It goes without saying that Disney is one of the biggest studios on the block. As such, their film slate is full of highly anticipated blockbuster sequels, live-action adaptations, and originals. And below, we have a small list of what we are excited to see from Disney in 2023.
10 – “Peter Pan and Wendy” (2023)
David Lowery is back at Disney with a live-action adaptation of Peter Pan. Based on the 1953 animated film of the same name, the film stars Alexander Molony as Peter and Ever Anderson as Wendy, with Yara Shadidi playing Tinkerbell and Jude Law playing the villainous Captain Hook.
We got a first look at the film during the D23 Expo back in 2022 and learned that there will be a lot more nuance to the character dynamics in the live-action adaptation than in its animated counterpart. For example, fans were told that the film would mine the Peter and Captain Hook rivalry and learn more about Wendy.
9 – “Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantummania” (February 17, 2023)
The final installment in the “Ant-Man and The Wasp” trilogy won’t be the epilogue of an Avengers film. Instead, it will shape the future of the MCU in an epic way. As the film takes place in the titular Quantumrealm, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), Quantummania is the first of the phase five films to lead into “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty.” This is important, as Kang the Conquerer (Jonathan Majors) has already appeared in Loki, which shows the kind of power he wields in the Multiverse Saga.
Of course, they won’t be alone, as Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Jane Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) also return. And Scott’s daughter, Cassie (Kathryn Newton), appears to have a more significant role as she builds a gateway to the Quantum Realm. The only problem is she accidentally brings her whole family into it. So it should be interesting to see what happens to the family dynamics.
8 – “Haunted Mansion” (August 11, 2023)
Following the footsteps of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Jungle Cruise,” Disney’s adaptation of their unforgettable theme park rides continues with “Haunted Mansion.” Though this wouldn’t be the first attempt to bring the ride to life in theaters, the Justin Simien-directed film promises to be in the same spirit as the ride, mixing supernatural elements with some of that Disney magic. We got to see a little bit of this at the D23 Expo. And we were impressed not only with the teases of horror and comedy but the production design that evokes what Disneyland fans love about the ride.
In the film, a single mom named Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) and her 9-year-old son (Chase Dillion), who are looking to start a new life, move into a strangely affordable mansion in New Orleans, only to discover that the place is much more than they bargained for. Desperate for help, they contact a priest (Owen Wilson), who, in turn, enlists the aid of a widowed scientist-turned-failed-paranormal expert (LaKeith Stanfield), a French Quarter psychic (Tiffany Haddish), and a crotchety historian (Danny DeVito) to help exorcise the mansion. The film also stars Winona Ryder, Dan Levy, Jared Leto, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
7 – “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny” (June 30, 2023)
Age is nothing but a number for Harrison Ford, who has reprised his role as iconic characters like Han Solo these past few years. And he will defy those limits again in 2023 for “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” He returns to the role of the legendary hero archaeologist for this fifth installment of the iconic franchise. Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”), Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”), John Rhys-Davies (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”), Shaunette Renee Wilson (“Black Panther”), Thomas Kretschmann (“Das Boot”), Toby Jones (“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”), Boyd Holbrook (“Logan”), Oliver Richters (“Black Widow”), Ethann Isidore (“Mortel”) and Mads Mikkelsen (“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore”).
James Mangold steps in as director and co-wrote the script with Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth. This would be the first time an “Indiana Jones” film has not been written or directed by Steven Spielberg or George Lucas.
6 – “Elemental” (June 16, 2023)
Pixar’s magic gets a little elemental as it tells a story about the nature of a dichotomic friendship between Ember (Leah Lewis), a tough, quick-witted, and fiery young woman, and a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade. He challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. Though they cannot touch each other, they discover they have much more in common than initially thought.
“Elemental” comes to us from Peter Sohn, who has directed “The Good Dinosaur,” and voiced various Pixar characters like Remy’s brother, Emile, in “Ratatouille,” and the supportive robotic cat, Sox, in “Lightyear.”
5 – The Marvels (July 28, 2023)
Marvel Studios’ “The Marvels” isn’t an ordinary superhero film. Instead, it’s the sequel to “Captain Marvel,” a continuation of the Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel,” and an exploration of Monica Rambeau’s story, which started in “WandaVision.” Though little is known about the plot, a small preview at the D23Expo reveals that every time Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), and Monica (Teyonah Parris) use their powers, they swap places. As a result, they must team up to figure out why this is happening while defeating a new villain.
The D23Expo preview also showed Samuel L. Jackson returning as Nick Fury. The 33rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is directed by Nia DaCosta from a screenplay by Megan McDonnell, DaCosta, Elissa Karasik, and Zeb Wells.
4 – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5, 2023)
All good things must come to an end, and that is true for James Gunn’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” The director has said this would be the last time that we see this particular roster of Guardians in the MCU, which tells us that the trilogy capper will be exceptionally emotional, especially since we’ve seen them start off as a band of misfits coming together as a family and experience loss.
In Marvel Studios “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” our beloved band of misfits are looking a bit different these days. Peter Quill, still reeling from the loss of Gamora, must rally his team around him to defend the universe along with protecting one of their own. A mission that, if not completed successfully, could quite possibly lead to the end of the Guardians as we know them.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, and Pom Klementieff, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Sean Gunn, Chukwudi Iwuji, Will Poulter, Maria Bakalova.
3 – The Little Mermaid (May 26, 2023)
Disney’s live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid” is the beloved story of Ariel (Halle Bailey), a beautiful and spirited young mermaid with a thirst for adventure. The youngest of King Triton’s (Javier Bardem) daughters and the most defiant, Ariel longs to find out more about the world beyond the sea and, while visiting the surface, falls for the dashing Prince Eric (Jonah Hauer-King). While mermaids are forbidden to interact with humans, Ariel must follow her heart. She makes a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula (Melissa McCarthy), which gives her a chance to experience life on land but ultimately places her life – and her father’s crown – in jeopardy. The film also features the voices of Jacob Tremblay as Flounder and Awkwafina as Scuttle.
“The Little Mermaid” is directed by Rob Marshall, who is no stranger to Walt Disney Studios blockbusters, having helmed “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “Into The Woods,” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” Alan Menken, who composed the score and songs for the original, returns. He is joined by producer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-wrote new songs for the remake as the lyricist.
2 – True Love (October 6, 2023)
Little is known about Gareth Edwards’ forthcoming film. The sci-fi flick stars John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Ralph Ineson, Allison Janney, and Ken Watanabe. Production began in Thailand and the UK in 2022, which gives us a tease that the film has a globe-trotting aspect.
1 – “Wish” (November 22, 2023)
Disney will celebrate 100 years with its 62nd animated feature, appropriately titled “Wish.” Directed by Chris Buck (producer on “Frozen” and “Frozen II”) and Fawn Veerasunthorn (story artist on “Frozen,” “Moana,” and “Zootopia,” and Head of Story on “Raya and the Last Dragon”). The all-new original feature film “Wish” asks the question: “How did the wishing star, upon which so many Disney characters wished, come to be?”
Set in the magical kingdom of Rosas, the story introduces Asha (voice of Ariana DeBose), an optimist with a sharp wit who deeply cares about her community. When Asha turns to the sky in a moment of need and makes a wish, her plea is answered by a cosmic force—a little ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, they face the most formidable of foes to save her community and prove that when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars, wondrous things can happen.
“Wish” also features the voice of Disney’s good luck charm Alan Tudyk as Valentino, a pajama-wearing goat.