- Title: 'Star Wars' leads the way at Disney+'s launch at D23
- Date: 24th August 2019
- Summary: ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 23, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF D23 CONVENTION IMAGE OF STAR WARS' R2D2 NEXT TO FROZEN'S ELSA
- Embargoed: 7th September 2019 08:41
- Keywords: Elizabeth Olsen Paul Bettany Walt Disney Avengers High School Musical Sebastian Stan Anthony Mackie Star Wars The Mandalorian D23 Lady and the Tramp Disney Plus
- Location: ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES/VARIOUS
- City: ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES/VARIOUS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA001ATKUGR1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Disney showcased its line-up for its upcoming streaming service Disney+ on Friday (August 23) at its bi-annual D23 convention with 'Star Wars' and 'Avengers' front and center of its strategy.
Headlining the event was 'The Mandalorian', a live-action 'Star Wars' television series about a group of people from the planet Mandalore - the most famous is the helmeted Boba Fett from George Lucas' original 'Star Wars' trilogy.
Disney released a trailer, which was mostly devoid of any speech but contained imagery from the upcoming series.
Speaking backstage, 'Rocky' actor Carl Weathers, who plays Greef Carga in the series, told Reuters "I think that, in a way, it's inexplicable because you have to see it on screen to realize how magnificent it really looks and how it plays and how good everyone is in it, including the production crew. What they manage to do and these people that work on CGI, it's mind-boggling to me because I've been doing this as a professional for almost 50 years now - I was very young when I started, of course - but it's mammoth."
Gina Carano, who plays Cara Dune, also focused in on the production side of the series, saying "Oh this definitely takes it to the next level, but we're not allowed to discuss that next level until you guys actually see it. That's how next level it is. I can say that we had everybody.... I shook some of the best directors in the business ('hands) that came to visit and see what was happening on the set and that was huge."
But Marvel's Avengers also have a hand in Disney+ with 'Falcon and the Winter Soldier' and 'Wandavision', a 1960's era sitcom featuring characters from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) including Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen).
Both the series are made for the new television streaming app but tell stories that go along with the theatrical releases.
"Actually you look at the films and they've all been a TV experiment," said Bettany. He added "They're episodic, they're just on a grand scale and then all the stories all coming together so it's really a continuation of that, really but we were blown away when we saw what the concept of this show is. I mean, it's crazy. It really is."
Anthony Mackie who plays Falcon in the MCU said of his upcoming series, "I think it's going to be huge. I think the amount of work and coverage that Disney is putting into it, it's the same format they'd do with a movie, so I think it's definitely going to change the way people look at what you can do on television and on streaming."
Also showcased at the event was 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' - a television series based on the Kenny Ortega films, which launched the career of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens.
However, the all-singing, all-dancing format has been given a twist - the show is produced like a reality television show.
John Bassett, who plays one of the leads, Ricky, told Reuters "I think that's the best word is 'grounded'. It's very grounded and we're self-aware and we're able to go to these deeper places and it's not all sunshine and rainbows because that's not how life is."
Other productions for the streaming service including a live action remake of dog romance 'The Lady and the Tramp' and an update of teen show 'Lizzy Maguire', which sees the titular character played by Hilary Duff in her 30s in her dream job in New York.
They also revealed at the end of their showcase that Scottish actor Ewan McGregor will be returning to his role as Obi Wan Kenobi in his own limited television series.
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