Disney's Upcoming Films Through 2017

by Ken Miyamoto on August 27, 2015

Disney has showcased some of the most spectacular acquisitions in the last decade. They collectively brought Marvel, Pixar, and now Lucasfilm into their family, offering them a belly of franchises to feed their ongoing production slates for the foreseeable future. On top of that, they are also pursuing book adaptations, original features, live action remakes of animated classics, and much, much more.

At the recent D23 Expo, Disney announced nearly all of their films that they have planned through 2017. Below we'll take a look at what is in store from Disney, who is attached to them, and what we can expect.

It's always important to know what's going on in the film industry, what moves are being made, what writers and filmmakers are attached, etc. So here we go...


Pixar's A Good Dinosaur

November 25th, 2015

The film is directed by first-time feature director Peter Sohn and written by Enrico Casarosa (former Pixar storyboard artist) and Bob Peterson (Pixar Creative Team, and voice of Roz from Monsters Inc.) and showcases the epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend. Two years ago, the film was nearly finished when Pixar decided to scrap the whole film and start anew (the same thing happened with Toy Story 2) with new writers and a new director.


Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

December 18th, 2015

JJ Abrams brings old school filmmaking back to Star Wars with creature effects, practical stunts, models, etc. — accompanied, but not dominated, by CG. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (writer of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) wrote the script and will serve as Executive Producers and consultants on future Star Wars films as well. The Force Awakens is a direct sequel to Return of the Jedi, set 30 years after those events, with Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford returning.


The Final Hours

January 29th, 2016

The true story of the Coast Guard's daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952. The film is based on the book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman and the screenplay is by Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, and Eric Johnson, all of whom wrote The Fighter.


Disney Animation's Zootopia

March 4th, 2016

In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who's trying to make it big goes on the run when he's framed for a crime he didn't commit. Zootopia's top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they're forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends. The animated flick is directed by Byron Howard (Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), with a script written by Jared Bush (Disney Creative Team) and Phil Johnston (Wreck-It Ralph).


The Jungle Book

April 15th, 2016

The classic story of an orphan boy raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther comes to life in Jon Favreau's live action take on the tale. The film is based on Rudyard Kipling's classic novel, adapted by Justin Marks, who has been known in recent years as one of the hottest screenwriters, nabbing multiple assignments — as well as selling some amazing spec scripts. Thus far, most haven't even been produced. ScreenCraft featured one such unproduced assignment — his attachment to Federal Bureau of Physics. Although he has likely done uncredited rewrites on many top films. His most recent produced credit is 2009's Streetfighter: The Legend of Chun Li.



Captain America: Civil War

May 6th, 2016

An incident leads to the Avengers developing a schism over how to deal with situations, which escalates into an open fight between allies Iron Man and Captain America. The much buzzed about film, which picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, is directed by Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo from a script written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). This film will feature the first Disney/Marvel appearance of Spider-Man. Sony and Disney/Marvel have partnered to bring the webslinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.


Alice Through the Looking Glass

May 27th, 20156

The sequel to Tim Burton's 2010 version of the Alice in Wonderland story, this time directed by Muppets Most Wanted director James Bobin and written by Alice in Wonderland writer Linda Woolverton. Tim Burton is attached as producer as well. This time around, Alice must travel back in time to save The Mad Hatter.


Pixar's Finding Dory

June 17th, 2016

The sequel to the beloved 2003 film Finding Nemo. Andrew Stanton returns to direct from a script by Stanton and Victoria Strouse. Nemo and his dad help the friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunite with her loved ones as everyone learns a few things about the true meaning of family along the way. Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks return to their voice roles as well.



July 1st, 2016

The tale of a young girl, the Queen of England and a benevolent giant known as the BFG, who set out on an adventure to capture the evil, man-eating giants who have been invading the human world. Steven Spielberg comes to Disney to direct Roald Dahl's novel. Bill Hader plays the giant and Spielberg reteams with his E.T. writer Melissa Mathison.


Pete's Dragon

August 12th, 2016

A young orphan seeks refuge from his abusive adoptive parents with the help of a pet dragon and a couple who live in a lighthouse. This is a remake of the 1977 classic Disney film that featured a blend of live action and animation. David Lowery will direct from a script written by a number of writers; S.S. Field and Seton I. Miller (both credited writers of the original), Toby Halbrooks, and the director himself, David Lowery. Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Redford, and Karl Urban will star.


Doctor Strange

October 26th, 2016

Based on the Marvel comic character. After his career is destroyed, a brilliant but arrogant surgeon gets a new lease on life when a sorcerer takes him under his wing and trains him to defend the world against evil. Benedict Cumberbatch has taken on the title role (after Joaquin Phoenix, among others, was highly pursued until dropping out of the running) with Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, and Chiwetel Ejiofor c0-starring. Horror director Scott Derrickson (Sinister movies) helms from a script written by a number of credited contributors; Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (2011's Conan the Barbian), as well as Jon Spaihts (Prometheus). This is a new edition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe character stock, so it will be interesting to see how these magical themes will play in that world.


Disney Animation's Moana

November 23rd, 2016

A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui (Dwayne Johnson). This will be Disney's 56th animated feature, directed by Aladdin's Ron Clements and John Musker. Like their Aladdin (they also directed The Princess and the Frog), the film will be a musical. Musker and Clements wrote the script with Taiki Waititi. Waititi was nominated for a Best Short Film/Live Action Oscar in 2004.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

December 16th, 2016

One year after Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens debuts, this stand alone feature will tell the story of the rebels that set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. The amazing cast includes Felicity Jones, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelson, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, etc. 2014's Godzilla director Gareth Edwards helms from a script written by Chris Weitz (Cinderella) and Gary Whitta (After Earth, The Book of Eli).


Beauty and the Beast

March 17th, 2017

Disney also announced another live action version of one of its classics (see above for The Jungle Book details), starring Emma Watson (Harry Potter franchise) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as the Beast.  Bill Condon (Mr. Holmes) is set to direct from a script by Evan Spiliotopoulos (Hercules) and Stephen Chbosky (Writer/Director of The Perks of Being a Wallflower). Chbosky of course directed Emma Watson in Wallflower and reunites with her, at least on a writing front, in this live action take on the classic.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

May 5th, 2017

Not much was shared of the film beyond the confirmation of the date and title. James Gunn is set to return as the writer/director with the original cast returning as well.


Star Wars Episode VIII

May 26th, 2017

Little to no details, especially given the fact that VII hasn't even come out yet. Rian Johnson is set to direct. He helmed the science fiction flick Looper. He is currently credited as a writer as well, although Lawrence Kasdan and JJ Abrams will likely contribute.


Toy Story 4

June 16th, 2017

John Lasseter announced the film, detailing that it would be about the love story between Woody and Bo Beep, who hasn't been seen since Toy Story 2, so it's possibly going to be somewhat of a prequel or we'll be taken on a journey to reunite the two. Lasseter will once again direct with Rashida Jones and Will McCormick writing the script.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

July 7th, 2017

Captain Jack Sparrow searches for the trident of Poseidon. Johnny Depp came out at the expo in character, announcing the upcoming sequel. Kon Tiki directors Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg are helming from a Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You can) script. Orlando Bloom will also be returning to the franchise after sitting out of the fourth installment.

With a belly of genres represented here, what do you have in your deck? Submit to the genre contest of your choice at ScreenCraft's Genre Screenwriting Contests.


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