Marvel, Star Wars and Michelle Yeoh: Everything we learned at Disney’s D23 Expo


(From left) 'The Little Mermaid', 'The Mandalorian', and 'American Born Chinese' were among the future projects Disney revealed at last weekend's D23 Expo. – Photos: Walt Disney Studios

Baby Yoda is back, Indiana Jones is leaving and the Sanderson Sisters are here to stay.

Disney’s expansive plans for its upcoming movies and TV shows have been rolled out at the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, including a run of trailers and just how many wars poor Samuel L. Jackson is going to have to stop single-handedly.

Here are the highlights:

Baby Yoda is going on an adventure

The third season of The Mandalorian picks up after The Book of Boba Fett, with Grogu and Din happily reunited and back to causing trouble. But after taking off his helmet, the Mandalorian is a Mandalorian no more, the Armorer warns.

What exactly does that mean for the chaos twins? Unclear, but it sure seems like there are going to be a bunch of other Mandalorians to fill in. Also, Babu Frik is back. The Mandalorian returns in 2023.

Andor is finally coming

After last month’s delay, the Star Wars Andor spinoff series, starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, is making it to Disney+ on Sept. 21 with the first three episodes.

Star Wars is getting animated again

With a run of live-action Star Wars series still going strong, Tales Of The Jedi will go animated with an anthology series tracking the training of Ahsoka and the rise of Count Dooku. All six episodes stream on Oct. 26.

The Bad Batch greets the new year

The second season of the animated series about a group of mercenary clones will finally hit Disney+ on Jan. 4.

The Bad BatchThe Bad Batch

Sabine Wren is coming to Ahsoka

The Mandalorian warrior, introduced in Star Wars: Rebels, will join the live-action series, starring Rosario Dawson as the eponymous Ahsoka, one-time padawan of Anakin Skywalker. Other cast members include Hayden Christensen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ivanna Sakhno, Ray Stevenson and Eman Esfandi.

Sabine Wren in 'Star Wars: Rebels'.Sabine Wren in 'Star Wars: Rebels'.

That Werewolf By Night Halloween special is real

The long-rumoured special, starring Gael García Bernal and Laura Donnelly, is not just happening, but is less than a month out, hitting the streaming service on Oct. 7. The black-and-white trailer is already giving off extremely spooky season-appropriate vibes, perfect for a group of werewolf hunters tracking the lycanthrope hidden among them.

Samuel L. Jackson has to be too old for this

Nick Fury has been tasked with saving the world...again. Back on Earth, and reluctantly, Fury seems to be the only one too worried about shapeshifting Skrulls that have been infiltrating Earth for years. The six-part Secret Invasion series, held for 2023, co-stars Ben Mendelsohn, Cobie Smulders, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emilia Clarke, Martin Freeman, Don Cheadle and Olivia Colman.

Speaking of Don Cheadle...

Cheadle confirmed that he’ll be back as James Rhodey Rhodes, also known as War Machine, in his own series, Armor Wars.

Shakman’s back 'Four' more

WandaVision director Matt Shakman will return to the MCU to helm the reimagined Fantastic Four.

Captain America: New World Order got a bigger world

The next Captain America flick, hitting theatres May 3, 2024, will see not just the return of Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, but also Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres and Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Samuel Sterns, reprising his role from the 2008 The Incredible Hulk.

New World Order will be the first film with Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson in the titular role.New World Order will be the first film with Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson in the titular role.

The Thunderbolts are a go

Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) has collected a who’s who of reformed supervillains in the team-up movie, including David Harbour’s Red Guardian, Hannah John-Kamen’s Ghost, Wyatt Russell’s U.S. Agent, Olga Kurylenko’s Taskmaster, Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, and Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier.

Harrison Ford is getting emotional

In what’s expected to be his last turn as Indiana Jones, Harrison Ford is coming to terms with saying goodbye. Indiana Jones movies are about mystery and adventure but they’re also about heart, Ford told the crowd, unveiling secret footage from the fifth film in the series. This is it. I will not fall down for you again.

Halle Bailey wants to be where the people are

The first glimpse at the live-action Little Mermaid showed off Bailey’s pipes and her tail. Plus, we have Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Javier Bardem as King Triton, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Awkwafina as Scuttle and Jacob Tremblay as Flounder to look forward to, along with four new songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken. Ariel rises from the ocean on May 26.

Anita DeBose is leaving the streets of New York for wishful thinking

The West Side Story Oscar winner will star in Wish as Asha, a 17-year-old girl in a kingdom of wishes who asks for help and is greeted by a star that falls from the heavens. Also Alan Tudyk will voice a goat named Valentino.

Peter Pan flies again

Sure, the last time anyone tried to make a new Peter Pan movie, it got universally panned for casting very white Rooney Mara as Native American princess Tiger Lily, but that’s not stopping Disney. Jude Law will star as Captain Hook in Peter Pan And Wendy, due out next year.

Feelings are back

Amy Poehler’s hit — if not also super depressing — Pixar movie Inside Out is getting a sequel that picks up in Riley’s teenage years.

Mufasa is also back

Barry Jenkins’ Lion King prequel, Mufasa, is happening, but that’s about all we know, other than that Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will return as Timon and Pumbaa.

The real world hasn’t broken Amy Adams just yet

Almost 15 years after Enchanted, well, enchanted us, Adams, Patrick Demsey, James Marsden and Idina Menze are back for Disenchanted, another musical romantic comedy. This time, they’ll be up against Maya Rudolph’s evil Malvina Monroe.

Hocus Pocus, trick’s on you

Anyone else think it’s a little mysterious that the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy) still look exactly the same? The long-awaited sequel movie also seems to serve as a prequel, showing the trio banished from Salem and sent down a dark path by Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, then back to run amok in a present day Salem populated by Sam Richardson, Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo.

Right, right, James Cameron is still making Avatar movies

Disney is keeping secret exactly what it unveiled to in-person guests at D23, but we do know this: The Way Of Water finds Sam Worthington’s Jake Sully and Zoe Saldana’s Neytiri with a full Na’vi family, including a recast Sigourney Weaver as their adopted daughter, Kiri.

Willow is giving high fantasy

If Lord Of The Rings and Game Of Thrones aren’t enough, Willow’s fantasy world is coming, now with Christian Slater. The series, which also stars Warwick Davis, Joanne Whalley, Erin Kellyman, Ruby Cruz and Ellie Bamber, follows an unlikely set of heroes determined to save their magical world of brownies, sorcerers and trolls. It’s due Nov 30.

Michelle Yeoh kicks butt

Yeah, sure, everyday teen Jin Wang, desperate to be cool even as he gets stuck in the middle of a battle between Chinese mythological gods, is the star of American Born Chinese, but Yeoh is the real highlight, as she is in every room she steps into.

National Treasure is a national treasure

There’s no Nicolas Cage in sight but Edge Of History looks just as ridiculous and fun as the original franchise. The series stars Lisette Alexis as Jess, a DREAMer trying to uncover the truth about her family’s mysterious past and save a lost Pan-American treasure, alongside Harvey Keitel returning as Peter Sadusky and Catherine Zeta-Jones joining the cast as Billie, a billionaire black-market antiquities expert and treasure hunter.

High School Musical 4: The Reunion is real...ish

If a reunion movie only happens inside of a TV show, did they really reunite? High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is going to find out. The tongue-twister Disney+ series will see the high school host the High School Musical 4 reunion movie, with the students as extras. The cast was mum on which original crooners will be back, but you can’t actually do it without Troy and Gabriella, right? – By Kate Feldman/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service

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