Casting News: Three New Villains Cast in Disney’s “Descendants”

Disney recently cast Broadway superstar Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent in their upcoming TV movie Descendants, and has just added three more actors to the roster.

Jafar will be played by comedian Maz Jobrani, whose son Jay is played by X-Men alum Booboo Stewart; Kathy Najimy has been cast as The Evil Queen with Sofia Carson playing daughter Evie; and, lastly, Cruella De Vil will be portrayed by Wendy Raquel Robinson. Cruella has a son named Carlos, who will be played by Cameron Boyce.

The film, directed by High School Musical‘s Kenny Ortega, is expected to air on Disney Channel in 2015. Here’s the original press release that gives a detailed explanation of what we can expect from the film:

“In a present day idyllic kingdom, the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s iconic Beauty and the Beast) is poised to take the throne. His first proclamation: offer a chance at redemption to the trouble-making offspring of Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar who have been imprisoned on a forbidden island with all the other villains, sidekicks, evil step-mothers and step-sisters. These villainous descendants (Carlos, Mal, Evvie and Jay, respectively) are allowed into the kingdom to attend prep school alongside the offspring of iconic Disney heroes including Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan. However, the evil teens face a dilemma. Should they follow in their nefarious parents’ footsteps and help all the villains regain power or embrace their innate goodness and save the kingdom?

Kenny Ortega, the Emmy Award-winning director and choreographer of Disney’s record-setting High School Musical TV movies and feature film, returns to Disney Channel to direct Descendants.

The script was written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (creators and Emmy Award and WGA Award nominees for their writing on The Starter Wife, also writers of Runaway Bride and on Desperate Housewives). The production design will be by Mark Hofeling (Teen Beach Movie, High School Musical). The wardrobe design will be by Kara Saun (Project Runway, America’s Best Dance Crew).

Casting is underway for Disney’s Descendants, a contemporary live-action adventure-comedy that taps into Disney’s heritage characters—notably its most evil villains–to introduce their progeny, a modern day generation of teenagers who ultimately question the evil that’s always been in their hearts. Disney’s Descendants is scheduled to begin production next spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel. The casting directors are Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, C.S.A. (High School Musical TV movies and film, Camp Rock).

Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves. The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”

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Are you excited to see what these actors will bring to the iconic roles?

Televison – Watch the Official Opening Credits for “Girl Meets World”

The official opening credit sequence for Disney’s spin-off Girl Meets World has been released! Of course, we get an introduction to the cast and a glimpse at the show. We also get to hear the show’s theme song for the first time!

Actresses Rowan Blanchard and Sabrina Carpenter, who play Riley Matthews and Maya Hart respectively, provided the vocals for the theme song entitled “Take On the World.”

Girl Meets World will be premiering June 27 at 9:45 p.m. ET on the Disney Channel. For those who may be interested, the first couple of episodes are now available on Disney Channel’s streaming platform!

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Sources: Entertainment Weekly and YouTube

Movies – Director J.J. Abrams Announces Contest and Charity Involvement

Director J.J. Abrams made a special announcement from the set of Star Wars: Episode VII this morning! In a video address, the director revealed that fans have an opportunity to enter a contest to be an extra in the highly awaited Star Wars instalment.

He also announced the launch of a charity called “Star Wars: Force for Change” for which Disney has committed $1 million. To enter the contest, fans can directly donate at Omaze.com/StarWars for a chance to appear in Star Wars: Episode VII.

Here are some contest details for the “Star Wars: Force for Change” Grand Prize:

• Airfare and accommodations to London for one winner and a guest
• Behind-the-scenes access on the closed set of Star Wars: Episode VII as VIP guests of J.J. Abrams
• Winner will have the opportunity to meet members of the cast
• Winner and their guest will then be transformed by makeup and costume teams into a Star Wars character and filmed for a scene in Star Wars: Episode VII

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Television – Six New Images from Disney’s “Girl Meets World”

Just Jared Jr. recently shared some exclusive new images from Disney’s upcoming spin-off series, Girl Meets World. In these new images, we get a closer look at the relationship between Cory (Ben Savage) and his daughter Riley (Rowan Blanchard).

There are also some images featuring the new Matthews family and Riley with her best friend Maya (Sabrina Carpenter). Plus, there are new stills that introduce us to the love interest, Lucas Friar (Peyton Meyer), and the oddball Shamus Farkle (Corey Fogelmanis).

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What do you think of these new images? Will you be watching Girl Meets World when it premieres on June 27?

Television – New Sneak Peek Preview for “Girl Meets World”

An exclusive new sneak peek preview for Disney’s Girl Meets World has been released! In this new preview, we get a look at some new footage from the show and an introduction to the friendship between Riley (Rowan Blanchard) and Maya (Sabrina Carpenter):

Girl Meets World will be premiering on the Disney Channel on Friday, June 27 at 9:45 p.m. after the premiere of the Disney Channel Original Movie Zapped! Then there will be a week long hiatus and cast members will be hosting a special event as the show takes over it’s official time slot of Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on July 11.

What do you think of this new preview? We are hoping Girl Meets World will have the success that it’s predecessor Boy Meets World and by the looks of this preview it may have a great first season!

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Extended Sneak Peek from Disney’s “Maleficent” Teases Iconic Christening Scene

As we know, Disney’s Maleficent is going be giving a unique twist on the classic story of Sleeping Beauty through revealing the villain’s backstory. An amazing new clip from the film was recently released!

In this new clip, we get a glimpse at how Disney honored the iconic christening scene from the original animated film. The clip also shows the sheer magnitude of the set, costume, and make-up detail. We have already seen small parts of this clip from the trailer, but it really pieces the whole scene together and gives us an extended look at the scene:

What did you think of this extended clip? Have you seen the new Maleficent character posters? Does this clip make you more excited for the film? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Three New Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes for Disney’s “Maleficent”

Disney’s Maleficent is looking to be the biggest summer blockbuster for the company and anticipation is building as the release date nears. Three new behind-the-scenes featurettes give us a look at what it was like on set and give us some insight into the film itself.

In brief interviews, Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning talk about their love for the story of Sleeping Beauty. The actresses also talk about how intriguing Maleficent can be and how the film sheds new light on the classic villain. Finally, we also get a sneak peek at some great new scenes from the film.

What do you think of these new featurettes? Are you looking forward to the movie to be theatrically released on May 30, 2014?