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The Biggest Casting News From Disney’s Investor Day

“Black Panther 2” will not recast King T’Challa. Harrison Ford is picking up the hat and whip again. And “Star Wars” recruited Rosario Dawson for her own show.

Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira in the 2018 film “Black Panther.” Disney will not recast King T’Challa in the wake of Mr. Boseman’s death, the company announced.Credit…Marvel Studios/Disney, via Associated Press

In unveiling a huge raft of content coming to theaters and its streaming service at a four-hour investor presentation on Thursday, Disney announced major cast news for many of its highest profile properties, including Pixar, Marvel and “Star Wars.”

Each division of Disney’s entertainment empire brought big names to the table, though some landed with a bigger splash than others. Film and TV fans will have a hard time missing what’s coming.

Here are some of the biggest casting announcements for Disney’s film and streaming projects:

Marvel will not recast King T’Challa in “Black Panther,” first played by Chadwick Boseman

Perhaps the biggest news at the event was a decision not to make a casting announcement. Kevin Feige, the president of Marvel Studios, said that, after the indelible mark that Chadwick Boseman, who died this year, made playing King T’Challa in the 2018 movie “Black Panther,” Marvel would not recast the role out of respect for the actor’s legacy. The film’s sequel, however, is still scheduled for release on July 8, 2022, with the director Ryan Coogler and much of the original cast returning.

Mr. Boseman died at 43 on Aug. 28 of colon cancer. The news stunned the industry and fans, some of whom mounted a campaign demanding that Disney not recast the role. In a tribute shared with The Hollywood Reporter, Mr. Coogler wrote, “It is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again.”

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Credit…ILM/Lucasfilm LTD, via 20th Century FoxHayden Christensen will again play Darth Vader

In the upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series for Disney’s streaming service, Disney+, the actor Hayden Christensen will reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker, this time behind the mask of Darth Vader. The series will take place 10 years after the events of the 2005 movie “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” with Mr. Christensen starring opposite Ewan McGregor’s title character.

After starring in two of George Lucas’s prequels to the original “Star Wars,” Mr. Christensen largely moved on to other projects. He did not completely part from the franchise, though: Die-hard fans could make his voice out at the end of last year’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” “Obi-Wan Kenobi” will debut in 2022.

Amy Adams returns as Princess Giselle

Amy Adams — who has been nominated for six Academy Awards — will reprise her role from the 2007 revisionist fairy tale “Enchanted” in a follow-up titled “Disenchanted” for Disney+.

In The New York Times’s review of the original film, the critic Manohla Dargis called Ms. Adams “superb,” adding that she was an “irresistibly watchable screen presence and a felicitous physical comedian.”

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Harrison Ford in the 2008 film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”Credit…David James/Paramount PicturesHarrison Ford will play Indiana Jones one last time

The fifth and final “Indiana Jones” film is officially in preproduction, and Harrison Ford will, of course, play the title role. The director of “Logan” and “Ford v Ferrari,” James Mangold, will lead the project. Not much else is known about the film so far, other than that there will need to be a hat and a whip.

The new Indy film is set to reach theaters in July 2022.

Chris Evans will play Buzz Lightyear. No, the real Buzz Lightyear.

Chris Evans, best known for playing Captain America and that guy with the great sweater in Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out,” will play the starring role in Pixar’s “Lightyear,” set for a release on June 17, 2022. The film will set out to explore the back story of the human whose likeness was turned into the toy that Tim Allen played in the “Toy Story” series. You get it.

Rosario Dawson gets her own “Star Wars” series

Rosario Dawson will star in “Ahsoka,” a Disney+ series that, along with “Rangers of the New Republic,” will be a spinoff from “The Mandalorian.”

Ms. Dawson first appeared in a “Star Wars” feature, “The Mandalorian,” only weeks ago, as Ahsoka Tano, a character whose exploits “Star Wars” fans have followed from the 2008 film “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” to the more recent animated series “Star Wars Rebels.” The new series doesn’t yet have a release date.

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Credit…Buena Vista PicturesWhoopi Goldberg signs on for “Sister Act 3”

Whoopi Goldberg, who played the iconic Deloris Van Cartier in “Sister Act” nearly 30 years ago, will star in and produce “Sister Act 3” for Disney+. The writer-director Tyler Perry will produce alongside her.

“Sister Act” was one of the top grossing movies of 1992, and went on to inspire a sequel and a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. “Ms. Goldberg starts out with some tough talk, but this turns out to be one of her ultra-lovable roles,” the Times critic Janet Maslin said in a review of the original.

John Mulaney and Andy Samberg will play Rescue Rangers

The “SNL” alumni John Mulaney and Andy Samberg will play the title roles in “Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers,” a live-action-animated hybrid heading to Disney+.

The film will be an update on the 1989 animated series of the same name, wherein two chipmunks start a detective agency. It was a different time. Akiva Schaffer, a member of The Lonely Island with Samberg, will direct.

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Credit…Ian Watson/BBC AmericaTatiana Maslany will join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as She-Hulk

Tatiana Maslany, best known for award-winning turns as several clones on the BBC’s “Orphan Black,” will star in the upcoming Marvel series “She-Hulk” on Disney+. The series will involve her character, Jennifer Walters, taking on superhero-related legal cases.

Mark Ruffalo, who plays the Hulk in the Marvel movies, will also appear, along with Tim Roth, who played the Abomination in the 2008 movie — pre-Ruffalo entry in the series — “The Incredible Hulk.”

HBO meets Marvel in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

The stars of a few recent prestige dramas on HBO will appear in the next “Ant-Man” film. Jonathan Majors, a lead of “Lovecraft Country,” will appear as the villain in the movie, playing the classic Marvel character Kang the Conqueror. Kathryn Newton, who played a rebellious teenager opposite Reese Witherspoon in “Big Little Lies,” will play Cassie Lang, who comic fans know goes on to become the superhero Stature.

Warwick Davis will reprise his role from Willow

Warwick Davis will star as the title character in a sequel series to the 1988 cult classic “Willow” on Disney+, set to air in 2022.

The original film, conceived by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, involved a farmer and would-be sorcerer, Willow Ufgood, tasked with helping an infant — the future empress of the realm — fulfill her destiny. Val Kilmer helps them out. The series will take place years after the film’s events.

Christian Bale goes from Dark Knight to God Butcher

Christian Bale, who donned superhero tights for three Batman movies, has officially joined the cast of “Thor: Love and Thunder,” the fourth installment in the “Thor” series and the second from the director Taika Waititi. Mr. Bale will play Gorr the God Butcher, a being who wants to kill all of the gods. Straightforward stuff, really. The film is scheduled for release on May 6, 2022.

Hailee Steinfeld may be the next Hawkeye

Hailee Steinfeld, who could last be heard in “Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse” as Gwen Stacy, will appear alongside Jeremy Renner in Marvel’s “Hawkeye” series, airing on Disney+ next year. She plays Kate Bishop, who in the comics takes the Hawkeye name for herself.

Ms. Steinfeld has already been spotted in set photos from the series:

Happy birthday, Ms. Steinfeld.

Multiple series will deal with Tony Stark’s legacy

Don Cheadle, already busy picking up Emmy nominations for his work in the Showtime series “Black Monday,” will star as James Rhodes, a.k.a. War Machine, in a new series called “Armor Wars.” No longer playing second fiddle to Iron Man after Tony Stark’s death in “Avengers: Endgame,” his character will instead have to deal with, according to Mr. Feige, what happens when Stark’s tech falls into the wrong hands — something of a trend for Stark Industries.

Dominique Thorne, whose film debut was in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” will star in “Ironheart,” Marvel’s first series featuring a Black female lead. The actress will play Riri Williams, a young inventor who reverse-engineers Iron Man armor to protect her neighborhood.

Finally, Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn will return as Nick Fury and Talos in a Disney+ series based on Marvel’s “Secret Invasion” comics event. The series explored what happened when Marvel’s superheroes were replaced by Skrulls, the aliens first seen in the 2019 film “Captain Marvel.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/11/movies/disney-marvel-star-wars-hayden-christensen-chadwick-boseman.html

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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