Hanks as Disney, 'Muppets Most Wanted,' Jolie's 'Maleficent,' and Marvel all shine at D23
11:15 - Feige says that they feel very excited about "Guardians Of The Galaxy" because it's still somewhat unknown, and then he shows the reel from Comic-Con again. I LOVE THIS FOOTAGE.
"What a bunch of a-holes," indeed.
11:20 - Feige wraps it up with a peek at 2015. It's the same "Age Of Ultron" title treatment piece. What I find most telling about it is that the entire thing is close-ups of what is obviously the Iron Man mask at first, but something beats and bends it out of shape until it is revealed as the Ultron head. I'm telling you... I think JARVIS is going to be Ultron.
Alan Horn walks back out afterwards.
He's talking about how strange the raccoon and Groot are, and how they both made him think of DisneyNature. I'll give him this… that's about as graceful a segue as you can make between Marvel and nature documentaries.
He talks about the legacy of their documentary work, and about how they always donate part of the gross to conservation charities.
"Bears" is the first film they highlight, and it's shot in the Alaskan wilderness. They're partnered on this one with the National Park Foundation. If you see the film in the first work, money will go to the National Parks.
The first trailer for the film. It looks like the main story of the film is about a mother bear and her two cubs. It is beautifully photographed, and it looks like it's got a lot of character. It's an Earth Day release, as many of these have been.
"We've done bears, chimpanzees, cats. Why not mice? I'm just saying."
11:25 - Sean Bailey is brought out to introduce the next group of films, which draw on the company's legacy for inspiration.
Let's dive right in and start with a nefarious villain about to put some of our favorite characters in jeopardy.
"He's stolen some of the greatest treasures. He's escaped from the greatest prisons. He's been called the world's greatest criminal. And he bears a strong resemblance to someone you know." It's Kermit's evil twin.
So that's the hook for the new Muppets film. Ty Burrell is playing a French cop on the trail of the Kermit-alike. Ricky Gervais is actually named "Badguy," which he says is pronounced "Bad-geee," like it's French. Tina Fey is the warden of what looks like a Soviet prison.
It's a pretty funny reel. I guess they're now creating a real continuity, since Walter's back in this one. Bailey says the songs are once again by Brent McKenzie. Makes sense after the Oscar win for the last one.
A tiny Interpol car drives out onstage, and Ty Burrell manages to unfold himself from it. It's no mean trick. I am genuinely impressed.
"This car is a lot like the Muppets. It's tiny and it makes funny noises, and it makes the journey more exciting."
Ty talks about how on the first day of shooting, he was just amazed by the puppeteers and had to be reminded to actually look at the Muppets during the scenes. His character is Jean-Pierre Napoleon, and he is paired up with Sam The Eagle, who works for the CIA in the film. We saw a bit in the footage between them comparing the size of their badges.
Then, to his credit, he actually got back in the thing and drove off. Well-played.
Onscreen, Miss Piggy appears, "live from London." She talks about wishing she could be in Anaheim with us, but she's in London shooting a major motion picture. She says she has prepared a special tribute to "You, the World's Greatest Fans."
Tina Fey and Kermit walk in wearing shirts that read P23.
Fey: "What does the 23 stand for?"
Piggy: "My age."
They correct her and tell her it's D23, not P23. Piggy storms off, outraged, and karate chops a security guard on the way out the door. Kermit and Tina introduce another clip.
11:35 - They're getting ready to do the show. Ricky Gervais shows up with the fake Kermit, who speaks with a thick Russian accent. He tells everyone to listen to whatever Gervais says. Fake Kermit tries to apologize to Piggy, but she's not having any. Animal knows he's a fake and tries to warn everyone. Walter and Fake Kermit talk about being ready for the show, and Walter can tell right away that something's wrong.
Backstage, Fake Kermit and Ricky talk about their plan, and Fake Kermit can't quite get his mouth around "burglary" in a thick Slavic accent.
"I'm number one/You're number Two/We are criminals at large/But I'm larger than you"
We get a taste of the musical number, which is very funny, as Fake Kermit puts Ricky in his place.
"I'm number two/He's number one/I can't believe/I'm working for an amphibian."
Bobin's one of the first directors to work with the Muppets who has a visual style that compliments their humor in a smart and stylish way, and I hope he's happy doing these, because he really does make it special.
Bailey walks back out after the clip to talk about how they've just started rehearsals for "Into The Woods." He talks about how Rob Marshall is gearing up to make the film now, with producer Marc Platt. He explains that the musical is a mash-up of all sorts of fairy tale characters, and the film starts shooting in two weeks.
Meryl Streep is the Witch. Johnny Depp is the Wolf. Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, and Emily Blunt are the next slide, filling out the cast.
The film will be in theaters Christmas Day 2014.
"Cinderella" will be in theaters in March of 2015. They say it's a classic take on the story, but elevated. Bailey emphasizes how strong a character Cinderella will be, and he mentions that Kenneth Branagh will be directing the film. "Hamlet," "Henry V," and "Thor."
Bailey introduces a very early pre-production test, and here we go.
"I'm really excited to be directing a new live action version of Cinderella, and I wanted to give you an early glimpse of the movie."
Starts with the storybook opening. Very classic Disney image.
"It's impossible to think of CInderella without thinking of Disney. To come to this story as a filmmaker, I find irresistible the idea that there are images that everyone knows. We've been working on how to create these images. Transformation. Glass slipper. Making her beautiful entrance."
Lily James is Cinderella. We see some costume tests. She's stunning. She definitely looks like a Disney Princess.
Prince Charming is Richard Madden, and there's a big response to the slide of him. "A funny, smart, sexy prince."
The Stepmother is wicked, and Cate Blanchett is the star.
The Fairy Godmother is Helena Bonham Carter. She's tour guide through the story, the warm, tender, funny voice that lets us know that all will be well."
We meet Maleficent as a teenage fairy who is caring for her home and the creatures in it, and we see how the King treats her ruthlessly, and how that leads to what he does to Princess Aurora. Elle Fanning is Aurora in the film.
They're looking to show these characters with flaws, like the three fairy godmothers, who may not be as good at raising children as we originally thought. We will see the classic fight with the dragon, "but this time you find yourself rooting for the other side."
11:50 - Angelina Jolie is introduced, and she starts by saying that even as a little girl, Maleficent was her favorite. Huge response when she walks out.
"When it was announced that Disney was making the film, I got a call from my brother who said 'You have to try to get in on this.'"
She talked about getting the horns for the first time and how much she loved the costuming.
"Having a director who came from production design, all of those elements are very much a part of the film. You have this beautiful fairy tale and you have Sharlto, who is so intense and so strong, and yet, this has to be the point of view of the villain. It has to have an edge and something sexy and darker and more and we still had to stay true to the original. Someone said to me 'What was it like to get all dressed up? It must be very exciting.' People would bring their kids to set and I would be like, 'Oh, I'm a Disney character,' so I'd go over to see them, and they would scream. One kid said, 'Mommy, tell the witch to stop talking to me!"
Bailey asks her about being a parent and what that means in terms of her family's relationship to Disney.
"You know you can bring your kids to a Disney film, and you know it will be good for them. There's something very comforting about that."
"And that is not all," Bailey said, introducing a clip.
Almost immediately, there is a strong sense that this is the same world as "Sleeping Beauty." they aren't kidding. The three fairies look right. Sharlto is the king from the film, perfectly costumed. And then Maleficent makes her entrance, and she looks perfect.
"I was upset not to get an invitation."
The King says, "You are not welcome."
"What an awkward situation."
We see her curse the baby, and it's very creepy, very haunting. It's a very quick glimpse, but boy, it makes the case for them getting all the details of the world right.