news briefs 8/15

Live-Action Mulan Now in Production—Plus More in News Briefs

By Courtney Potter

Liu Yifei will portray Hua Mulan in the new version of Disney’s 1998 animated hit, and two fan-fave actors join the cast of Disney Channel’s live-action Kim Possible movie… Read more, along with other news from around Disney, in this week’s news briefs!

Live-Action Mulan Now in Production; Set to Bring Honor to Us All

We here at D23 are gazing into the future… and what’s the “Reflection” we see? Why, it’s actress Liu Yifei (Once Upon a Time) in the first official photo from Disney’s all-new, live-action Mulan—which just started production, on locations in New Zealand and China. Liu was cast as heroine Hua Mulan after a year-long global casting search, and she joins Donnie Yen (Star Wars: Rogue One), Jason Scott Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Yoson An (The Meg), Utkarsh Ambudkar (Pitch Perfect), Rosalind Chao (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), and Jet Li (Lethal Weapon 4) in this epic adventure based on Disney’s 1998 animated hit.

With a story steeped in the folktales of China (still taught in Chinese schools today), the film will follow the fearless young Hua Mulan as she masquerades as a man in order to fight Northern Invaders attacking China. The eldest daughter of an honored warrior, she is spirited, determined, and oh so quick on her feet… So when the Emperor issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army, she steps in—to take the place of her ailing father—as Hua Jun, becoming one of China’s greatest warriors of all time.

Look for Mulan in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020.

Save the Date!
Be sure to mark these upcoming Disney events on your calendar:

D23 and Walt Disney Archives
September 8, 2018
The Official Walt Disney Studios Tour—Presented by D23
September 8, 2018
D23’s Magical Screening Series: Mary Poppins at Walt Disney World
September 15, 2018
D23’s Magical Screening Series: Mary Poppins on the Lot
November 16-18, 2018
Destination D: Celebrating Mickey Mouse
August 23-25, 2019
D23 Expo 2019
August 17, 24, 28, 31
September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30
October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park
September 19, 21, 24, 26, 28
October 2, 5, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26, 29, 31

Mickey’s Halloween Party at the Disneyland Resort
August 30-November 12, 2018
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
September 7-October 31, 2018
Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort
Summer 2019
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opening at Disneyland Resort
Fall 2019
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opening at and Walt Disney World Resort

November 2, 2018
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms opens in U.S. theaters
November 21, 2018
Ralph Breaks the Internet opens in U.S. theaters
December 25, 2018
Mary Poppins Returns opens in U.S. theaters
March 8, 2019
Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel opens in U.S. theaters
March 29, 2019
Dumbo opens in U.S. theaters
April 19, 2019
Penguins opens in U.S. theaters
June 21, 2019
Toy Story 4 opens in U.S. theaters
August 10, 2018
Disney Channel Original Movie Freaky Friday premieres on Disney Channel (8–9:45 p.m. EDT/PDT)
September 21, 2018
Elena of Avalor: Song of the Sirenas premieres on Disney Junior (7–8 p.m. EDT/PDT)
November 4, 2018
Mickey’s 90th Spectacular airs on ABC (8–10 p.m. EST)

This Disney Channel Original Movie Just Got Cooler… If That’s Possible

Speaking of “animation getting the live-action treatment”… Some big news was recently broken during D23’s fabulous Saturday Morning on the Lot event at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California: Two amazing actors have joined the cast of the live-action Disney Channel Original Movie, Kim Possible—and we’re pretty sure you’ll recognize ‘em from their stints on the original Kim Possible series. Click here to get the scoop!

Gal Gadot Takes to the Virtual Streets in Ralph Breaks the Internet

We were already agog at the sheer number of fantastic voices in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming Ralph Breaks the Internet (see: almost every living Disney Princess ever!)… but just last week, we were clued into another amazing addition to the film’s voice cast.

Gal Gadot (Justice League, Wonder Woman) recently revealed that she’s lending her voice to a new character named Shank, a talented driver in a gritty online game called Slaughter Race. Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (voice of Sarah Silverman) encounter Shank—and her unique cohorts—when they venture to the Internet in search of a replacement part for Vanellope’s game, Sugar Rush. Shank, a tough-as-nails street racer, takes her role (and her tricked-out car) very seriously… and doesn’t like to lose. So when Vanellope finds herself in a street race with Shank, her Sugar Rush driving skills are put to the test—and Shank is impressed.

See and hear Shank in action—and catch a glimpse of those Disney Princesses in their “hang around the house” clothes (so adorable)—in the brand-new sneak peek trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet, above. Look for it at a cineplex near you on November 21!

news briefs 8/15

Get on the “Grid” with Updates on Upcoming Tron Attraction

If you’ve visited the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in the last few weeks, you may have noticed a new billboard located near the Storybook Circus area. (Check it out above; it’s pretty “Grid”-tastic!)

Our pals over at the Disney Parks Blog revealed last summer that a new coaster-style attraction themed to the Tron films will be taking up residence at Magic Kingdom park. It’s set to occupy an entirely new area next to Tomorrowland’s Space Mountain—and as such, there are some modifications that had to be made as construction kicks off.

The Walt Disney World Railroad will temporarily take up residence at the Main Street Station starting in December 2018, halting its grand-circle tours of Magic Kingdom Park—but don’t worry, it’s only for a limited time. But during that station sojourn, guests will be able to get an up-close look at the railroad and take advantage of one-of-a-kind photo opportunities. Plus, the Tomorrowland Speedway will close for a portion of 2019 as the attraction’s track is adjusted; it’ll reopen as the same attraction guests know and love in Summer ‘19.

The new Tron attraction is set to debut just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary in 2021, and it’s based on the Tron Lightcycle Power Run at Shanghai Disneyland—which is one of the most technologically advanced (not to mention exciting!) attractions ever created for a Disney park. Keep your eyes peeled for more info as the opening date draws closer…

Mal vs. Uma in All-New Descendants Short

There are so many “ways to be wicked,” and a new one is coming to Disney Channel this September! Read about the latest showdown between Descendants “villain kids” Mal (Dove Cameron) and Uma (China Anne McClain)—and see the live-action short-form special’s new teaser—right here at

news briefs 8/15

Marvel Studios Announces 10th Anniversary Film Fest

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has offered moviegoers an astonishing decade of adventure—and to celebrate, beginning this August 30, Marvel Studios will be presenting a festival chock full o’ Super Hero hijinks at IMAX screens across the country! Read up on the films included; locations of the screenings; where to purchase tickets; and how you can have a say in which final two films will be shown here at