Kenny Ortega scored a major hit with Disney Channel with the “High School Musical” franchise and now he’s hoping to do it again!
Disney just announced that casting is underway for a new Disney Channel original movie titled “Descendants.” The film will be 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.
Kenny Ortega will direct and the casting directors for the project are Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, C.S.A. (“High School Musical” TV movies and film, “Camp Rock,” “Teen Beach Movie”).
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.”
So what exactly will the film be about? 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?
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”).
Considering the success of shows like “Once Upon a Time” and “Grimm,” we have a feeling that this will be a big hit. What do you think of this latest Disney Channel project?