The ultimate Disney fan event, D23 Expo 2022, returned to Anaheim Convention Center last weekend for three jam-packed days of announcements, performances, and panels celebrating all things Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and more!
In case you missed any of the exciting news, here’s every major announcement you need to know from this year’s event:
Hocus Pocus 2 premieres September 30, just in time for Halloween
The Sanderson sisters are back, and they’re ready for revenge. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy reprise their roles as the diabolical witches, while Whitney Peak and Belissa Escobedo play the two high school students tasked to stop them from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem. The movie premieres 30 September, 2022 exclusively on Disney+.
15 years after Enchanted, Disenchanted arrives on November 24, 2022
Taking place 15 years since Giselle (Amy Adams) and Robert (Patrick Dempsey) wed, the couple and their family move to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life. However, the sorry state of their new home and pressure from the local queen bee Malvina Monroe (Maya Rudolph) leads Giselle to turn to dangerous magic that transforms the entire town into a real-life fairy tale. Disenchanted debuts on November 24, 2022 exclusively on Disney+.
Halle Bailey’s Ariel swims onto the big screen in May 2023
Fans get their first glimpse of Halle Bailey singing “Part of Your World” as Ariel in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid, arriving in May 2023. The movie will feature fan-favourite songs and four new tracks penned by Alan Menken and Lin-Manuel Miranda, plus Melissa McCarthy as Ursula and Javier Bardem as Triton.
Peter Pan & Wendy dives deeper into Wendy’s story in 2023
Alexander Molony (Peter Pan), Ever Anderson (Wendy), Alyssa Wapanâtahk (Tiger Lily), and Captain Hook (Jude Law) joined the stage to showcase an exclusive first look at Peter Pan & Wendy. The live-action movie dives deeper into Wendy’s story as she joins Peter Pan on a magical adventure to Neverland, and reveals the history behind one of Peter Pan’s most memorable rivalries. Peter Pan & Wendy drops on Disney+ in 2023.
Jamie Lee Curtis headlines Haunted Mansion movie based on the theme park attraction
Inspired by the classic theme park attraction, the Haunted Mansion movie follows a woman and her son who enlists a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters. The queen of scary movies, Jamie Lee Curtis, plays the main character Madame Leota in the movie which releases in 2023.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series gets a fourth season featuring original High School Musical cast
The third season of HSMTMTS may be over, but good news is, a fourth season is already on its way! The next season picks up after the epic summer at Camp Shallow Lake, as the drama club prepares a stage production of High School Musical 3: Senior Year. But in a totally meta move, High School Musical 4: The Reunion will also be filming on location at their beloved high school. You know what that means — cameos, cameos, cameos.
Based on the genre-hopping graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese follows the tale of Jin Wang (played by Ben Wang), an average teenager that becomes unwittingly entangled in a battle between Chinese mythological gods when he meets a new student on the first day of school.
The Disney+ exclusive series boasts some serious star power, including Michelle Yeoh as Guanyin, Yeo Yann Yann as Christine Wang, Chin Han as Simon Wang, Ke Huy Quan as Freddy Wong, and Daniel Wu as Sun Wukong; while Destin Daniel Cretton and Kelvin Yu executive produce the show, and even Lucy Liu drops in to direct an episode. American Born Chinese is slated to premiere in 2023.
Fans get an exclusive sneak peek of Percy Jackson and the Olympians TV series
Author of the Percy Jackson franchise Rick Riordan, and the series stars Walker Scobell (Percy Jackson), Aryan Simhadri (Grover Underwood), and Leah Sava Jeffries (Annabeth Chase) joined the stage to share an exclusive sneak peek of the new Percy Jackson series coming soon to Disney+.
MUFASA: The Lion King and Snow White arrive to Disney+ on 2024
Next in line for Disney original movies are MUFASA: The Lion King, a prequel to The Lion King, that tells the story of Mufasa and the rise of one of the greatest kings of the Pride Lands; and Snow White, a live-action reimagining of the classic tale starring Rachel Zegler and Gal Gadot as Snow White and her stepmother respectively. Both movies are slated for 2024 releases.
Strange World and its dysfunctional family arrives November 23, 2022
Disney Animation’s next feature film, Strange World, follows an incredible family who must get past their differences to save a strange world full of danger and surprises. Fans at the D23 Expo Hall were treated to an all-new trailer, and special appearances by the voice cast including Jake Gyllenhaal (Searcher Clade), Dennis Quaid (Jaeger Clade), Jaboukie Young-White (Ethan Clade), Lucy Liu (Callisto Mal), and Gabrielle Union (Meridian). The film opens in theatres November 23, 2022.
Elemental showcases the beauty in diversity this June 16, 2023
Filmmakers Peter Sohn and Denise Ream introduced Elemental, an all-new original feature film set in a city where fire, water, land, and air residents live together. The film’s main characters are Ember (Leah Lewis), a tough and fiery young woman and Wade (Mamoudou Athie), a fun but sappy go-with-the-flow guy.
Sohn, who directs the film, shared that the film was inspired by a story of immigrants pursuing dreams in neighbourhoods where language and cultures come together. The movie is slated to premiere on June 16, 2023.
A colourful new long-form series, Iwájú comes to Disney+ in 2023
Created in collaboration with Pan-African comic book entertainment company Kugali, Iwájú is an all-new original Disney+ series inspired by the spirit of Lagos, which is an island and a mainland separated by both water and socio-economic status. The coming-of-age tale follows Tola, a young heiress from the wealthy island, and her best friend Kole, a self-taught tech expert and loving son from the mainland. The series comes to Disney+ in 2023.
Win or Lose is Pixar’s first long-form Disney+ series, arriving Fall 2023
Pixar’s first-ever long-form series is about a middle school softball team named the Pickles, and it looks incredibly cute. Helmed by Carrie Hobson and Michael Yates, Win or Lose follows the Pickles in the week leading up to their championship game, spotlighting different perspectives from players, to their parents, and even the umpire — each reflected in a unique visual style. The series begins streaming on Disney+ in Fall 2023.
Disney Animation’s 100th feature film, Wish, set to release Fall 2023
Jennifer Lee, Chief Creative Officer at Walt Disney Animation Studios, officially unveiled Disney Animation’s 100th year project that’s set to make history. Wish is an epic animated musical inspired by the legacy of films from the studio, and asks the question: “How did the wishing star, upon which so many characters wished, come to be?”
Its story follows 17-year-old Asha, voiced by Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, a young optimist with a sharp wit who cares endlessly about her community. In a moment of desperation, Asha makes an impassioned plea to the stars, which is answered by a literal ball of boundless energy called Star. Together, they prove what wonders can happen when the will of one courageous human connects with the magic of the stars.
The feature film will combine both the legacy 2D art style and modern 3D direction that has defined Walt Disney Animation’s past century of work. DeBose then joined the stage to perform “More For Us”, a song from the movie written by Julia Michaels.
Elio and Inside Out 2 on the way in 2024
Arriving in Spring 2024, Elio is an original feature film following 11-year-old dreamer Elio (Yonas Kibreab), an artist and creative homebody who finds it hard to fit in with his peers. Meanwhile, his mum Olga (America Ferrera) runs a top-secret military project that’s working to decode a strange signal from outer space; but it is Elio who gets beamed into space and mistaken for an intergalactic ambassador for Earth.
Whereas fans of Inside Out will be delighted to know that a sequel is on the way. The news was confirmed by Amy Poehler, the voice of Joy, who informed the audience that an all-new adventure featuring teenager Riley — who may or may not be feeling all kinds of new Emotions — is in the works. Inside Out 2 is slated for release Summer 2024.
Andor premieres its first 3 episodes this September 21, 2022
This is not a drill — we have a final trailer for Andor! Series star and executive producer Diego Luna was joined by his castmates Genevieve O’Reilly, Kyle Soller, and Adria Arjona to reveal the news. Andor premieres with 3 episodes this September 21, but it only marks the beginning of the whopping 24-episode spy thriller; making it the longest non-animated Star Wars Disney+ series to date.
Star Wars: The Bad Batch returns for Season 2 on January 4, 2023
Dave Filoni joined the stage to announce the 16-episode second season for Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Taking place months after the events on Kamino, the Bad Batch will continue their adventures through a post-Republic galaxy, crossing paths with friends and foes both new and familiar along the way. The new season debuts with 2 episodes on January 4, 2023.
Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi are 6 new animated shorts arriving October 26, 2022
In more animation news, Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi features 6 brand new animated shorts centering around Jedi tales from the prequel era. The shorts focus on Ahsoka Tano and Count Dooku, each faced with their own parallel destinies and challenges. All 6 episodes arrive on Disney+ this October 26, 2022.
Fans get a first look at Ahsoka, slated for 2023 release on Disney+
Speaking of Ahsoka, Jon Favreau graced the stage to share first-look images with fans at the event. Set after the fall of the Empire, Ahsoka will follow the former Jedi knight as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy. The series is slated for a 2023 release exclusive to Disney+.
The Mandalorian Season 3 gets action-packed teaser trailer
Pedro Pascal, Katee Sackhoff, Amy Sedaris, Giancarlo Esposito, and Emily Swallow were invited to the stage to premiere the first teaser trailer for The Mandalorian Season 3. The teaser picks up after the events of The Book of Boba Fett, and continues Mando and Grogu’s adventures through the lawless galaxy. Season 3 launches on Disney+ in 2023.
Star Wars: Skeleton Crew coming soon to Disney+
Star Wars: Skeleton Crew was introduced by creators Jon Watts and Christopher Ford at the panel, with the help of series star Jude Law. The new series tells the story of four kids who find themselves lost in the vastness of the galaxy trying to find their way home. No release date has been announced so far.
Harrison Ford returns for fifth Indiana Jones movie on June 30, 2023
Possibly the biggest surprise of the panel, Indiana Jones 5 officially premieres in theaters on June 30, 2023! Fans were treated to details and first-look footage from director James Mangold, who was later joined by the film’s stars, Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. “Indiana Jones movies are about fantasy and mystery, but they’re also about heart… I’m really, really happy that we have a really human story to tell, as well as a movie that will kick your [butt],” said Ford.
Secret Invasion gets thrilling new trailer ahead of 2023 premiere
We finally have a trailer for Secret Invasion and it is intense. The series will mark Nick Fury’s return to Earth to deal with a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls who have been infiltrating the planet for years. The trailer also offers our first glimpse at new castmembers Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Christopher McDonald. No release date has been announced so far.
Thunderbolts final line-up confirmed, slated for July 26, 2024 premiere
In the most exciting announcement of the panel, Kevin Feige introduced the main cast of the Thunderbolts — including Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine), Hannah John-Kamen (Ghost), David Harbour (Red Guardian), Florence Pugh (Yelena Belova), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Wyatt Russell (John Walker / U.S. Agent), and Olga Kurylenko (Taskmaster). Thunderbolts is slated to premiere on July 26, 2024.
Marvel Studios’ Halloween special introduces Werewolf by Night a.k.a. Jack Russell
During the panel, Feige also announced Marvel Studios’ first ever special presentation for this Halloween, Werewolf by Night! If the name is unfamiliar to you, Werewolf by Night is also known as Jack Russell, a descendant of Grigori Russoff who was turned into a werewolf after fighting Dracula.
You may have already guessed that Werewolf by Night is linked to Blade, but this Halloween special could tie-in The Midnight Sons, a team of mystical superheroes including Doctor Strange, Moon Knight, and Wong. Werewolf by Night drops on Disney+ this October 7, 2022.
Which announcements from D23 Expo 2022 are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments below! As far as this writer is concerned, you can find her spam-refreshing Disney+ on September 21 when Andor comes out.