Disney is ‘leaning more’ into sequels as Zootopia 2, Toy Story 5, Frozen 3 and more get release updates

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We can expect Zootopia 2 next year, but Marvel’s 2025 slate is suspiciously missing Thunderbolts and Blade. More on Disney’s sequels and release date shake-up here.

Disney boss Bob Iger held Disney’s Q1 earnings call yesterday (7th Feb) and gave an update on a multitude of the studio’s projects. 

Arguably, the announcement of Moana 2arriving this year! – was the biggest news of the call, but Iger also clarified the studio’s future plans. 

“I’d say we’re leaning a little bit more into sequels and franchises,” Iger said during the call, according to The Wrap. “I think given the environment and given what it takes to get people out of their homes to see a film … leaning on franchises that are familiar is actually a smart thing.”

Disney is indeed leaning hard on franchises. Iger announced that Zootopia 2 (or Zootropolis 2, depending where in the world you are) would be premiering in 2025, while Toy Story 5 and Frozen 3 would grace our screens in 2026. Inside Out 2 will be Pixar’s big summer 2024 release.

2024 is a quiet one for Marvel, with only Deadpool 3 scheduled to hit cinemas this summer. 2025 will see Fantastic Four and Captain America: Brave New World premiere in cinemas, but both Blade and Thunderbolts, previously scheduled for 2025, were missing from Iger’s presentation. 

Neither project was discussed or officially delayed, but it’s not looking great, with both films having had their fair share of issues. Blade, which will star Mahershala Ali as the titular vampire hunter, has faced several rewrites while Thunderbolts has lost both Ayo Edebiri and Steven Yeun due to scheduling conflicts. 

Over in a galaxy far, far away, things are looking up. Iger confirmed that The Mandalorian & Grogu will be the next Star Wars film to be released. Pedro Pascal will reprise his role as Din Djarin under the direction of Jon Favreau. The film is likely to hit cinemas in 2026. 

Iger’s comments about making sequels to existing, familiar franchises follow the release of Wish last year. The film was designed to be the crowning achievement of 100 years of Disney; the film contained several Easter Eggs and references to other Disney films, but it was met with lukewarm reviews and disappointing box office numbers. 

Unfortunately, those familiar franchises don’t always deliver either. The Marvels, sequel to 2019’s billion-dollar-grossing Captain Marvel, performed abysmally at the box office and also received middling to straight up negative reviews. With both Wish and The Marvels underperforming and Marvel still having to deal with the ongoing Kang problem, Disney’s future is looking shakier than ever. 

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