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I was lucky enough to score admittance into Disney’s D23 Expo today.D23 is four days of exciting programming that includes major overviews of upcoming films by Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook and Disney-Pixar Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, plus a full schedule of events spotlighting new releases and newly restored digital versions of classic favorites. There’s sneak peeks at â€œDisneyâ€™s A Christmas Carol,â€ Tim Burtonâ€™s â€œAlice in Wonderland,â€ â€œOld Dogsâ€ and a bunch of other House of Mouse features.
Here’s some more ‘fresh-off-the-blackberry’ pics from the showroom floor!
Pirates of the Caribbean 4
The new Disney sequel has a title – ”Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”. The film has also been given a release date – Summer 2011. As for the plot, some are speculating that ‘On Stranger Tides’ might refer to the book by Tim Powers, which sees the villainous ‘Blackbeard’ the Pirate going off in search of The Fountain of Youth. You may remember that at the end of “Pirates of the Caribbean : At World’s End”, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) set off in search of the aforementioned waters of immortality – so there could be something in the speculation. Depp was welcomed with raucous applause as he sailed onstage in a pirate ship dressed as Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Prince of Persia
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer unveiled the ‘unfinished’ trailer for next Summer’s “Prince of Persia”. The trailer, though said to be unfinished (looked pretty good to me!), featured Prince Dastan (Jake Gyllenhaal), Tamina (Gemma Arterton), and the evil Nizam (Ben Kingsley). It looks like it could be a bit of fun – in that “Mummy” sortaway. “Prince of Persia : Sands of Time” opens May 28,2010.
The Sorcerers Apprentice
Inspired by “Fantasia” (which star Nicolas Cage, on hand to present footage, says it’s the most “beautiful” movie he’s ever seen), “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” tells of. No trailer to speak of, but there were clips from the film, and some behind-the-scenes stuff. Likely won’t be as “beautiful” a film as “Fantasia”, but the effects look trippy!
A Christmas Carol
Director Robert Zemeckis was on hand to present some scenes from his upcoming “Christmas Carol” redo starring Jim Carrey. Scenes included one where an ogre-sized Ghost of Christmas Present talks down to Ebenezer Scrooge, and another where we get a glimpse of a shrouded (under a ‘hood’) Ghost of Christmas Future. This looks like it’s going to be a real winner!
Disney Double Dare You
Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro announced he’d be teaming with the House of Mouse to develop films for a new label titled ‘Disney Double Dare You’. The family films will have a horror angle to them, says the “Hellboy” director. First up, “Trollhunters”. “As a director, I love to take audiences into fantastic new worlds and provide them with some anxious moments in the process”, says del Toro. “It is part of the Disney canon to create thrilling, unforgettable moments and villains in all their classic films. It is my privilege for DDY to continue in this tradition. To partner up with The Walt Disney Studios, with the support of Dick Cook and John Lasseter, is to belong to a storytelling partnership that I admire deeply. It is a true honor. I look forward to coming up with fresh and original stories that will take Disney films in a whole new direction. The emphasis is on fun, and we have some great ideas already on the storyboards.”
The Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made
The Muppets appeared on stage (to thunderous applause! much more than Miley Cyrus got when she burst into song!) to not only sing a ditty, but to announce production on the Jason Segel-penned “Cheapest Muppet Movie Ever Made”.
For the first time since son Jett’s death, John Travolta took the stage – with his family; wife Kelly, and son Ella Blue – to talk up “Old Dogs”, his new comedy with Robin Williams. “I always appreciate the audience’s love for me,” the legendary actor said. “I hope they love `Old Dogs’ and much as we do, because I’ve got my baby in it,” Travolta continued, referring to his daughter’s film debut.
Alice in Wonderland
Director Tim Burton showed footage from his wild n’ wacky take on Lewis Carrol’s beloved fairytale. “I’ve always loved the imagery” of ‘Alice’, Burton said, and the opportunity to tell it in 3-D seemed “trippy and great.”
Robert Zemeckis confirmed he’ll be directing a 3-D version of the classic Beatles’ movie. The film will be created by ImageMovers Digital, Disneyâ€™s state-of-the-art performance capture animation studio operated in conjunction with Zemeckis and his partners, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey, who will serve as producers on the project. For this fantastic new voyage to Pepperland, Zemeckis will incorporate the 16 Beatles songs and recordings from the original motion picture licensed from Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC and EMI-Capitol Records, respectively. The songs include â€œAll Together Now,â€ â€œAll You Need Is Love,â€ â€œEleanor Rigby,â€ â€œLucy in the Sky with Diamondsâ€ and â€œWith A Little Help From My Friendsâ€ while combining his unique vision and style to bring this dazzling tale to life. Zemeckis said, â€œâ€™Yellow Submarineâ€™ is one of the greatest fantasy films of all time, and making this new 3D performance capture movie is a dream come true for me. With the latest advances in technology, we will be able to take moviegoers on a voyage unlike any other, and bring new excitement and dimension to Pepperland and the various sea worlds they encounter. Iâ€™m thrilled to be working with the good folks at Apple Corps and our partners at Disney on this epic retelling of one of my all time favorite films.â€
While my full report will be up shortly, I thought you’d all appreciate some photos from the floor – some art from “Prince of Persia”, “Alice in Wonderland” and so on.
You can click the photos below for the full far-from-high-res look.