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The Biggest Movie Announcements Made At D23 Expo 2022

Mickey just dropped the mic. The Walt Disney Company gave fans a taste of what to expect over the next few years from all divisions of its vast storytelling empire during D23 Expo 2022. The event, held Sept. 9 through 11 in Anaheim, California, comprises three jam-packed days of trailers, sneak peeks, surprise celebrity appearances, cosplay, history deep-dives, and so much more.

D23 is the official Disney fan club, inaugurated in 2009 and named after 1923, the year Walt Disney founded his company with his brother, Roy. Every two years, D23 hosts D23 Expo, essentially an all-Disney version of Comic-Con, showcasing the company's plans for the future and looking back to celebrate the past. Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Muppets ... it's all there, and then some.

Where movies are concerned, studio executives took to the D23 Expo stages alongside actors and directors all weekend long to showcase what's ahead from Disney on the silver screen and the small screen. The news flurries were overwhelming, to say the least, but if you're looking for all of the movie moments in one place, we've got your back. Here were the biggest movie announcements made at D23 Expo 2022.

A big promise about Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" comes to theaters Nov. 11, 2022. While the trailer was already revealed at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year, the audience of D23 Expo's Marvel panel got to see new footage, which for the time being remains exclusive to that room. Director Ryan Coogler appeared along with actors Letitia Wright (Princess Shuri), Winston Duke (Lord M'Baku), Tenoch Huerta (Namor the submariner), and Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda) to express their excitement for the film and their hope to honor the late Chadwick Boseman.

As he introduced the "Wakanda Forever" team, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige called the new movie "perhaps the biggest thing we've ever done." For the studio that cranked out megahits like "Avengers: Endgame" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" — not to mention the phenomenon that was the original "Black Panther" itself — that's quite an ambitious statement and one that should heighten everyone's anticipation for the debut of "Wakanda Forever."

First look at the highly anticipated Enchanted sequel

If you've been patiently waiting for something, anything, from the first-ever sequel to 2007's "Enchanted," your moment has finally arrived. "Disenchanted" is on the way, and at D23 Expo the cast debuted the film's sleek new poster and its first trailer.

Amy Adams returns as Giselle, and 15 years after leaving the fairytale world of Andalasia to move to New York City, she's ready for a change of pace. She gets more than she bargained for, though, when she makes a wish for the real world to become a bit more enchanted and things go sideways. Returning are Patrick Dempsey as Robert, James Marsden as Edward, and Idina Menzel as Nancy alongside new cast members Maya Rudolph and Yvette Nicole Brown. Legendary songwriters Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz also return to write new tunes for the film, debuting Thanksgiving Day 2022 on Disney+.

Updates on Disney's slate of fairy tale remakes

Disney recently debuted "Pinocchio" as the next in a long list of live-action remakes to their fabled library of animated fairytales, and D23 Expo proved the pipeline isn't stopping anytime soon. Most notable among the event's reveals in this category was the teaser trailer for the live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid," coming to theaters May 26, 2023. Halle Bailey stars as Ariel, with Rob Marshall in the director's chair. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's classic songs from the 1989 film return, along with new songs written by Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Also revealed at D23 Expo was a first poster for "Peter Pan & Wendy," a reimagining of the timeless story directed by David Lowery. It features Jude Law as Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi as Tinker Bell, and premieres in 2023 on Disney+. Further on the horizon is "Snow White," coming to theaters in 2024 starring Rachel Zegler as the titular princess opposite Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen. Marc Webb directs with new songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Though Disney shared footage of both "Peter Pan & Wendy" and "Snow White" at D23 Expo, the sneak peeks were exclusive to the in-person audience and have not been released online.

Thunderbolts roster confirmed

Ever since Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2022 that a "Thunderbolts" movie will debut in theaters in 2024, fans have wondered which familiar faces would comprise the MCU version of Marvel's infamous team of antiheroes. At D23 Expo, Feige finally unveiled the roster alongside official concept art by Andy Park: Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova (from "Black Widow" and "Hawkeye"), David Harbour as Red Guardian (from "Black Widow"), Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost (from "Ant-Man and the Wasp"), Wyatt Russell as U.S. Agent (from "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"), Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster (from "Black Widow"), Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (from "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"), and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes, reprising his now over-a-decade-long role as an MCU figurehead who first originated in "Captain America: The First Avenger."

While several of these characters have crossed paths before and some have established relationships with each other, "Thunderbolts" will mark the first time this motley crew assembles together. Noticeably missing is Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), who leads the team in the comics, but there's always the possibility his involvement could just be a secret for now.

Details and title revealed for Barry Jenkins' Lion King prequel

Jon Favreau's 2019 computer-animated remake of "The Lion King" smashed box-office records, so it should come as no surprise that Disney wants to continue the franchise. Though an animated sequel, 1998's "The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride," exists, the reimagined follow-up will instead tell a new story taking place before the events of the original. While Disney announced the project itself a while ago, director Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight," "If Beale Street Could Talk") shared new information at D23 Expo.

For starters, the prequel's title is "Mufasa: The Lion King." Headed to theaters in 2024, the story will track Mufasa's rise from orphan cub to king of the jungle. Aaron Pierre voices young Mufasa. Rafiki, Timon, and Pumbaa also seem to return in narrator-esque roles. Disney shared footage with D23 Expo attendees but has yet to publicly debut a trailer.

Harrison Ford sheds tears while teasing his final turn as Indiana Jones

It's certainly no secret that a fifth "Indiana Jones" film is on the way. After a number of delays, the finish line is at last approaching for the movie, which is already wrapped and currently in post-production as it races toward its June 30, 2023, release date.

Debuting at D23 Expo, for attendees only, was a first-look trailer for the film introduced by director James Mangold and stars Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Interestingly, a title for the film has still yet to be announced. Ford, emotional on stage at the convention, told the crowd, "Thank you for making these films such an incredible experience for all of us." He also revealed this will be his final time portraying the iconic Dr. Jones. "This is it. I will not fall down for you again."

After the panel, Indy broke the Internet as Ford reunited with Ke Huy Quan, who played the character Short Round when he was just a child in 1984's "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." Quan was in the building to promote his involvement with Season 2 of "Loki" and a new series, "American Born Chinese."

Disney celebrates 100 years with an origin story

The Walt Disney Company will commemorate its 100th anniversary in 2023 with the company-wide "100 Years of Wonder" celebration. The festivities include an updated logo that will mark the occasion at the beginning of new Disney movies.

Jennifer Lee, chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios, appeared at D23 Expo to announce a new animated film that will connect with the celebration in a special way. Many classic Disney films involve the hero making a wish, some — like Geppetto from "Pinocchio" or Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog" — even doing so by looking up to a star and speaking their wish aloud. Debuting in theaters November 2023, "Wish" will share the origin story of that star that so many beloved characters have wished upon.

Despite being steeped in Disney mythology, though, "Wish" is an original story not directly including existing intellectual property. Ariana DeBose voices its protagonist, Asha, with Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn directing. "Wish" will also include new songs written by Julia Michaels.

Plot and casting details for Marvel sequels

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige took the opportunity at D23 Expo to share new details about previously announced films in the ever-expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Hitting theaters Feb. 17, 2023, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" will take the lighthearted "Ant-Man" franchise into "new territory," star Paul Rudd promises. He returns alongside Evangeline Lilly as the titular characters, as does Peyton Reed in the director's chair. This third film in the franchise sees our heroes entering the quantum realm and prominently spotlight Kang (Jonathan Majors), first introduced in "Loki" and gradually becoming a huge player within the MCU as the films build toward 2025's "Avengers: The Kang Dynasty."

Debuting in theaters July 28, 2023, is "The Marvels," starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan, and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau. The plot will involve the three superheroes trading places with one another each time one of them uses their powers. Nia DaCosta directs.

While "Captain America: New World Order" is further away, with a May 3, 2024, theatrical release date, it's never too early to start getting excited for a new Marvel movie, this one directed by Julius Onah. Anthony Mackie returns in his first film under the mantle of Captain America. Joining him are Danny Ramirez and Carl Lumbly, both reprising their roles from 2021's "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," as well as Tim Blake Nelson reprising his role from 2008's "The Incredible Hulk" and newcomer Shira Haas.

Imaginative worlds new and familiar coming from Pixar

Audiences can always count on Pixar Animation Studios to bring to life creative "what if" stories that help us see the world in new ways. That reputation only continues as the prolific studio charts its exciting future, which Pete Docter, chief creative officer of Pixar, shared at D23 Expo.

Docter revealed details about the previously announced "Elementals," a movie coming to theaters June 16, 2023, and telling the story of characters made of fire and ice. Tragically, the two are in love but can't touch each other. Ember the fire elemental is voiced by Leah Lewis, while Wade the water elemental is voiced by Mamoudou Athie. Pixar veteran Peter Sohn directs.

Coming to theaters in spring 2024 is "Elio," a new movie announced at D23 Expo for the first time. The title character is a young boy who accidentally gets beamed into space, where aliens consider him an ambassador of the entire Earth. America Ferrera voices Elio's mom, Olga. "Elio" is directed by Adrian Molina, who co-directed "Coco."

Docter also revealed Pixar's plans to revive a favorite franchise. "Inside Out 2" is officially on the way, making its theatrical debut summer 2024. The sequel, which once again stars Amy Poehler as Joy, will see Riley becoming a teenager.

Hocus Pocus 2 is ready to bewitch

After years of fans begging for a sequel to the 1993 cult classic-turned-perennial-staple, it's almost time for "Hocus Pocus 2." The highly anticipated event film is directed by Anne Fletcher and debuts Sept. 30, 2022, on Disney+. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy return as the Sanderson sisters, and Disney revealed a new trailer and poster for the film at D23 Expo.

The legendary Black Flame Candle is lit once more, bringing the Sanderson witches back from the dead to run amok upon Salem, again. The new trailer shows footage of new cast members Hannah Waddingham, Sam Richardson, Whitney Peak, and Lilia Buckingham. A black cat — presumably Thackery Binx — and zombie Billy Butcherson (Doug Jones) make appearances, too. It also includes scenes from a flashback showing the Sandersons as teenagers. The poster proclaims the sequel to be "a wickedly glorious return," and that certainly seems to be the case.

The Multiverse lands in California

Phases 4, 5, and 6 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are collectively known as "The Multiverse Saga," and the infinite possibilities of countless universes colliding will soon leap from movie screens and enter real life, materializing as an epic theme park attraction first announced at D23 Expo. While a name and opening date remain under wraps, the new ride will open at Disney California Adventure as part of an expansion to the park's Avengers Campus, which initially opened in 2021 and already features rides based on "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

The new attraction will see Marvel superheroes from across the multiverse teaming up to fight King Thanos, a new version of the character not shown in the MCU films. The ambitious concept art by Marvel artist Ryan Meinerding includes appearances by Iron Man, Captain America (both of them), Captain Carter, Hulk (two of them), She-Hulk, Spider-Man (both a live-action and animated version), Black Panther, Doctor Strange, America Chavez, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, Daredevil, Black Widow, the Mighty Thor, and others. Guests are in for an action-packed adventure, and if it keeps tradition with the other rides in its vicinity, we can expect many favorite Marvel actors to return to film new footage as their respective superheroes.

Discover the history of Disney's most famous character

Since his debut in 1928, Mickey Mouse has not only been a mascot of the Walt Disney Company, but a multigenerational icon. Mickey is a symbol of hope, optimism, and ingenuity who has endured for over nine decades. Everyone knows Mickey, but do they know his story?

Disney+ will debut the feature-length documentary, "Mickey: The Story of a Mouse," on November 18. That date is significant — Disney formally recognizes it as Mickey's official birthday in honor of his first cartoon, "Steamboat Willie," premiering on that day in 1928. Disney debuted the first teaser trailer for the documentary at D23 Expo. "Mickey: The Story of a Mouse" promises a thorough perspective of Mickey's history, from his beginnings on Walt Disney's sketchpad to his growing popularity with "The Mickey Mouse Club" and continuing into his enduring legacy today on television, in theme parks, and in the zeitgeist.

Restoring a lost Muppets gem

"The Muppet Christmas Carol" celebrates its 30th anniversary during the 2022 holiday season. To celebrate, director Brian Henson and the Muppets themselves held a special anniversary panel at D23 Expo. In addition to sharing behind-the-scenes stories from the making of their now-classic take on Charles Dickens' tale, Henson revealed an exciting way to rediscover the beloved Muppet film.

A song called "When Love Was Gone" was deleted from the 1992 theatrical release of the movie. It was performed by Meredith Braun as her character, Belle, moves on from her relationship with Scrooge. (This would have been during Scrooge's visit to his past.) While the final cut included Martina McBride covering the song in the end credits, the song as it fit within the story has never been included in any released version of the movie. Henson shared that beginning December 11, 2022, fans can watch a new edit of "The Muppet Christmas Carol" on Disney+ that includes "When Love Was Gone" as it was originally intended in its initial placement within the film.

New realms of animation in consideration for Disney theme parks

Disney theme parks provide guests with the opportunity to step into physical spaces inspired by favorite movies. At D23 Expo, Chris Beatty, creative portfolio executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, and Jennifer Lee shared several "blue sky" possibilities that Imagineering is considering to bring Disney's most recent hit movies to Walt Disney World in Florida.

Beatty and Lee teased discussions of an expansion for Disney's Animal Kingdom themed to "Moana" and "Zootopia," as well as additions to Magic Kingdom themed to "Coco," "Encanto," and Disney villains. Stopping short of formally announcing any specific attractions, they stressed that these ideas were all potential concepts for the future that may or may not change, if they come to fruition at all.

While Disney movies often inspire theme park attractions, the opposite is sometimes true when favorite rides transform into feature films. Such is the case for the upcoming "Haunted Mansion," directed by Justin Simien and coming to theaters March 10, 2023. Based on the classic 1969 Disneyland ride, the film finds its Madame Leota in Jamie Lee Curtis, who entered D23 Expo's auditorium riding a "doom buggy," the ride vehicle from the attraction. While much about the film had already been announced prior to D23 Expo, new information revealed cameos from Winona Ryder, Dan Levy, and Hasan Minhaj.

Avatar's sequel grows nearer

After years ... and years ... and years of delays, the time has come to mount your Ikran — that means "banshee" for those of you who haven't brushed up on your Na'vi lingo — and soar through the floating mountains of Pandora. That's right, James Cameron's long-awaited sequel to 2009's "Avatar" arrives in theaters Dec. 16, 2022. "Avatar: The Way of Water" is the second installment of a total of five films in the saga, the rest of which will debut throughout the remainder of the decade.

The first trailer for "The Way of Water" dropped earlier in 2022, but D23 Expo attendees watched exclusive 3D footage that hasn't been seen anywhere else and wasn't released online. While no groundbreakingly huge news was revealed, the panel did receive a visit from the cast, including Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, and Sigourney Weaver. Cameron is still finishing editing the movie in New Zealand, though he joined the panel virtually. When it's all said and done, the project will debut eight years later than initially planned. In introducing the new footage during the panel, Cameron said, "Hopefully you'll see something today and decide whether it's all been worth it."