When I think about the 2017 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate, my heart skips a beat. Or two. Or three.
It wasn’t that long ago when I was posting about the 2016 slate, not knowing exactly how the year would unfold or how I would become part of the magic. I’m reminded of last February, when I traveled to Walt Disney World to interview the cast of ZOOTOPIA (Yes, Jason Bateman – SWOON!) on the Disney Zootopia Blogger trip and press junket. Or the time I danced with Ellen and attended the FINDING DORY red carpet premiere. And how in September I was able to interview Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and attend the QUEEN OF KATWE red carpet premiere. So many memories that made my last year unbelievable. Magical.
So as I sit here going through this list of incredible movies, directors, and actors on the 2017 Disney slate, I can’t help but look at it in a different way.
2017 has something for everyone – animation, super-heroes and can you say Star Wars Episode VIII? Read on! Enjoy!
2017 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate
March 17, 2017
Beauty and the Beast
Perhaps the most anticipated film of the year will be arriving in theaters first…Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”.
I sit here humming the tunes I know by heart, remembering how that very first scene in the original film made me gasp with delight. I was mesmerized when Disney Parks first opened its’ doors to the Beast’s Castle, bringing the film to life, but NOW, Disney has ventured further than I ever expected with the live action film. How will they bring a clock, a candlestick and a teapot to life? The magic of Disney.
With a top notch cast there is no doubt that this film will live up to our every expectation…and let’s be clear, our expectations are high!
“Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.
The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts. Directed by Bill Condon.
April 21, 2017
Born in China
Since 2008, Disneynature has brought us films to inspire and educate the world about our animals in the wild. I’m proud to announce that “Born in China” will be the 7th such film.
Narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”), Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure film “Born In China” takes an epic journey into the wilds of China where few people have ever ventured. Following the stories of three animal families, the film transports audiences to some of the most extreme environments on Earth to witness some of the most intimate moments ever captured in a nature film. A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as she begins to explore and seek independence. A two-year-old golden monkey who feels displaced by his new baby sister joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts. And a mother snow leopard—an elusive animal rarely caught on camera—faces the very real drama of raising her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet.
Featuring stunning, never-before-seen imagery, the film navigates China’s vast terrain—from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest—on the wings of red-crowned cranes, seamlessly tying the extraordinary tales together. Opening in U.S. theaters on Earth Day 2017, “Born in China” is directed by accomplished Chinese filmmaker Lu Chuan, and produced by Disney’s Roy Conli and renowned nature filmmakers Brian Leith and Phil Chapman.
May 5, 2017
Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2
Blasting into theaters this May, our favorite guardians are back and ready for action as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s parentage. Any guesses how this Marvel mystery will turn out?
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvels “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.
Screenplay by James Gunn.
May 26, 2017
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.
Jack’s only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth (Kaya Scodelario), a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry (Brenton Thwaites), a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” also stars Kevin R. McNally as Joshamee Gibbs, Golshifteh Farahani as the sea-witch Shansa, David Wenham as Scarfield, Stephen Graham as Scrum, and Geoffrey Rush as Captain Hector Barbossa. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are directing “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” with Jerry Bruckheimer producing. The executive producers are Mike Stenson, Chad Oman, Joe Caracciolo, Jr., Terry Rossio and Brigham Taylor. Jeff Nathanson wrote the screenplay.
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” drops anchor in U.S. theaters on May 26, 2017.
June 16, 2017
Our favorite automobiles are back in this summer’s Disney*Pixar’s release!
Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late, fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!
Directed by Brian Fee and produced by Kevin Reher, “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.
November 3, 2017
Thundering into theaters this fall is Thor: Ragnarok! We will be ready!
In Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
“Thor: Ragnarok” is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.
Kevin Feige is producing with Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. The story is by Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost and Stephany Folsom, and the screenplay is by Eric Perason.
November 22, 2017
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael Garcí a Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.
December 15, 2017
Star Wars Episode VIII
There are no released storylines as of yet, but I will bring them to you as soon as they are released! This much-anticipated follow-up to “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will no doubt be a highlight of the year and extra special, with the recent passing of Carrie Fisher, who from all accounts had already completed her work on the film.
In the meantime, have you seen ROGUE ONE? Whether you have or not, be sure to check out my no-spoiler Rogue One discussion!
Which movie are you most excited about?
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