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    15 Things We Learned About Upcoming Marvel, Pixar, And Disney Movies At The D23 Expo

    There's a lot of new magic coming our way!

    This weekend, BuzzFeed attended the Walt Disney Studios Presentation at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA.

    Ready for the Walt Disney Studios panel at #D23Expo? Follow along on this thread for the latest updates.

    An absolute TON of information was thrown our way during this presentation, so get ready and get HYPED:

    1. President of LucasFilms, Kathleen Kennedy, and director J.J. Abrams took to the stage and introduced the full cast of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, gave us the official poster, and shared an exclusive sizzle reel for D23 attendees that — let's just say — almost gave us a heart-attack.

    LucasFilm Ltd.

    BUT NO SPOILERS HERE because, if you can, watch it fresh...since the footage will ~reportedly~ be available to view online starting this Monday, Aug. 26, and is 110% worth the wait.

    2. We also learned a little more about Keri Russell's new character, Zorri Bliss, and her ~interesting~ connection to Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    "I can’t wait for you guys to meet Zorri. She’s very cool and...a little bit shady,” Russell said. "Oh, and she's an old friend of Poe's."

    3. And J.J. Abrams shared a goosebumps-inducing story about Carrie Fisher predicting she'd work with him again, which is what inspired him to use her unseen Star Wars: The Force Awakens footage in The Rise of Skywalker.

    LucasFilm Ltd.

    “I wasn’t supposed to be here,” Abrams said, referencing that he was NOT the original director of Rise of Skywalker. He became attached to the project after Fisher's death in 2016. “But I was reading Carrie's book, The Princess Diarist, and she wrote, ‘Special thanks to J.J. Abrams for putting up with me twice.’ Now, I had never worked with her before The Force Awakens...and I wasn’t supposed to do this movie. So, it was a classic Carrie thing to write something like that, and it only meant one thing for me. I could not be more excited to have you see her in her final performance."

    4. Next, Marvel Studios President, Kevin Feige, came out and gave us some juicy tidbits about the upcoming entries into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with the official release date for Black Panther 2 — May 6, 2022.

    Just announced at #D23Expo, Ryan Coogler returns to direct Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER 2, in theaters May 6, 2022.

    5. We also got a little more information about Eternals, including confirmation of the NEWEST cast members, Kit Harington and Gemma Chan.

    The cast of Marvel Studios’ The Eternals takes the stage at #D23Expo

    Sorry y'all, Harington's NOT the new Wolverine...but with him and Richard Madden in the same film, we're getting a mini Game of Thrones reunion!

    6. And we got an absolutely incredible look at the first trailer for Black Widow — where we may FINALLY find out what exactly happened in Budapest — which is set to hit theaters May 1, 2020.

    Marvel Studios

    In the trailer, we meet Natasha's family, which is made up of her "sister" Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) and Red Guardian (David Harbour, doing a pretty fantastic Russian accent, TBH). Plus, we get a look at the official villain for the film, Taskmaster. Hopefully this trailer will hit the interwebs soon!

    7. After Marvel Studios, we headed into the Walt Disney Studios live-action line-up, beginning with a brand new trailer for Jungle Cruise, presented by a HILARIOUSLY quippy Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily Blunt.

    Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    The story follows Frank (Johnson), a down-on-his-luck tour boat operator who is recruited by Lily (Emily Blunt), a scientist on a not-so-routine expedition. While the trailer has not dropped online yet, it featured some HILARIOUS references for fans of the original park attraction (including an A+ "The backside of water" joke), and it definitely has a Pirates of the Caribbean vibe to it.

    8. Then, the cast of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hit the stage and shared an exclusive clip from the upcoming sequel, which was extremely relatable for anyone whose in-laws don’t get along.

    Walt Disney Studios

    In the clip, Aurora (Elle Fanning) announces her engagement to Phillip (Harris Dickinson), which the titular Maleficent is not too pleased about. Begrudgingly, Maleficent agrees to dine with Phillips' parents, but when Queen Ingrith (Michelle Pfeiffer) gets a little less passive and a little more aggressive, all heck breaks loose.

    9. Next, the director of Mulan, Niki Caro, spoke about her experience making the film, and shared a clip from "The Matchmaker" scene, which took on a different tone than the animated film.

    Walt Disney Studios

    The clip showed Mulan (Liu Yifei) playfully joking around with her sister (Xana Tang) before meeting the Matchmaker (Cheng Pei-pei) when, let's just say, things don't go according to plan. The footage was STUNNING and we're excited to see more!

    10. We also got our first official look at Emma Stone in full costume as Cruella De Vil in the upcoming prequel film, Cruella, and she looked "punk rock" as all heck.

    Walt Disney Studios

    The film also stars Emma Thompson! And, I imagine, a lot of dogs!

    11. Then we were treated to Pixar's latest, including their new original film, Onward. The film’s stars — Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus — introduced an exclusive eight-minute teaser.


    The film follows two elf brothers, Ian (Holland) and Barley (Pratt), as they go on a whirlwind adventure to complete a magic spell that will allow them one single day with their deceased father. It's VERY emotional, and we FULLY cried watching the new footage. Oh, and Octavia Spencer will be in the film as "the Mantacore," a mystical being who will help them on their quest.

    12. We also got a look at Soul, a film that will explore how we all get our personalities. It follows Joe, a middle school band teacher who dreams of playing jazz music in a New York club, when one misstep sends him back to the "You Seminar" — the place where we're all made.


    The voice cast is positively STACKED with stars including Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Quest Love, Phylicia Rashad, and Daveed Diggs, and is coming to theaters summer 2020.

    13. Then, writer/director, Jennifer Lee, took the stage to introduce Walt Disney Animation Studios' upcoming films, starting with Raya and the Last Dragon, whose voice cast includes Cassie Steele and Awkwafina.

    Walt Disney Studios

    The film takes place in an alternate version of Earth, where dragons once existed. As the title suggests, Raya (Steele) is searching for the last dragon to help save the world. She comes across Sisu the Dragon (Awkwafina), who is trapped in the form of an old woman. Together, the two must go on a journey to release Sisu's true form.

    14. Closing the panel, Lee’s co-director, Chris Buck, joined her on stage to share a little more information on Frozen 2. The film will see Elsa questioning WHY she has her powers after she hears a familiar voice calling to her from beyond.

    Walt Disney Studios

    Lieutenant Mattias, a new character played by Sterling K. Brown (pictured left), is said to have “loyally protected his homeland of Arendelle for years.”

    15. Finally, the panel ended with the entire voice cast of Frozen 2 hitting the stage to perform a brand new (and VERY catchy) untitled song about loving the "certainty" of some things, like the love of the family you create yourself. There was A LOT of confetti (and tears).

    Walt Disney Studios