Walt Disney Studios’ panel at D23 continued today by showing off four of the big live-action features coming from Walt Disney Pictures in the near future.
Above you can see the first photo of Emma Stone in “Cruella,” the live-action prequel to “101 Dalmatians” with Stone as a younger Cruella De Vil. The new film will be set in 1970s London and have a “punk rock” vibe. Stone appeared in a video from the set during the start of filming and argues with a Dalmatian in the film which also stars Emma Thompson, Paul Walter Hauser, and Joel Fry and opens May 28th 2021.
“Jungle Cruise” showed off two trailers and is said to have a very “Romancing the Stone” vibe though also reportedly has a supernatural element to it. Star Dwayne Johnson said he drew inspiration from Humphrey Bogart, Harrison Ford, etc. in what is a “throwback adventure”. Several on hand said it’s a film that tonally “fits into the Pirates universe”.
After Johnson showed a version with him very much as star, his co-star Emily Blunt brought her version of the trailer poking fun at Johnson’s macho version of the trailer and persona in the film. Her version was said to be much more an “Indiana Jones” adventure. Both engaged in banter about playing Maui vs. Mary Poppins.
Also shown was “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” with new footage showing off an awkward dinner scene between Angelina Jolie and Michelle Pfeiffer’s characters with jabs about motherhood – the fiery conversation essentially kicking off a war. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s role as the leader of the Dark Fae got further screentime along with a conversation between Maleficent and Aurora about marrying Philip (Pfeiffer is his mother).
Jolie also spoke about why she wanted to return, saying she missed the character and loved the original very much: “We fight for the belief that what makes you different makes you stronger. And what defines family is what you believe in and how you love. It’s not just blood. It’s not just the same.”
Finally director Niki Caro showed up to talk about her approach to “Mulan” saying: “[I’m] excited for audiences to experience this story on a truly epic scale. Action sequences are explosive. It’s the story we love, but in a real visceral way.” Two scenes and a short trailer were shown, one scene was comedic as a spider invades a tea ceremony. There was also the matchmaker scene. Numerous attendees indicated the film feels very culturally authentic and the battle choreography is impressive. The film’s star Crystal Yifei Liu was not on hand.