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All of Disney’s Marvel, Pixar highlights

April 11, 20245 Mins Read


LAS VEGAS – Deadpool? And Wolverine? In Vegas? Makes sense to us.

Marvel’s two extremely stabby superheroes will likely be on hand when Disney closes out CinemaCon on Thursday with a presentation of its upcoming slate. The details are always hush-hush before the show starts at the annual convention of movie theater owners and studios, for maximum surprise factor. Still, the Mouse House wouldn’t miss a chance to make a big deal out of “Deadpool & Wolverine” (in theaters July 26), the Marvel Cinematic Universe debut for both Ryan Reynolds‘ masked Merc with a Mouth and Hugh Jackman‘s iconic X-Man, or roll out news about Pixar movies like the upcoming sequel “Inside Out 2” (June 14).

Here are all the news and live highlights from the Disney panel:

Dwayne Johnson arrives with island drummers and dancers – and does a few moves himself – to say “Aloha!” and preview the new animated sequel “Moana 2” (Nov. 27). He says the character Maui is inspired by his grandfather, “High Chief” Peter Maivia. “It’s so much deeper than a movie for me,” says Johnson, who’s presented with a Spirit of the Industry award from the National Association of Theater Owners. He also introduces a sneak peek, including a new song “We’re Back” sung by Moana (Auliʻi Cravalho) as she returns home from a seafaring trip.

Director Barry Jenkins says taking on the prequel “Mufasa: The Lion King” (Dec. 20) is “one of the best decisions of my life.” The “Moonlight” director adds that it’s “a very personal film for me”: He watched the original animated “Lion King” “maybe 200 times” with his nephews. The prequel “explores Mufasa’s rise to become the king that he is” and helps kids understand “how people who are great become the way that they are.”

The first “Deadpool” footage doesn’t disappoint: Director Shawn Levy shows nine super-fun, foul-mouthed minutes, where Reynolds’ Deadpool is literally hung up the tights and is now selling cars. But when he’s captured by the Time Variance Authority, a mystery man named Mr. Paradox (Matthew McFadyen) gives him a chance to jump from his timeline to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Suck it, Fox! I’m going to Disneyland,” Deadpool proclaims.

Yes, you read that right: Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says Deadpool is “designing” his own popcorn bucket a la that “Dune Part Two” travesty. In other news, “Thunderbolts*” (out May 5) now has an asterisk in its title (apparently that will make sense later) and “Captain America: Brave New World” (Feb. 14, 2025) will be a political thriller. “It’s been amazing,” Anthony Mackie says of taking on Cap’s shield. He introduces a sneak peek where Sam Wilson (Mackie) meets President “Thunderbolt” Ross (Harrison Ford) in the Oval Office, and POTUS wants him to rebuild the Avengers.

After a first trailer for “The Young Woman and the Sea,” a period biopic with “Nyad” vibes, Amy Poehler arrives to introduce the first 35 minutes of “Inside Out 2.” The now-teenage Riley navigates changing friendships and fitting in at a hockey camp, and Joy (Poehler) and the old emotions are challenged by Anxiety (Maya Hawke) and a new crew.

Next up: 17 minutes from “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (May 10), which is set several generations in the future as apes rule the world instead of humans. Two scenes show the atmosphere and breathtaking effects as young ape Noa seeks hawk’s eggs with his friends and picks up the pieces after a tragic attack.

Our two fun-loving antiheroes begin the presentation with a video of Jackman’s Wolverine launching into a curse-laden rant at folks to turn their phones off. “So much testosterone,” Deadpool quips. That’s followed by a sizzle reel of past and future movies, including a look at Gal Gadot’s Evil Queen in upcoming live-action “Snow White” – so evil! – and Harrison Ford’s President “Thunderbolt” Ross in Marvel’s “Captain America: Brave New World.”

Disney is the last studio to roll out a presentation this week, but the rest brought out a lot of good stuff. A few noteworthy items:

With Comic-Con and Disney’s own D23 convention coming this summer, most of the Marvel and “Star Wars” news probably will come out of those more fan-friendly events. Last year’s CinemaCon featured the first 20 minutes of Pixar’s “Elemental,” so theater owners (and us lucky journalists) might see something similar for “Inside Out 2.” (They do have to take up two hours and 15 minutes, after all.)

Like the other studios, Disney will be screening new footage from the rest of its 2024 slate, which also includes “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” (in theaters May 10), the Daisy Ridley period drama “Young Woman and the Sea” (May 31), upcoming Emma Stone movie “Kinds of Kindness” (June 21), the new “Alien” movie “Romulus” (Aug. 16) and Barry Jenkins’ “Mufasa: The Lion King” (Dec. 20). But maybe we’ll get a big scene from “Deadpool & Wolverine”!

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