By Courtney Potter
Star Wars Celebration to Welcome Kathleen Kennedy and Rian Johnson
Huge news from a galaxy far, far away! Some very special guests will be appearing onstage at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, coming up this April… namely, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson! We’ve been told there’ll be a ton of big surprises—and other special guests on that can’t-miss Last Jedi panel on Friday, April 14—to keep the excitement (not to mention speculation!) bubbling throughout the weekend.
Kathleen and Rian join the already-announced Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine), and Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett)—who’ll all be signing in the Star Wars Celebration Autograph Hall.
Heading down to Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center for all the Star Wars fun? Visit StarWarsCelebration.com for tickets—and check back as we get closer to the event for guest updates, queuing info, and wristband details.
Save the Date!
Be sure to mark these upcoming Disney events on your calendar:
|D23 and Walt Disney Archives
February 19, 2017
D23 Member Night at Freaky Friday at La Jolla Playhouse
March 8, 2017
Exclusive D23 Beauty and the Beast Advanced Screening and Luncheon
April 10, 2017
D23 Members Invited to “Eat Like Walt” at the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
July 14-16, 2017
D23 Expo 2017
February 16, 18 and 22, 2017
Newsies in select movie theaters
March 17, 2017
Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters
April 21, 2017
Born in China opens in theaters
May 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters
May 26, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
opens in theaters
June 16, 2017
Cars 3 opens in theaters
November 3, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters
November 22, 2017
Coco opens in theaters
December 15, 2017
Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in theaters
January 13–February 20, 2017
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
March 10–April 16, 2017
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival
Pandora—The World of Avatar opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
August 31-November 13, 2017
Epcot Food & Wine Festival
Star Wars-Themed Lands Opening at Disneyland and Walt Disney World
February 26, 2017
The Oscars® are broadcast on ABC
March 10, 2017
Tangled Before Ever After premieres on Disney Channel at 8 p.m. ET
March 24, 2017
Tangled: The Series premieres on Disney Channel at 7:30 p.m. ET
Tangled: The Series Renewed for Season 2
Fabulous news for our favorite flaxen-haired heroine: Disney Channel’s Tangled: The Series—which doesn’t premiere ‘til March 24 (at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT)—has just been renewed for a second season! (Yep, already. Cool, right?!) A production of Disney Television Animation, Tangled: The Series is based on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit feature film Tangled, and its premiere will be preceded by the tune-filled Tangled Before Ever After, a Disney Channel Original Movie premiering Friday, March 10, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
For the uninitiated, Tangled: The Series reunites Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi, who reprise their roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (formerly known as Flynn Rider), as well as the music team of Disney Legend and Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The story takes place between the events of the 2010 feature film and the start of the 2012 short film Tangled Ever After.
As if the series’ early renewal wasn’t exciting enough, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media will premiere a line of role-play products, dolls, and playsets inspired by the show at New York Toy Fair this Saturday, February 18; look for those, and all sorts of other Tangled: The Series goodies (including print and e-book titles), in stores soon.
The Muppets Take On the Hollywood Bowl—This Fall!
If you’ve been reading our D23 News Briefs for a while, you know that we are huge, mega, die-hard fans of all things Muppet. And folks, we have a doozy of an announcement today, courtesy of one Miss Piggy—fashionista extraordinaire and purveyor of all things “moi”… The Muppets will be performing, for three big nights, this September at the legendary Hollywood Bowl!
Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Piggy, Pepe the King Prawn, Rizzo the Rat, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and Uncle Deadly, all live and in person? A set from the phantasmagorical Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem? Plus a massive fireworks finale each night? Sign us up post haste!
Check out the brand-new clip, featuring Piggy and Deadly breaking the big news, above. And mark those calendars! Season subscriber tickets for 2017 at the Bowl are now on sale, with single-show tickets to come soon… look for more information in the months ahead.
Mary Poppins Returns—Now in Production Across the Pond!
Late last week, we received some terrifically exciting news from merry ol’ England: Production has officially begun on Mary Poppins Returns, the all-new sequel to Disney’s 1964 classic! The film, directed and produced by Rob Marshall (Chicago) with songs by Hairspray’s Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, stars Emily Blunt (Into the Woods) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Broadway’s Hamilton, Moana)—and it’s scheduled for release on December 25, 2018.
With a screenplay by David Magee (Life of Pi) based on the Mary Poppins stories by P.L. Travers—and set in 1930s Depression-era London (the time period of Travers’ original novels)—Mary Poppins Returns reintroduces us to the now-adult Jane (Emily Mortimer, Hugo) and Michael Banks (Ben Winshaw, Spectre). Michael, his three young children (Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson), and their housekeeper, Ellen (Julie Walters, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), are living on Cherry Tree Lane. After Michael suffers a personal loss, the enigmatic Mary Poppins (Blunt) reenters the lives of the Banks family, and—along with a cheerful streetlamp lighter named Jack (Miranda)—uses her truly unique skills to help the family find wonder and joy once again.
Plus, look for appearances by Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) as bank manager William Weatherall Wilkins; Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) as eccentric cousin Topsy; and everyone’s favorite chimney sweep, Dick Van Dyke, as Mr. Dawes Jr.—the chairman of Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.
Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available… it may just fly in on the “winds from the east”!
Moana Performance Set for the Academy Awards
As you know, Disney is nominated for several Oscars® at the upcoming Academy Awards®—hosted by the imitable Jimmy Kimmel and airing later this month on ABC. And speaking of Lin-Manuel Miranda, we have some more great news: he and Auli’i Cravalho will be performing “How Far I’ll Go” from their animated hit Moana, nominated for Best Original Song, during the telecast!
Lin and Auli’i will join a star-studded performance roster that includes Justin Timberlake, Sting, and John Legend.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards will air live on Oscar Sunday, February 26, from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland in the heart of Tinseltown. The fun begins at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST… don’t miss it!
Disney Channel’s Elena of Avalor Renewed for Third Season
Hark, fans of Disney’s über-popular new princess, and take heed! Disney Channel has ordered a third season of its hit series Elena of Avalor, about an awesomely brave and adventurous teenager who rules her kingdom as crown princess. The beloved series also inspired a line of fabulous dolls from Disney Store and Hasbro that recently reached a very cool milestone: 1 million sold! And to that end, several new toys—including a Palace of Avalor playset from Hasbro, and dolls and role-play items from Jakks Pacific—will make their big debut at New York Toy Fair this coming weekend.
Created and executive produced by Emmy® Award winner Craig Gerber, Elena of Avalor features the voice talents of Aimee Carrero, Jenna Ortega, Chris Parnell, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Carlos Alazraqui—and tons of guest stars including Justina Machado, Constance Marie, and Lou Diamond Phillips.
Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War Begins Production
Looking for a totally tantalizing peek into what’s to come from the Marvel Universe? Take a gander at this new behind-the-scenes teaser for Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, the next Avengers film and the culmination of a decade of Marvel adventure!
For the first time, we’ve got concrete confirmation that our fave antiheroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, will be joining the Avengers in their quest to vanquish Thanos—the biggest and baddest Marvel villain on the scene! Hear from executive producer Kevin Feige and directors Anthony and Joe Russo—as well as cast members Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill/Star-Lord), and Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man). The war will wage on Summer 2018…
ABC’s Newest Bachelorette Announced on Jimmy Kimmel Live
The cat’s outta the proverbial bag: Rachel Lindsay, a fan-favorite contestant on this season of ABC’s juggernaut The Bachelor, will be the new Bachelorette! The surprise announcement was made this past Monday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live by Jimmy and The Bachelorette host Chris Harrison.
Just weeks ago, Rachel’s laid-back southern charm (and her smile!) landed her Bachelor Nick Viall’s first impression rose. From then on, the jury’s been “in”—and Bachelor Nation (i.e. devoted Bachelor fans) has been fully unanimous in its support of the 31-year-old attorney from Dallas, Texas.
Rachel’s quest for love begins in just a few months’ time, when the newest season of The Bachelorette debuts on Monday, May 22, at 9 p.m. EST, only on ABC.
Freeform to Debut Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings Special
Disney weddings come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: magic! And now, Freeform cordially invites you to a brand-new 90-minute special celebrating that Disney nuptial wizardry.
Airing this spring, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the enchanted weddings and one-of-a-kind engagements that take place at Disney Destinations across the world, including Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts and onboard Disney Cruise Lines. From fashion and products to world-class entertainment and décor, viewers will get a glimpse of the modern-day fairy tale that the Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings brand has been creating for a whopping 25 years.
Make sure to “RSVP” once a premiere date is announced!