A trio of anticipated live-action Disney films took center stage at D23, with looks at the new Lion King prequel, Snow White and The Little Mermaid.
Filmmaker Barry Jenkins showed off a look (and revealed the title) of his upcoming Lion King take, with Mufasa: Lion King bowing in 2024. Jenkins also revealed it follow the rise of Mufasa and feature young versions of characters Timon, Pumbaa and Rafiki. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will return as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively.
“Mufasa was actually an orphaned cub who had to navigate the world alone by himself, and in telling this story, we get to experience the real journey of how Mufasa found his place in the circle of life,” said Jenkins of the character, who goes on to become Simba’s father.
The film follows Jon Favreau’s celebrated 2019 remake, which earned $ 1.66 billion globally.
Following the look at Mufasa, Snow White took the stage, with Rachel Zegler (Snow White) and Gal Gadot (The Evil Queen) appearing together.
Zegler got emotional, taking the stage after the brief footage, which showed her and Gadot in character.
“Snow White is the girl you remember, but she definitely is made for the modern age. There’s such an emphasis on what it means to be the fairest of them all, ”said Zegler. “For Snow White it’s about finding her voice by lei and finding her agency by lei so she can be a fair and just ruler.”
Gadot, meanwhile, relished going from Wonder Woman to being the villain. Said the actor: “The fact that I could go cuckoo and crazy and dance, it was delightful.”
Zegler stars in Snow Whitewhich is directed by The Amazing Spider-Man filmmaker Marc Webb with Tony winner Andrew Burnap also on the call sheet. The original film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarvesdebuted in 1937 and in recent years there have been other live-action takes on the Brothers Grimm tale, including Lilly Colins’ Mirror, Mirror and Kristen Stewart’s Snow White and the Huntsmanboth released in 2012. The new Snow White will feature new songs from The Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The audience next got a glimpse at The Little Mermaidwith a full look at “Part of Your World” for the crowd, and a trailer that was released online afterwards.
“That sequence was the most beautiful experience of my life, really,” Bailey said of filming “Part of Your World.”
Director Rob Marshall said the new version will feature four new songs, and that he has a special fondness for the 1989 original. “When it opened in 1989… musicals were gone,” said Marshall. “Even though it was animated, we could hear people singing at movies again.”
The Little Mermaid stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, with a cast also includes Javier Bardem, Awkwafina, Jacob Tremblay and Melissa McCarthy. The film is slated for a May 26, 2023 release date.
Bailey, best known as half of the R&B duo Chloe x Halle, joined the project in July 2019 as the latest live-action remake star. West Side Story breakout Rachel Zegler has Snow White upcoming from Disney as well.
Disney released the original The Little Mermaid in 1989, with the film earning original song and score Oscars for Alan Menken. Menken returns to update his score di lui, and pen a new song feeaturing lyrics from Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Disney shared logos for its films Friday.