Over 50 titles from Disney are coming to cinemas and Disney+ in 2023

Global theatrical franchises and regional titles to look forward to

More than 50 titles were presented at Disney’s star-studded Content Showcase held at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands on Nov 30 and Dec 1, including a host of movies and series from Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Lucasfilm and new Apac originals for Disney+ Hotstar.

The showcase highlighted a slate of global tentpole titles, which were first presented at D23 Expo in Anaheim, US, including:

Marvel Studios' theatrical releases are Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Feb 15, 2023), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 3, 2023) and The Marvels (Jul 28,  2023, US release date) while its two miniseries namely six-episode Secret Invasion (early 2023) and six-episode Loki Season 2 (mid-2023) are coming to Disney+ Hotstar. If you would like to know about their synopses, check out our Facebook post at bit.ly/3h5usdw.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Walt Disney Animation Studios have one feature and one series lined up.

• Expected to be released in November is Wish, Disney's 62nd animated feature. The film follows 17-year-old Asha, voiced by West Side Story Oscar winner Ariana DeBose, and centres on the legend of the wishing star. What makes Wish a must-watch is not only that it'll commemorate the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney but also is co-directed by Chon-buri-born Fawn Veerasunthorn, whose noticeable credits include Raya and the Last Dragon, Zootopia, Frozen and Moana. Fawn said she was excited to "honour Walt's legacy while looking to the future" and combine the "turn-of-the-century illustration look, that inspired Walt himself, with the CG technology" into what she called "the moving illustration look". 

Fawn Veerasunthorn, co-director of Wish, and Jennifer Lee, Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios, joined the Disney Content Showcase in Singapore via videolink. (Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company)

• Coming to Disney+ Hotstar, Iwájú, a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pan-African comic book entertainment company Kugali, is an all-new original animated series set in futuristic Nigeria. Tola, a young heiress from a wealthy island, and her best friend Kole, a self-taught tech expert and loving son from the mainland, both must challenge the status quo. 

Pixar is rolling out Elemental and Win or Lose. 

• Scheduled for a June 16, 2023 release, Elemental is an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where fire, water, earth and air residents live together. An obvious nod to the concept of four elements. Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in.

While the premise of Elemental is fantastical, the inspiration behind it is surprisingly personal. Director Peter Sohn gave a touching presentation of Elemental in person, recalling the story of his parents emigrating to the US in early 1970s and his chilhood in New York City's The Bronx. "A mix salad bowl of cultures, languages and beautiful little neighbourhoods" that is NYC also inspires the film. 

Pixar director, Peter Sohn, joined the Disney Content Showcase in Singapore to discuss his upcoming film, Elemental.

• Pixar’s first-ever long-form series, Win or Lose follows the Pickles, a co-ed middle school softball team, in the week leading up to their championship game. Each episode highlights the perspective of a different character and explores the drama of bad calls being made on and off the field. It’s a story about love, rivalry and the challenges we all face in our struggle to win. Coming to Disney+ Hotstar in the autumn of 2023.

Elio, a story about 11-year-old Elio who accidentally becomes an intergalactic ambassador for Earth, and Inside Out 2, a sequel to Inside Out about all-new adventures inside the mind of now-teenager Riley, are releasing in 2024.

Elio.

Walt Disney Pictures announced three live-action films for 2023 and two more for 2024. They are The Little Mermaid, Haunted MansionPeter Pan & Wendy, Snow White and Mufasa: The Lion King

• Slated for a May 26, 2023 release, The Little Mermaid is a reimagining of the classic animated film. Acclaimed filmmaker Rob Marshall directs, and Disney legend Alan Menken returns to craft brand new songs in collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton, Moana and Encanto fame. Ariel is played by talented singer and actress Halle Bailey. She will be supported by a star-studded ensemble cast, including Awkwafina, Daveed Diggs and Javier Bardem. Those who doubt Bailey as Ariel should have seen her outstanding performance of Part of Your World which was shown to the press in attendance. 

• Scheduled for Aug 11, Haunted Mansion is inspired by the classic theme park attraction. A woman and her son enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters. Directed by Justin Simien, Haunted Mansion boasts a stellar cast including LaKeith Stanfield, Tiffany Haddish, Owen Wilson, Danny DeVito, Rosario Dawson, Chase W. Dillon, Dan Levy, with Jamie Lee Curtis and Jared Leto as The Hatbox Ghost.

• Also releasing next year on Disney+ is Peter Pan & Wendy, a live-action reimagining of the 1953 animated classic. Directed by David Lowery and starring Alexander Molony as Peter Pan, Ever Anderson as Wendy, Yara Sahidi as Tinkerbell, Jude Law as Captain Hook, the film dives deeper into Wendy’s story as she joins the boy who refuses to grow up on a magical journey to Neverland and reveals the history behind Peter Pan’s rivalry with Captain Hook.

Snow White, a live-action reimagination of the classic tale, and Mufasa: The Lion King, a prequel to 2019 The Lion King, are expected to be released on Mar 22, 2024, and Jul 5, 2024, respectively. Gal Gadot as Evil Queen gave us chills. 

Lucasfilm boasts The Mandalorian Season Three, Ahsoka, Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season Two, Star Wars Visions Volume Two, The Acolyte and the fifth instalment of Indiana Jones in their 2023 lineup. The first four are streaming releases for Disney+ Hotstar while the fifth one is, of course, a theatrical release. 

• In the third season of The Mandalorian, the Mandalorian and Grogu have been reunited and continue their journey through the lawless galaxy.

• Ahsoka is a new live-action series, starring Rosario Dawson in the title role. Set after the fall of the Empire, Ahsoka follows the former Jedi knight and title character Ahsoka Tano as she investigates an emerging threat to a vulnerable galaxy.

• Months have passed since the events on Kamino, and the Bad Batch continue their journey navigating the Empire after the fall of the Republic in Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season Two. They’ll cross paths with friends and foes, both new and familiar, as they take on a variety of thrilling mercenary missions that will take them to unexpected and dangerous new places.

• Star Wars: Visions serves as a broader framework for celebratory expressions of Star Wars storytelling. Volume 2 will showcase that potential as the shorts go on a global tour, celebrating the incredible animation happening across countries and cultures, through the mythos of Star Wars.

• Leslye Headland, Emmy Award-nominated creator of the mind-bending series Russian Doll, brings a new Star Wars series to Disney+ with The Acolyte. The mystery-thriller will take the audience into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark side powers in the final days of the High Republic era.

• Most people probably think of Star Wars first when it comes to Lucasfilm's IP while Indiana Jones comes in second. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny sees Harrison Ford returns to the role of the legendary hero archaeologist for this fifth instalment of the iconic franchise. Starring along with Ford are Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas, Boyd Holbrook, Shaunette Renee Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann and Toby Jones. The film is directed by James Mangold, with Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall and Simon Emanuel serving as producers, and along with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas as executive producers. The release date is set to Jun 28, 2023, in Thailand. 

• Closing day one of the showcase was a 3D presentation of the wildly anticipated Avatar: The Way of Water, directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, starring Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement and Kate Winslet. The film will hit Thai cinemas on Dec 14.  

Upcoming Asia Pacific content on Disney+

Besides household name releases, the content showcase also revealed Asia-Pacific content coming to the Disney+ Hotstar this month and next year.

“Our aspiration is for stories from the Asia Pacific region to be a key pillar for the next 100 years,” said Carol Choi, Executive Vice President of Original Content Strategy, The Walt Disney Company Apac. “Our curated content from Apac is a key part of the unparalleled storytelling and creative excellence The Walt Disney Company is known for, and we look forward to further showcasing storytelling excellence from the region on the world stage.”

The highlights of the new APAC content slate are from Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and ANZ (Australia and New Zealand). 

Japan

• The first title to be released as part of Disney’s expanded collaboration with Kodansha, Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown Arc will see former bad boy Takemichi uses his accidentally acquired powers of time travel to go back and save his high school girlfriend from being murdered by the Tokyo Manji gang, unwittingly changing the destinies of those around him.

• A thrilling live-action adaptation of the hit manga about dark and mysterious disappearances in a remote Japanese village, Gannibal is co-produced by Teruhisa Yamamoto (producer of Academy Award winner Drive My Car) and Tatsuya Iwakura, adapted for the screen by Academy Award nominee Takamasa Oe (Drive My Car). This exciting new series will launch on Dec 28.

• From the mind of director Kentaro Hagiwara and producers Yamamoto and Hitoshi Ito (The Boy and the Beast, Mirai) and Hideyuki Wakuta comes the first Disney+ original fantasy series from Japan Dragons of Wonderhatch. Featuring a groundbreaking combination of live-action and anime elements, this series tells the story of a high school girl who struggles to fit in with her classmates before being swept up on an adventure with a boy from another world who will forever change her destiny.

• Starring Min Tanaka and Mackenyu, House of the Owl follows Ryutaro Ogami, Japan's number one fixer, revered for his ability to guide Japan’s politicians and most senior business leaders through sensational and career-ending scandals unscathed. In this gripping drama series, we follow the fixer as he faces his most daunting challenge yet - dealing with a chain of events that could forever change Japan's politics, while also facing his family - the only people he can't control.

Korea 

• Directed by legendary Japanese director Miike Takashi with an A-list Korean cast including Jung Haein, Ko Kyungpyo and Kim Hyejun, Connect is a Korean crime fantasy thriller that tells the story of a man with the ability to heal from any injury who gets kidnapped and has his eye removed by a gang of organ harvesters. This captivating new series was screened at the Busan International Film Festival 2022 and streams now on Disney+ Hotstar.

• Featuring Old Boy star Choi Minsik in his first return to TV in over 25 years, Lee Donghwi, Son Sukku and Squid Game villain Heo Sungtae, Big Bet tells the unforgettable tale of a man who struggles to become a casino mogul but soon after hits rock bottom due to a chain of unfortunate events. Determined not to let life beat him down yet again, the man risks everything he has, including his own life, to get himself back in the game. Catch this highly anticipated new series when it premiers on Dec 21.

• Directed by Lee Kwangyoung, the master of romantic dramas, Call It Love tells the story of a mistreated daughter who seeks revenge on her mistress after the sudden death of her father.

• Starring Ryu Seungryong, Han Hyojoo and Zo Insung, Moving is based on a popular webtoon by Kang Full and tells the story of three teenagers who discover they’ve inherited unusual powers from their secret agent parents. 

• Set in 1990s Korea, The Worst of Evil follows an investigative task force as their undercover officer, Park Joonmo, infiltrates a new criminal organization responsible for fuelling a trafficking triangle. Starring Ji Changwook, Wi Hajun and Lim Semi, production is currently underway on this exciting new crime drama.

• Written by acclaimed screenwriter Kim Roori, RACE is about a mediocre employee who unleashes her potential after discovering she was hired at her top-tier publicity company for diversity reasons. 

Noticeably, Disney+ continues its success with music-related content after streaming Blackpink: The Movie and BTS: Permission to Dance on Stage-LA with these three upcoming releases.

• On November 6, 2005, the K-pop group Super Junior 05 made their debut. First leaving their mark on Asia, they rapidly grew, dropping "05" from their name, and amazed audiences across the world. In Super Junior: The Last Man Standing, viewers are taken behind the scenes in a one-of-a-kind exploration of the band and its members, offering new insights into the modern K-pop industry. 

BTS Monuments: Beyond The Star is an exclusive Disney+ original. This music docu-series will chart the incredible journey of 21st-century pop icons BTS. With unprecedented access to a vast library of music and footage over the past nine years, the series will feature the daily lives, thoughts and plans of BTS members, as they prepare for their second chapter.

j-hope Solo Documentary (working title) will follow pop star j-hope in the lead-up to his recently released solo album. This upcoming docu features never-before-seen interviews with him, a behind-the-scenes look at his solo album preparation process, his 2022 Lollapalooza performance and a unique look at the album’s listening party. 

Indonesia

• An adaptation of the hit French series Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent!), dramatic comedy Hubungi Agen Gue! (The Talent Agency) follows four agents in an Indonesian talent agency as they struggle to save their business following the unexpected death of the company’s founder. Starring Donny Damara, Hannah Al Rashid, Yoga Pratama and Lydia Kandou, each episode will feature A-listers guests. Produced by producers Mira Lesmana and Riri Riza and SK Global Entertainment (Crazy Rich Asians), and directed by one of Indonesia’s top directors, Teddy Soeriaatmadja.

• After a successful first season, Wedding Agreement The Series returns with a gripping new story. Starring Refal Hady as Bian and Indah Permatasari as Tari, season two opens three years after the first, with Bian suddenly deciding he needs to start over.

ANZ

The Artful Dodger is an international character drama set in the frontier colonies of 1850s Australia. Across eight episodes, the scripted series explores the adult double life of Charles Dickens’ famous prince of thieves – The Artful Dodger – now a surgeon, who can’t shake his predilection for crimes. From high-octane heists to life-and-death surgeries, glittering parties to colourful streets, this series is a rock’n’roll tale with an Aussie twist starring Thomas Brodie-Sangster, David Thewlis, Maia Mitchell and Damon Herriman.

• Based on the acclaimed novel In the Clearing by J.P. Pomare, and inspired by cults throughout history, The Clearing is a story of buried trauma and the effect of being raised under the oppressive spell of Adrienne, a rare female cult leader. When Freya uncovers a secret plan to resurrect the long-dormant ‘Kindred’ with the kidnapped little girl from the news and her precious son Billy in their sights, her own warped childhood resurfaces. Set in the gothic isolation of the Australian bush, a forbidding landscape of dark-edged myth and speculation, The Clearing is an emotional and psychological thriller that burrows under the skin and inside the mind, blurring the lines between past and present, reality and nightmare. 

Asian stars, stories shine at the Disney Content Showcase in Singapore. (Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company) Front row (L - R): Mira Lesmana, Kim Hyejun, Riho Yoshioka, Lee Kwangyoung. Middle row (L - R): Ko Kyungpyo, Lee Donghwi, Pete Sohn, Yuya Yagira, Lee Sungkyoung, Jung Haein, Chelsea Islan, Mackenyu, Heo Sungtae, Adinia Wirasti, Kim Youngkwang.  Back row (L - R): Teruhisa Yamamoto, Kang Yunsung, Refel Hady, Min Tanaka, Risa Saraswati, Miike Takashi, Shinzo Katayama, Deva Mahenra.

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