Halloween 2019: Horror movies and supernatural thrillers in theaters on All Hallows’ Eve

October 1, 2019

by Carla Hay

There are numerous horror movies available to watch on TV, computers or mobile devices, but for Halloween 2019, there are a select number of horror flicks and supernatural thrillers that will be released in theaters in October. Horror and supernatural movies released before October 2019 that should still be in theaters during the Halloween season include “It: Chapter Two” (rated R); “Ready or Not” (rated R); “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” (rated PG-13); “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” (rated PG-13); “Freaks” (rated R); “The Nightingale” (rated R); “The Lake Vampire” (not rated); “Prey” (rated PG-13); “Beloved Beast” (not rated); “The Curse of Buckout Road” (not rated); “Tigers Are Not Afraid” (not rated); and “One Cut of the Dead” (not rated). Here are the movies that have an October 2019 release:

Information in this article is about U.S. releases.

RELEASES FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

(Movies that are rated R or unrated)

“100 Acres of Hell”

Directed by Hank Lee Hump, “100 Acres of Hell” centers on former wrestling champ Buck Severs (played by Gene Snisky) and his posse of friends. After Buck has some life setbacks of getting a career-ending injury and experiencing a family tragedy, he and his pals travel to an abandoned wildlife preserve for a weekend getaway. They soon become the targets of a mutant psycho killer, who uses the preserve as a personal hunting ground.  The movie’s co-stars include Eileen Dietz, Ernest O’Donnell, Catherine Corcoran, Jason L. Koerner and Jim Roof.  “100 Acres of Hell,” which is rated R, arrives in select theaters on October 11, 2019, before expanding to more theaters on October 18, 2019.

“Beloved Beast”

In sort of a twisted homage to the classic film “Harvey” (about an imaginary rabbit friend named Harvey), the slasher flick “Beloved Beast” (written and directed by Jonathan Holbrook) features a serial killer named Harvey who wears a rabbit mask. The murderer is an escaped patient from a psychiatric institution, and he befriends a 12-year-old orphan named Nina, who’s living with her unstable, druggie aunt. The movie’s cast members include Meredith Binder, Sheila Houlahan, Tabitha Bastien, Sanae Loutsis, Khoe King, Elizabeth Rhoades and  Luke Schuck. “Beloved Beast,” which is rated R, is set for release in select theaters on October 11, 2019.

“The Dead Center”

In “The Dead Center,” written and directed by Billy Senese, a suicide victim (played Jeremy Childs, Preacher, Nashville) disappears from the morgue, which triggers a terrifying chain of events. A troubled psychiatrist named Daniel Forrester (played by Shane Carruth) tries to figure out the mystery behind a catatonic patient who is brought to the emergency psych ward with no memory of how he reached the hospital. It isn’t long before gruesome deaths begin happening on the ward. “The Dead Center,” which is unrated, arrives in select theaters and digital HD on October 11, 2019. The movie’s release on DVD and Blu-ray is on October 14, 2019.

“Echoes of Fear”

Written and directed by Brian Avenet-Bradley, “Echoes of Fear” is about a young woman named Alysa (played by Trista Robinson), who inherits her grandfather house. As she tries to find out more about his mysterious death, Alysa finds out the hard way that the house is haunted. “Echoes of Fear,” which is unrated, will be released in select theaters on October 16, 2019.

“Girl on the Third Floor”

Written and directed by Travis Stevens, “Girl on the Third Floor” tells the story of a deeply flawed husband named Don Koch (played by CM Punk), who tries to redeem himself from his criminal past by fixing up an old house where he and his pregnant wife Liz (played by Trieste Kelly Dunn) plan to start their family. Liz is concerned about whether or not Don will be able to finish the house in time for the arrival of their baby. Meanwhile, Don is tempted by a young, attractive woman named Sarah (played by Sarah Brooks), who offers to help Don with his renovations. Not surprisingly, the house has secrets that are revealed to deadly consequences. “Girl on the Third Floor,” which is not rated, opens in limited release on October 25, 2019.

“Joker” 

Joaquin Phoenix inhabits the title role in “Joker,” an origin story of Batman’s most famous enemy. In the movie, directed and co-written by Todd Phillips, Phoenix portrays Arthur Fleck, a troubled loner whose descent into madness includes a murderous crime spree. “Joker” had its world premiere at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival, where “Joker” became the first movie with comic-book origins that won the festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion. “Joker” and Phoenix are also getting a lot of buzz for other prizes, including the Academy Awards. The movie’s cast also includes Zazie Beets and Robert De Niro. Film critics, who have mostly praised “Joker,” have described the movie as being influenced by the Martin Scorsese films “Taxi Driver” and “The King of Comedy.” “Joker,” which is rated R, opens in wide release on October 4, 2019.

“The Last Fiction”

This animated film from Iran tells the story of ruthless Zahak, who takes over as king of Persia. Under his leadership, young men who work in the palace begin to mysteriously disappear. In reaction to growing unrest among the citizens, Zahak orders the murder of newborn babies. Among the discontents is a young rebel named Kaveh, who forms an army of outlaws to rebel against Zahak. Kaveh enlists the help of Afaridoun, who he trains as a warrior capable of fighting humans and demons. “The Last Fiction,” written and directed by Ashkan Rahgozar, is unrated and is set for release in select theaters on October 18, 2019.

“The Lighthouse”

Directed and co-written by Robert Eggers (“The Witch”), this dark and brutal drama centers on two lighthouse keepers who are isolated on a New England island in the 1890s. Thomas Wake (played by Willem Dafoe) is the older, more experienced keeper, who often becomes frustrated with the younger Ephraim Inslow (played by Robert Pattinson), who shows signs of having a rebellious streak and mental instability. Thomas is a superstitious taskmaster who warns Ephraim not to kill any of the seagulls that are constantly hovering around the lighthouse. As the story unfolds, there is an ongoing power struggle between the two men, as sinister forces become increasingly present in and around the lighthouse. “The Lighthouse,” which is rated R, opens in limited release on October 18, 2019.

“Little Monsters” (2019)

Written and directed by Abe Forsythe, the zombie comedy “Little Monsters,” which takes place in Australia, follows the madcap journey of an unemployed, slacker musician named Dave (played by Alexander England) and how he ends up in the middle of a zombie invasion. After finding himself living with his older, single sister Tess (played by Kat Stewart) and her precocious kindergarten-age son Felix (played by Diesel La Torraca), Dave volunteers to be a chaperone for a field trip that Felix’s class is taking to a family zoo. Part of Dave’s motivation to go on the trip is because Felix is attracted to Felix’s straight-laced teacher Miss Caroline (played by Lupita Nyong’o), who is the complete opposite of Dave. While at the zoo, they meet a famous children’s entertainer named Teddy McGiggle (played by Josh Gad), who becomes a rival to George for Miss Caroline’s affections. It isn’t long before the zoo is invaded by zombies. “Little Monsters,” which is rated R, arrives in select theaters for one night only on October 8, 2019, and begins streaming on Hulu on October 11, 2019.

“Memory: The Origins of Alien”

The excellent documentary “Memory: The Origin of Alien,” directed by Alexandre O. Philippe, takes a deep-dive examination into the 1979 classic sci-fi horror movie “Alien.” It’s best that people see the movie “Alien” before watching this documentary, which contains a lot of spoiler information. Ridley Scott directed “Alien,” and this documentary also gives a great deal of the movie’s creative credit to screenwriter Dan O’Bannon, who adapted the “Alien” screenplay from a story titled “Memory” that he wrote with Ronald Shusett. Several major influences on “Alien” are explored, such as artist H.R. Giger, whose “Necronom IV” painting gave Scott the idea of how the “Alien” title character would look; artist Francis Bacon, whose work inspired the creature in the movie’s famous chestburster scene; and several comic books, sci-fi novels and movies that inspired the screenplay and art direction of “Alien.” Among the notables interviewed for the documentary are “Alien” cast members Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright; film editor Terry Rawlings; art director Roger Christian; associate producer Ivor Powell; Diane O’Bannon (Don O’Bannon’s widow); and legendary horror filmmaker Roger Corman. Several pundits also note the sociological and cultural influences and statements of “Alien,” which one commenter says is a movie symbolic of “patriarchal guilt.”  Although the documentary is not rated, it contains a lot of the movie’s most graphic images, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at how those horrifying scenes were filmed. The fan-driven company Legion M teamed up with Screen Media to acquire “Memory: The Origin of Alien” after the movie premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. “Memory: The Origin of Alien” is set for release on VOD and in select theaters on October 4, 2019.

“Portals”

On August 5, 2020, after an undisclosed research facility creates the world’s first active black hole, a cosmic disruption occurs that sets off a series of blackouts around the world. Millions of mysterious portals then begin appearing. While some people run away from the portals, other people are drawn into the potentially deadly doorways. “Portals” is an anthology featuring three internationally connected stories told by four directors: Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto and Liam O’Donnell. The movie’s cast members include Neil Hopkins, Deanna Russo, Gretchen Lodge and Natacha Gott. “Portals,” which is nor rated, arrives in select theaters and on VOD on October 25, 2019.

“Trick”

Directed and co-written by Patrick Lussier, “Trick” uses the slasher-flick trope of a serial killer out for revenge. On Halloween night in 2015, Patrick “Trick” Weaver massacred his classmates at a costume party. He was arrested, but he escaped from police custody after being shot five times by Detective Mike Denver (played by Omar Epps). Trick is presumed to be dead, but a masked killer reappears the following Halloween, and every Halloween after that, which convinces people that Trick has returned to continue his murder spree.  The cast members of “Trick” also include Kristina Reyes, Jamie Kennedy and Tom Atkins. “Trick,” which is not rated, arrives in select theaters and on VOD on October 18, 2019.

“Wrinkles the Clown”

This documentary, directed by Michael Beach Nichols, examines the urban mythology of Wrinkles the Clown, a sinister character that first came to the public’s attention in 2014, when a viral YouTube video emerged of Wrinkles the Clown coming out from hiding underneath a sleeping child’s bed. The video described that the clown was available for hire in southwest Florida to scare unruly children. Wrinkles the Clown then became an Internet sensation, as people filmed sightings of the clown. In addition to showing how the character developed a cult following, the movie unmasks the clown by interviewing the man behind the costume. “Wrinkles the Clown,” which is not rated, will be available on VOD and will have a limited theatrical release on October 4, 2019.

“Zombieland: Double Tap”

Ten years after the 2009 comedy film “Zombieland” became a hit, the movie’s sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” arrives in theaters, reuniting director Ruben Fleischer with original cast members Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin, as a quartet of misfits trying to stay alive in a zombie apocalypse. New cast members include Zoey Deutch, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson and Avan Jogia. “Zombieland: Double Tap,” which is rated R, has a wide release in theaters on October 18, 2019. In select cities, AMC Theatres will be showing a special double feature of “Zombieland” and “Zombieland: Double Tap” on October 16, 2019. Tickets and more information on the double feature can be found here.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY RELEASES

(Movies that are rated PG or PG-13)

“The Addams Family”

Directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, “The Addams Family” is the animated version of Charles Addams’ comic-strip that ran in the New Yorker from 1938 to 1988. The comic strip , which is about a spooky clan that has a hard time fitting into a “normal” world, would go on to spawn a live-action TV series in the 1960s, an animated TV series in the 1970s and live-action films in the 1990s. The all-star voice cast of “The Addams Family” animated film includes Oscar Isaac as patriarch Gomez Addams; Charlize Theron as matriarch Morticia Addams; Chloë Grace Moretz as daughter Wednesday Addams; Finn Wolfhard as son Pugsley Addams; Nick Kroll as Uncle Fester, Gomez’s brother; Snoop Dogg as Cousin Itt, Gomez’s cousin; Bette Midler as Grandmama, Gomez and Fester’s mother; and Allison Janney as reality TV host Margaux Needler, the story’s villain. “The Addams Family,” which is rated PG-13, opens in wide release on October 11, 2019.

“Countdown”

Would you want to know the exact date and time that you’re going to die? That’s the premise behind “Countdown” (written and directed by Justin Dec), which tells the story of what several people do when they download an app that predicts when they will die. One of the people who downloads the app is a young nurse named Quinn (Elizabeth Lail), who finds out she only has three days to live. The movie’s cast also includes Anne Winters, Charlie McDermott, Peter Facinelli, Jordan Calloway and Talitha Eliana Bateman. “Countdown,” which is rated PG-13, is set for release on October 25, 2019.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”

This sequel to 2014’s “Maleficent” reunites Angelina Jolie as the titular witch character and Elle Fanning as Princess Aurora. Directed by Joachim Rønning, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” picks up several years after “Maleficent,” as Maleficent and Aurora form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures in their environment. The movie’s co-stars include Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith (Aurora’s future mother-in-law) and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Conall, one of the leaders of the dark fey, a band of winged creatures exiled from the human world. The movie’s cast members also include Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, Juno Temple and Ed Skrein.  “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” which is rated PG-13, opens in wide release on October 18, 2019.

“Polaroid”

Directed by Lars Klevberg, “Polaroid” centers on a high-school student named Bird Fitcher (played by Kathryn Prescott), a social outcast who uncovers dark secrets when she starts using a mysterious Polaroid vintage camera. People end up dying after having their picture taken by the camera. “Polaroid” was originally supposed to be released in 2017 by Dimension Films, a subsidiary of the now-defunct Weinstein Company, before Lantern Entertainment (which bought the Weinstein Company’s assets) and 13 Films took over the distribution rights for the movie. The film is the American version of Klevberg’s 2015 Norwegian short film of the same title. “Polaroid,” which is rated PG-13, will be released in select theaters on October 11, 2019.

SPECIAL RE-RELEASES

“3 From Hell”

“3 From Hell” is the third film in writer/director Rob Zombie’s series of horror movies that began with 2003’s “House of 1,000 Corpses” and continued with 2005’s “The Devil’s Rejects.” In “3 From Hell,” Baby Firefly (played by Sheri Moon Zombie), Otis Driftwood (played by Bill Moseley) and Winslow Foxworth Coltrane (Richard Brake) have survived a shootout with the police, and are now planning a breakout from prison. When the three make their break, they go on a road trip. Along the way, people are take hostage, and there’s plenty of murder and mayhem. After a successful three-night run in mid-September 2019, “3 From Hell” returns to theaters for a one-night screening on October 14, 2019. Fathom Events is presenting the movie, which is rated R. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Alien”

“In space, no one can hear you scream” was the tagline for director Ridley Scott’s classic 1979 sci-fi horror film “Alien.” That sentence sums up the deepest fears of the film’s protagonists: an isolated, seven-member crew on the space tug Nostromo. The movie tells the story of how they find out that they are not alone on their spaceship. Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto are among the stars of “Alien,” a critically acclaimed film that has spawned many sequels and prequels. Fathom Events is presenting “Alien” (which is rated R) on October 13, October 15 and October 16, 2019, to celebrate the movie’s 40th anniversary. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“An American Werewolf in London” 

Directed by John Landis, the 1981 film “An American Werewolf in London” tells the story of two vacationing American college students—David Kessler (played by David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (played by Griffin Dunne)—who are backpacking in England. While traveling in the moors of Yorkshire, they stop in a pub and get a strange reaction from the locals, who warn them not to be outside at night when there is a full moon. It isn’t long before David and Jack find out the hard way that there’s a werewolf on the loose. “An American Werewolf in London” has the distinction of being the first movie to win an Oscar for makeup and hairstyling when it became an official competitive category for the 1982 ceremony, where Rick Baker won the prize. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “An American Werewolf in London” (which is rated R) on October 15, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954)

In “Creature From the Black Lagoon,” directed by Jack Arnold, a partial skeleton of mysterious creature with webbed hands is discovered in South America’s Amazon. Four scientists (played by Antonio Moreno, Richard Carlson, Richard Denning and Whit Bissell), along with a female colleague (played by Julie Adams) and a boat captain (played by Nestor Paiva) take a boat trip on the Amazon to look for the rest of the skeleton and to investigate if the creature has any living relatives. Needless to say, they get their answer. “Creature From the Black Lagoon” spawned sequels at least one remake. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series and to celebrate the film’s 65th anniversary, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (which is rated G) on October 22, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Exorcist”

The 1973 classic “The Exorcist,” directed by William Friedkin, is often ranked as the scariest horror movie of all time. In the story, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn) is distraught when she sees her 12-year-old daughter Regan (played by Linda Blair) begin to act strangely, such as speaking in tongues. When Regan starts levitating, Chris is convinced that Regan might be possessed by the devil. Chris asks a local priest named Father Damien (played by Jason Miller) for help. He then requests to perform an exorcism, and the Catholic Church sends an exorcism expert Father Lankester Merrin (played by Max von Sydow) to assist in the exorcism. “The Exorcist,” which is rated R, received 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), and ended up winning two Oscars: Best Original Screenplay and Best Sound Mixing. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing the director’s cut of “The Exorcist” (10 minutes of extra footage that wasn’t in the film’s original release) on October 29, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Ghostbusters” (1984)

The original 1984 “Ghostbusters” movie is considered a horror-comedy classic. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the movie tells the story of three paranormal investigators (played by Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis), their first recruit (Ernie Hudson), their socialite client (played by Sigourney Weaver), her neighbor (played by Rick Moranis), and how they stumble upon ghosts and demons in New York City. To celebrate the movie’s 35th anniversary, Fathom Events is showing “Ghostbusters” in select theaters on October 6 and October 10, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“House of the Devil” (2009)

The indie horror film “The House of the Devil,” written and directed by Ti West, will get a limited re-release to celebrate the film’s 10th anniversary. Set in the 1980s, “The House of the Devil” tells the story of financially struggling college student Samantha Bolin (played by Jocelin Donahue), who takes a babysitting job from a creepy couple named Mr. and Mrs. Ulman (played by Tom Noonan and Mary Woronov). Samantha’s best friend, Megan (played Greta Gerwig), gives her a ride to the isolated mansion where the Ulmans live, and reluctantly leaves Samantha there. Not surprisingly, many horrible things happen in the mansion. “The House of the Devil,” which is rated R, will have its theatrical re-release in select theaters (mostly at Alamo Drafthouse), beginning October 8, 2019.

“Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)

The 1986 musical-comedy film “Little Shop of Horrors,” directed by Frank Oz, is based on the off-Broadway musical “Little Shop of Horrors,” which was based on Roger Corman’s 1960 film “The Little Shop of Horrors.” In the story of 1986’s “Little Shop of Horrors,” Rick Moranis plays Seymour Krelborn, a nerdy florist shop worker who finds out his Venus flytrap can speak. (Levi Stubbs voices the plant, named Audrey II,  in the movie.) Also starring in the film are Ellen Green as Seymour’s co-worker Audrey, who’s the object of his affections; Steve Martin as Orin Scrivello, Audrey’s abusive boyfriend; and Jim Belushi as Patrick Martin, a licensing and marketing executive who tries to get Seymour to sell other talking plants like Audrey II. John Candy, Bill Murray, Christopher Guest, Tichina Arnold and Tisha Campbell are also among the movie’s cast members in smaller supporting roles. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing the director’s cut of “Little Shop of Horrors” (which is rated PG-13) on October 1, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“Psycho” (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock directed what is arguably his most influential film: “Psycho,” a horror masterpiece that is considered the “grandfather” of slasher movies. In the beginning of the movie, embezzler Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh), who is one the run from the law with stolen cash, when she checks into the creepy and isolated Bates Motel, whose caretaker is Norman Bates (played by Anthony Perkins). What happened to Marion in her motel room’s shower became one of the most iconic horror scenes in movie history. It isn’t long before Marion’s sister Lila Crane (played by Vera Miles) goes looking for Marion, and she also ends up at the Bates Motel, where Lila discovers how dangerous the Bates Motel really is. “Psycho” spawned the 1983 sequel “Psycho II” (starring Perkins and Miles) and director Gus Van Sant’s 1998 “Psycho” remake, both of which got mixed-to-negative reviews. The “Bates Motel” TV series, which was on the air from 2013 to 2017, was the origin story of a teenage Norman Bates. As part of the Cinépolis Handpicked series, the Cinépolis theater chain is showing Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (which is rated R) on October 8, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here.

“The Shining”

“The Shining” is director Stanley Kubrick’s version of the Stephen King novel, which tells the story of an aspiring writer named Jack Torrance (played by Jack Nicholson), who takes a job as a live-in caretaker of the historic Overlook Hotel in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain area during the hotel’s off-season. He moves there with his wife Wendy Torrance (played by Shelley Duvall) and kindergarten-aged son Danny Torrance (played by Danny Lloyd), who shows signs of having psychic abilities. The hotel cook Dick Hallorann (played by Scatman Crothers) notices Danny’s unusual abilities, which Dick calls “the shining.” When Danny’s visions become more menacing and Jack starts descending into madness, it’s only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose. A 4K remastered restoration of “The Shining,” which is rated R, arrives in select theaters on October 1, 2019. More information and ticket purchases can be found here. After the movie, there will be a featurette shown about “Doctor Sleep,” the sequel to “The Shining” that will get a wide release in theaters on November 8, 2019.

“Zombieland”

The 2009 film “Zombieland,” directed by Ruben Fleischer, is a horror comedy about a quartet of misfits (played by Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin) who are thrown together during a zombie apocalypse. As they fight for survival, they have some strange and hilarious encounters. Look for a memorable cameo from Bill Murray. In select cities, AMC Theatres will be showing a special double feature of “Zombieland” and the 2019 sequel “Zombieland: Double Tap” on October 16, 2019. Both movies are rated R. Tickets and more information on the double feature can be found here.

2019 D23 Expo: Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and other Disney-owned movie studios announce updates

August 24, 2019

Walt Disney Studios co-chairman/chief creative officer Alan Horn at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The following is a press release from Walt Disney Studios:

The Walt Disney Studios—including studio leaders and filmmakers from Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, Disney live action, Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios—wowed an audience of nearly 7,000 this morning at D23 Expo 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. Alan Horn, cochairman and chief creative officer, The Walt Disney Studios—joined by Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige, Disney live action’s Sean Bailey, Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney Animation’s Jennifer Lee—offered guests a captivating look at Disney’s upcoming film slate, including never-before-seen footage and a host of stars, plus a spectacular performance from “Frozen 2” voice cast members Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad.

“You’re not just fans, you’re family,” said Horn to the packed room. “It’s because of you that we keep working so hard to make great movies, and we love D23 Expo because it’s where we can share them with you first.”

The presentation included the following highlights.

LUCASFILM

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and  director/producer/screenwriter J.J. Abrams  at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

President of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” director/writer/producer J.J. Abrams showcased the riveting conclusion to the Skywalker saga. Kennedy and Abrams revved up the audience, introducing nine stars from the film —many of whom marked this as their first D23 Expo appearance: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran and Billy Dee Williams, plus special appearances from R2-D2, BB-8 and the new droid D-O. A brand-new poster was revealed—and gifted to the entire audience. And all were given a look back at the incredible legacy of Star Wars storytelling and treated to a sneak peek of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” which opens in U.S. theaters on Dec. 20, 2019.

Billy Dee Williams, R2-D2, Anthony Daniels, Keri Russell, Naomi Ackie, Joonas Suotamo, Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Kathleen Kennedy and J.J. Abrams  at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

MARVEL STUDIOS

Director/screenwriter Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige  at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, kicked off his presentation with a surprise visit from “Black Panther” director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. Together, they revealed that “Black Panther 2” (working title) will hit U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.

Feige segued to next year’s “The Eternals,” inviting cast members from the muchanticipated film to the stage: Richard Madden, who portrays the all-powerful Ikaris; Kumail Nanjiani, who plays cosmic-powered Kingo; Lauren Ridloff, who portrays the super-fast Makkari, the first deaf hero in the MCU; Brian Tyree Henry, who plays the intelligent inventor Phastos; Salma Hayek, who plays the wise and spiritual leader Ajak; Lia McHugh, who portrays the eternally young, old-soul Sprite; Don Lee, who plays the powerful Gilgamesh; and Angelina Jolie, who stars as the fierce warrior Thena. Feige revealed concept art images of each character, and announced three new cast members and their characters: Gemma Chan, who plays humankind-loving Sersi; Kit Harington, who was cast as non-Eternal Dane Whitman, and Barry Keoghan, who portrays aloof loner Druig, and was on hand for the event. Directed by Chloé Zhao, who helmed the critically acclaimed Sundance film “The Rider,” “The Eternals” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 6, 2020.

Kevin Feige, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee, Angelina Jolie and Barry Keoghan at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Feige concluded with “Black Widow,” the Cate Shortland-directed first film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which hits U.S. theaters on May 1, 2020. Feige shared a pre-recorded greeting featuring stars Scarlett Johansson, who reprises her role of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow; David Harbour, who was cast as Alexei the Red Guardian; and Florence Pugh, who plays Yelena. The audience was also treated to an exclusive look at the upcoming film.

DISNEY LIVE ACTION

Dwayne Johnson at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)
Emily Blunt at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Sean Bailey, president, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, took the audience through upcoming releases for the studio, including next summer’s “Jungle Cruise,” a rousing adventure inspired by the classic theme-park attraction. Star Dwayne Johnson, who plays riverboat captain Frank Wolff, entered Hall D23 aboard an original Jungle Cruise boat, introducing a “trailer” that showed off his character—so much so, that co-star Emily Blunt, who portrays Dr. Lily Houghton, arrived via classic car to share with fans her own “trailer,” offering a different perspective—Bailey laughingly informed Johnson and Blunt that neither trailer was official. Directed by Jaume ColletSerra, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” hits U.S. theaters on July 24, 2020.

Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Michelle Pfeiffer and Chiwetel Ejiofor at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Bailey welcomed Angelina Jolie back to the stage to present exclusive footage and details about Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” the exciting follow-up to the hit 2014 film. Maleficent, portrayed by Jolie, and her goddaughter Aurora, played by Elle Fanning, begin to question the complex family ties that bind them as they are pulled in different directions by impending nuptials, unexpected allies and new dark forces at play. Aurora’s imminent marriage to Prince Phillip is cause for celebration—however, Prince Phillip’s mother, Queen Ingrith, portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer, challenges Maleficent’s role as Aurora’s mother figure. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Connal, one of the leaders of the dark fey who becomes Maleficent’s ally. Ejiofor, Pfeiffer and Fanning were all welcomed to the stage by an enthusiastic audience. Directed by Joachim Rønning, who co-helmed 2017’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” arrives in U.S. theaters on Oct. 18, 2019.

Director/screenwriter Niki Caro and Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production president Sean Bailey at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Bailey next introduced acclaimed filmmaker Niki Caro, director of “Mulan,” the upcoming live-action reimagining of the 1998 classic animated film. Caro expressed to fans her passion for the project, sharing several minutes of footage from the epic adventure inspired by one of China’s fiercest warriors. In Disney’s “Mulan,” which opens in U.S. theaters on March 27, 2020, the Emperor of China issues a decree that one man per family must serve in the Imperial Army to defend the country from Northern invaders. So, the eldest daughter of an honored but ailing warrior masquerades as a man, transforming into a heroic warrior to ultimately earn her the respect of a grateful nation and a proud father.

Emma Stone in “Cruella'” (Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios)

Next up, Bailey shared details about “Cruella,” an all-new feature film starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. Stone, who plays the iconic “Cruella,” sent D23 Expo fans a greeting from the London-based set with help from a spotted, four-legged co-star. Fans also got a glimpse of an image of Stone in full costume with Cruella’s signature black-and-white hair. Director Craig Gillespie, who helmed “I, Tonya” and “The Finest Hours,” brings “Cruella” to the big screen on May 28, 2021, with a fresh, 1970s, punkrock approach.

PIXAR ANIMATION STUDIOS

Mike Jones, Kemp Powers, Dana Murray and Pixar Animation Studios chief creative officer Pete Docter at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter guided the audience through Pixar’s upcoming film slate of originals. Docter began with next summer’s release, “Soul,” which he directs. The film journeys from the streets of New York City to the never-before-seen cosmic realms and “The You Seminar,” the fantastical place where we all discover our unique personalities. Producer Dana Murray, co-director/ writer Kemp Powers and writer Mike Jones joined Docter on stage, and together they set up the film for the audience and shared a sneak peek.

Daveed Diggs, Phylicia Rashad and Questlove at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The team revealed members of the voice cast who joined them on stage, including Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Daveed Diggs, Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx. Foxx lends his voice to Joe Gardner, a middle-school band teacher whose true passion is playing jazz. Fey plays 22, a soul-in-training who has an unexpected encounter with Joe when he accidentally finds his way to the “You Seminar.”

Tina Fey and Jamie Foxx at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Together, the two are going to find a way to get Joe back to Earth, making him think again about what it truly means to have soul. Filmmakers also revealed that globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds. Disney and Pixar’s “Soul” opens in U.S. theaters on June 19, 2020.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, director Dan Scanlon, Tom Holland, Chris Pratt and producer Kori Rae at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Docter next introduced director Dan Scanlon and producer Kori Rae, who shared details and more than ten minutes of exclusive footage from Pixar’s upcoming feature film “Onward.” The movie, which opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020, stars Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic left in the world. Set in a modern fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” is inspired by Scanlon’s personal experiences with his brother. Holland, Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus —who voices Mom in the movie—joined the filmmakers on stage—much to the delight of the audience, who all received an exclusive “Onward” poster.

WALT DISNEY ANIMATION STUDIOS

Dean Wellins, Osnat Shurer, Adele Lim and Paul Briggs at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee presented an overview of the studio’s next two features, beginning with the Thanksgiving 2020 fantasy-action-adventure, “Raya and the Last Dragon.” Directors Paul Briggs and Dean Wellins (“Big Hero 6,” “Frozen”), producer Osnat Shurer (“Moana”) and writer Adele Lim (“Crazy Rich Asians”) joined Lee on stage to set up the film, which introduces Raya, a lone warrior from the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world.

Cassie Steele and Awkwafina at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The D23 Expo crowd was the first to get a look at the new film, viewing an exclusive three-minute piece. They also met two newly announced members of the voice cast: Awkwafina lends her voice to Sisu, the Last Dragon, who was left on Earth in case dark forces return to the world, and Cassie Steele voices the lead character, Raya. Exploring themes of community and hope, and inspired by the beautiful and diverse cultures of Southeast Asia, the fantasy-action-adventure “Raya and the Last Dragon” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 25, 2020.

Evan Rachel Wood and Sterling K. Brown at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

Lee, who directs “Frozen 2” with Chris Buck, and wrote the screenplay, invited Buck to join her on stage as the Oscar®-winning duo revealed new details about the upcoming film, which opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22. Lee and Buck introduced two new “Frozen 2” cast members: Sterling K. Brown, who voices Lieutenant Destin Mattias, and Evan Rachel Wood, who voices Queen Iduna, Anna and Elsa’s mother.

Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, California, on August 24, 2019.  (Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Company/Image Group LA)

The crowd— who received an exclusive D23 Expo “Frozen 2” poster—saw never-before-seen footage of the new characters, including a scene that featured Wood as Iduna singing to young Elsa and Anna. The song, “All Is Found,” is one of seven all-new original songs by Oscar®-winning songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The audience also saw a sequence from the movie that showcased Elsa’s yearning for answers about the past, culminating in another song, “Into the Unknown.” And a climactic performance of the song “Some Things Never Change” by Menzel, Bell, Groff and Gad brought the audience to its feet, capping off the studio presentation in extraordinary style.

About The Walt Disney Studios
For more than 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music, and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.

About D23 Expo 2019
D23 Expo—The Ultimate Disney Fan Event—brings together all the worlds of Disney under one roof for three packed days of presentations, pavilions, experiences, concerts, sneak peeks, shopping, and more. The event provides fans with unprecedented access to Disney films, television, games, theme parks, and celebrities. For the latest D23 Expo 2019 news, visit D23expo.com. Presentations, talent, and schedule subject to change. To join the D23 Expo conversation, be sure to follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and use the hashtag #D23Expo.
About D23 The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s 90-plus-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; a rich website at D23.com with members-only content; member-exclusive discounts; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year.
Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99), Gold Family Membership ($129.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.