socially woke neighbor who thinks she has a lot to teach her, bullying social media influencers who want to cancel her, and her own teenage hormones. The highly anticipated animated series will premiere with two episodes on Wednesday, February 23.

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears (Disney+ Original Series)
Executive produced by Eva Longoria, this fantasy/adventure television series is based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by author Tehlor Kay Mejia and published by Disney-Hyperion under the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. Inspired by the legend of La Llorona (the Weeping Woman), the story introduces a teen girl, Paola Santiago, who has always relied on hard science and logic to make sense of the world—unlike her mother, who believes in magic. But folklore becomes fact when Paola’s best friend goes missing, and to save her, Paola has to enter a world of mind-bending monsters and relentless spirits steeped in Latin folklore that defy both logic and legend.

Tiny Trailblazers (Disney Junior Original Series)
Geared towards kids aged 2-7, the entertaining stories in Tiny Trailblazers model positive attitudes about the great outdoors and highlight the importance of environmental conservation and wildlife protection. Partners from National Geographic are consulting on the project. Reese Witherspoon serves as executive producer and voices one of the mom characters, Fern, a wildlife specialist. Tiny Trailblazers follows adventurous city kid Tilly and the more risk-averse Birdie, who become friends after Tilly’s family moves to a campground while her scientist mom is doing field research on forest streams. As the girls observe their mothers’ careers and interests and begin to explore and discover the magic of nature all around them, they develop a supportive friendship and a deep understanding of and appreciation for the natural world. The series also highlights age-appropriate social and emotional lessons about thoughtfulness, self-esteem, good instincts, and trying new things.

Superfudge (Disney+ Original Movie)
Based on the best-selling book by Judy Blume and from Joe and Anthony Russo of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Superfudge centers on the Hatcher family. Twelve-year-old Peter Hatcher almost has it all—two boomer parents, a perfect though slightly odorous turtle, his very own bedroom in a cramped Manhattan apartment, a ride-or-die best friend, and eight whole weeks of summer vacation ahead of him—with just one massive problem. Farley Drexel Hatcher, his 3-year-old brother, aka Fudge, isn’t just a problem—he is a tornado, a tsunami, a superstorm, an arctic bomb of chaos and destruction. When Fudge runs away under Peter’s watch, an epic family adventure across the city ensues, one that ultimately brings these two together just as their world is turned upside down by the arrival of a brand-new problem: an infant baby sister. It’s a reminder that nothing is ever constant… except change.

American Born Chinese (Disney+ Original Series)
The previously announced genre-hopping action-comedy series, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Gene Luen Yang, tells the story of Jin Wang, an average teenager juggling his high school social life with his home life. When he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, even more worlds collide as Jin is unwittingly entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods. The action-packed coming-of-age adventure explores identity, culture, and family. The newly announced international cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Ben Wang, Yeo Yann Yann, Chin Han, Daniel Wu, Ke Huy Quan, Jim Liu, and Sydney Taylor.

Beauty and the Beast (Working Title) (Disney+ Original Series)
Set in the iconic kingdom of Beauty and the Beast years before Beast and Belle’s epic romance, the previously announced prequel series will follow Gaston (Luke Evans) and LeFou (Josh Gad) as they set off with LeFou’s stepsister, Tilly (Briana Middleton), after a surprising revelation from her past comes to light, sending the unlikely trio off on an unexpected journey filled with romance, comedy, and adventure. While the mysteries of the past are uncovered and the dangers of the present grow, old friends and new enemies reveal that this familiar kingdom harbors many secrets. Rita Ora joins the previously announced cast, which includes Fra Fee and Jelani Alladin, as a fugitive with surprising abilities who carries a secret that could potentially affect an entire kingdom.

Big Shot Season 2 (Disney+ Original Series)
Marvyn Korn (John Stamos) returns to Westbrook with a new fire, ready to show that his girls basketball team belongs in D-2 and that he’s still the championship-winning, powerhouse coach he was in the NCAA. Marvyn’s latest plan toward relevance is to get his team broadcast on ESPN, and his method is to recruit an unlikely player: Ava (Sara Echeagaray), a gutsy beach volleyball phenom whose public tantrum got her ousted from her own sport. Between losing their assistant coach, Holly Barrett (Jessalyn Gilsig), to a rival school; new friction amongst teammates; a sudden and unexpected proximity to boys; and off-the-court disasters that no one could’ve predicted, this season, the Westbrook Sirens have even more to prove. Rounding out the cast of Big Shot are Sophia Mitri Schloss, Nell Verlaque, Tiana Le, Tisha Custodio, Cricket Wampler, and Yvette Nicole Brown.

The Crossover (Disney+ Original Series)
Based on the critically acclaimed best-selling novel-in-verse by Kwame Alexander, The Crossover introduces teen brothers Josh and Jordan Bell, widely considered basketball phenoms. Through his lyrical poetry, an adult version of Josh, aka Filthy McNasty, narrates the story of he and his brother’s coming of age, on and off the court, as their former professional basketball player father adjusts to life after basketball, and their mother finally pursues lifelong dreams of her own. Daveed Diggs narrates the series, which stars Jalyn Hall, Amir O’Neil, Derek Luke, Sabrina Revelle, Skyla I’Lece, Deja Monique Cruz, and Trevor Raine Bush.

Doogie Kamealoha, M.D. Season 2 (Disney+ Original Series)
Set in modern-day Hawai’i, this coming-of-age medical dramedy follows Lahela “Doogie” Kamealoha (Peyton Elizabeth Lee), a 16-year-old prodigy juggling a budding medical career and life as a teenager. Series regulars include Jason Scott Lee, Kathleen Rose Perkins, Matthew Sato, Wes Tian, Emma Meisel, Mapuana Makia, and Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman.

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3 (Disney+ Original Series)
As previously announced, season three of the hit series is set at Camp Shallow Lake, a family-owned sleepaway camp in California. There, the Wildcats and their fellow campers stage a high-stakes production of Frozen and determine who is “best in snow.” In addition to music from Frozen, season three features music from Camp Rockand the High School Musical franchise. The cast includes Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Adrian Lyles, Saylor Bell, Corbin Bleu, Meg Donnelly, Jason Earles, Kate Reinders, Olivia Rose Keegan, and Olivia Rodrigo.

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Season 2 (Disney+ Original Series)
After winning back the Mighty Ducks team name last year, our squad-with-heart and their coach Alex Morrow (Lauren Graham) take to the road to attend an intense summer hockey institute in California run by charming yet hardcore former NHL player Colin Cole (Josh Duhamel). It’s a place for kids to get excellent at hockey—without school to get in the way. As our Ducks try to survive in this super-competitive environment, they’re faced with the question: Can you win summer?

The Mysterious Benedict Society Season 2 (Disney+ Original Series)
Based on the best-selling YA book series by Trenton Lee Stewart, season two picks up as the team of four intrepid orphans reunite a year after their first mission, when they were assembled by Mr. Benedict (Tony Hale) and his cohorts to foil the nefarious “Emergency” created by Benedict’s twin brother Dr. L.D. Curtain (Hale). Now they must embark on a perilous journey, relying on wits, intellect, and empathy to try and stop Curtain as he shifts to a new strategy with global implications. The series stars Kristen Schaal, MaameYaa Boafo, Ryan Hurst, Gia Sandhu, Seth B. Carr, Emmy DeOliveira, Mystic Inscho, and Marta Kessler.

National Treasure (Disney+ Original Series)
An expansion of the popular National Treasure movie franchise, this Disney+ original series centers on the young heroine Jess, a brilliant and resourceful DREAMer with a natural talent for solving puzzles and a proclivity for unraveling good mysteries. In search of answers about her own family, Jess embarks on the adventure of a lifetime and recruits a few treasure-hunting friends—Tasha, Ethan, Oren, and Liam—and an FBI agent to help uncover the truth about her parents and their connection to a long-lost Pan-American treasure. Catherine Zeta-Jones joins the previously announced cast that includes Lisette Alexis, Zuri Reed, Jordan Rodrigues, Antonio Cipriano, Jake Austin Walker, and Lyndon Smith.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Disney+ Original Series)
The previously announced Percy Jackson and the Olympians is an epic adventure series based on—and closely aligned with—Disney Hyperion’s best-selling book series by award-winning author Rick Riordan. The live-action series tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson, who’s just coming to terms with his newfound supernatural powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. Now, Percy must trek across America to find it and restore order to Olympus.

The Spiderwick Chronicles (Disney+ Original Series)
The previously announced series The Spiderwick Chronicles, based on the best-selling books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, is a modern coming-of-age story combined with a fantasy-adventure. It follows the Grace Family—twin brothers Jared and Simon, their sister Mallory, and their mother Helen—who move into their dilapidated ancestral home and begin to unravel a dark mystery about their great-great uncle, who once discovered the secret (and maybe foreboding) faerie world existing parallel to their own.