After having a blast on the first day of the D23 Expo 2015, there were still two more days to go. Keeping in mind, Saturday was sold out! It seemed as if everyone got the memo that something big was going to be announced.
Saturday, wait I mean Friday night, I got in line for the live action panel. So pretty much, left the expo on Friday, took a shower and came back three hours later to wait in line. Around 11 p.m., Friday night, a mass arrived to Hall E. By the time my ticket was scanned, there were about 950 people already in front of me.
So here we go again, the overnight queue line was filled with people giddy about what was to be announced by Marvel, Lucasfilm and everything in between. The line to just get in the building was long, as so were the rest rooms and the ordering of food. About 6 a.m., it was announced that Section A, B and C were full and that a queue line overflow would begin. Those in the overflow were not guaranteed a spot for the live action panel. Mind you, the presentation began at 10:30 a.m.
Also, this time around there were no Disney films played as we waited. But, we were kept entertained with clips and shorts from Disney Movies Anywhere.
The Worlds, Galaxies, and Universe: Live Action at the Walt Disney Studios presentation began. The air was still as the lights dimmed. The crowd gasped as a reel played, featuring live action films and animated films. As soon as that concluded, president of Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, stepped on stage. He shared with us all the things we could look forward to, but very briefly.
First up on the list of announcements was Marvel. Stepping on stage was that of Kevin Feig, president of Marvel Studios. It was announced that the latest film, Doctor Strange would soon begin filming at the end of the year. Benedict Cumberbatch, who is set to star in the film, sent over a video message to the audience about his new role and how excited he was. After that concluded, the audience was shown concept art for the film.
Next for Marvel was Captain America: Civil War. Surprising everyone in the crowd, Anthony Mackie and Chris Evans made their way on stage to talk about the film. After that, we were all shown an exclusive trailer of the film. In the clip reel, we saw tons of action, explosions, and even other Marvel characters such as Iron Man, Ant Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye and a few more.
Marvel concluded its section of the presentation. Next, The Finest Hours, was up for discussion. Chris Pine came out on stage and shared his thoughts on the film and a brief background to the heart wrenching story. A trailer was shared and the film is set to hit theaters this January.
Finally, we set towards live action films such as The Jungle Book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pete’s Dragon and The Queen of Katwe. We all had the chance to see trailers of the films. It was noted that some of these trailers were not even complete or ready for release. The best one out of the entire lineup was that of The Jungle Book. I had tears rolling down my face as I saw Baloo float down the river with Mowgli. Everything looked so real and lifelike. Keeping in mind, there is only one real person in the entire film and the rest of the characters were computer animated. It was truly a great first look.
Though Beauty and the Beast did not have a trailer, since filming concluded a few weeks ago, we did have a chance to see some of the costumes with the characters. With an extremely star studded cast, this film looks to be fantastic. Is it 2017 yet?
One of the huge surprises of the evening was that of Johnny Depp coming out on stage in full Captain Jack Sparrow attire! Not a single person was sitting down. There was no Johnny on stage, it was full on Jack. As he walked back and forth on stage enjoying a handful of grapes, everyone was thrilled for the release Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Also, big news during that section, Orlando Bloom would reprise his role as Will Turner.
Last but not least during this presentation, Lucasfilm! Alan Horn showed a timeline of the next Star Wars films. Every year for the next five years, a new Stars Wars film will be released. The list included Stars Wars: Episode VII, VIII, IX, Star Wars Rouge One and a Han Solo based anthology film
Director J.J. Abrams alongside Episode VII actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Harrison Ford joined the stage. The film was briefly discussed and it’s crazy to think, but the film will be out at the end of the year. Though no trailer of the film was released, Bob Iger stepped on stage to make a huge announcement…a Star Wars land addition to Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
After a huge wakeup from that presentation, the day was already more than over. The next presentation that we tried to get into was Pixar Secrets Revealed! Sadly after waiting for more than 45 minutes, the presentation at Stage 28 was full.
But, on the bright side, we ran up to Stage 23 for the Toy Story: 20 Years Late, The Original Crew Looks Back. Cameras, phones and any technological advanced device was banned from being used during the panel. John Lasseter alongside Pete Docter and most of the original animators joined the stage to talk about this great film. Geeking out on the inside, begin my favorite Pixar film and all, the crew shared many stories. We all had a chance to look at some of the first Pixar shorts too. Though technology was not that advanced back then, it was pretty neat to see how things changed.
There were some neat fun facts tossed out about the film. One that greatly stuck to mind was the color scheme of Buzz Lightyear. Why green and purple? According to Lasseter, his favorite color is green and his wife’s is purple. And that’s why Buzz looks like he does today. Also mentioned, if The Nightmare Before Christmas was never released with Disney then Toy Story would have never been created. The team on stage mentioned that Nightmare was the first time they saw Disney team up with another company for a film project. Taking that to heed, they pushed even harder to create Toy Story.
The evening concluded with a few shows at center stage on the main show floor. Here we saw a magic show and a find the hidden Mickey game. While watching the show, I even had the chance to pass out some DAPs Magic buttons to a few readers.
Day Two was fun and very exhausting. Overall, it was worth everything. So many announcements were made as so were memories.
Stay tuned for tomorrow as I bring you an update on my experience from day three at the expo.
For a full list of Day Two highlights, you can click here to see the lineup.