Exclusive footage, major announcements and surprise guests are some of the ways Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Studios are expected to excite fans about the future of their respective franchises during Walt Disney Studios’ second panel presentation at D23 Expo.
Among the marquee presentations of Disney’s own celebration of everything Disney, the studio showcase Saturday morning at the Anaheim Convention Center will see the current creatives behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Star Wars” and more take center stage to tease upcoming film and series projects — and perhaps confirm or refute a few rumors along the way.
Disney already kicked the fan convention off in style Friday with its first studio showcase. In a presentation that opened with a performance of “When You Wish Upon A Star” by “Pinocchio’s” Cynthia Erivo, Disney live-action, Pixar and Disney Animation shared news and footage from films including “Hocus Pocus 2,” “Disenchanted,” “Mufasa: The Lion King,” “The Haunted Mansion,” “Snow White,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Elemental” and “Strange World.” Among Pixar’s announcements were its next feature, “Elio,” an extra-terrestrial adventure about a young boy who makes first contact with aliens, as well as the return of Riley and her emotions in “Inside Out 2.” Not to be outdone, Disney Animation announced that it will celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary with a new animated musical inspired by the studio’s signature wishing star. Then Ariana DeBose, who will voice the lead Asha in “Wish,” closed out the presentation with a performance of a song from the upcoming film, which will hit theaters in 2023.
Saturday, the attention will turn to Marvel’s portion of the presentation, which will likely hype the remaining projects of Phase 4 of the MCU: “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” as well as an untitled Halloween special and “The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.” Since the studio laid out its plans for Phase 5 and 6 during its panel at San Diego Comic-Con in July, its D23 Expo presentation may include news of projects that were not mentioned in Hall H, such as the previously announced “Armor Wars,” or news around sequels for “Shang-Chi” and “Eternals.”
With the premiere of “Andor” set for later this month, it’s likely the “Star Wars” series will be among those promoted during the Lucasfilm portion. While new footage of much-anticipated projects such as “The Mandalorian” Season 3 and “Ahsoka” were shown at Star Wars Celebration in May, official trailers for the two shows have yet to be released so they could be on the way. And beyond “Star Wars”-related teasers, the studio could also share news about its upcoming “Willow” series or the fifth “Indiana Jones” film.
As for 20th Century Studios, anticipation is high for anything “Avatar 2.”
Follow along here beginning at 10 a.m. for live updates from the Marvel, Lucasfilm and 20th Century presentations at D23 Expo.