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What’s in store for Disney in 2023? A lot.

SINGAPORE — with titles ranging from Hollywood films to Hallyu and Japanese animé, The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific unveiled its slate of upcoming movies, series, and new Asia Pacific region titles for Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar for 2023.

The global titles that are set for release next year from Marvel Studios are Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (Feb. 17), The Marvels (July), Secret Invasion (streaming on Disney+), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (May 5), and Loki Season 2.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney Animation Studios will stream Wish, and Iwaju on Disney+. Pixar will release Elemental onJune 6. Walt Disney Pictures will come out with the live action The Little Mermaid in May and Haunted Mansion inAugust. And Lucasfilm has a slew on its slate: The Mandalorian Season 3, Ahsoka, Star Wars: The Bad Batch Season 2, The Acolyte, and Star Wars Visions Volume Two, all of which will be streaming on Disney+. It will be releasing Indiana Jones 5 in movie theaters onJune 30.

The showcase of titles closed with James Cameron’s sequel to Avatar, his2009 blockbuster. Avatar: The Way of Water stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Cliff Curtis, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Edie Falco, Jemaine Clement, and Kate Winslet. The film will open in Philippine theaters on Dec. 14, and go into wide release globally ono Dec. 16.

“The Walt Disney Company has brought iconic stories and characters to consumers all over the world, becoming a part of global culture,” The Walt Disney Company President Asia Pacific Luke Kang said at the Disney Content Showcase 2022 at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on Nov. 30.

APAC ORIGINALSThe company also announced its upcoming content from Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

“Over the last year, the total streaming hours of Asian content on Disney+ has grown over eight times,” Mr. Kang pointed out, adding that the local production is done “with the ambitious long-term plan to uncover the best stories from this region and to showcase creative excellence to shine on the world stage.”

Titles from Korea range from crime dramas, a family opera, and a tale of superheroes, to K-pop documentary series.

Call It Love, directed by Lee Kwangyoung, is about a mistreated daughter who seeks revenge on her father’s mistress after his sudden death. Meanwhile, Moving — which is based on a popular webtoon by Kang Full — tells the story of three teenagers who discover they’ve inherited unusual powers from their secret agent parents. Set in the 1990s is Worst of Evil, which follows an investigative task force as their undercover officer infiltrates a new criminal organization responsible for fueling a trafficking triangle. RACEis about a mediocre employee who suddenly works harder after discovering she was hired at her top-tier publicity company for diversity reasons.

Super Junior: The Last Man Standing takes viewers behind-the-scenes with the members of the K-pop supergroup, offering new insights into the modern K-pop industry. BTS Monuments: Beyond the Stars is an exclusive Disney+ original music docu-series featuring the group’s library of music and footage over the past nine years. It will also feature the daily lives, thoughts, and future plans of BTS members. Finally, j-hope Solo Documentary (its working title) follows pop star j-hope in the preparation process of his recently released solo album.

The upcoming titles from Indonesia are Hubungi Agen Gue! (The Talent Agency), an adaptation of the hit French series Dix Pour Cent  (Call My Agent!). The comedy follows four agents in an Indonesian talent agency as they struggle to save the business following the unexpected death of the company’s founder. Meanwhile, Wedding Agreement The Series Season 2returns with Refal Hady and Indah Permatasari.

There are two titles from Australia and New Zealand.The Artful Dodger isa drama set in the frontier colonies of Australia in the 1850s. Across eight episodes the scripted series explores the adult double life of Charles Dickens’ famous prince of thieves from Oliver Twist — The Artful Dodger — who is now a surgeon who can’t shake his predilection for crime. Meanwhile, the psycho-thriller The Clearing is based on J.P. Pomare’s acclaimed novel In the Clearing, which was inspired by cults throughout history.

ANIMÉ COLLABORATIONThe Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific also announced the expansion of its strategic collaboration with Japanese publishing house Kodansha to include Japanese animé. The collaboration will include licensing exclusive SVOD animé titles based on manga produced by Kodansha that will be available exclusively on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar.

The first title to be released as part of the collaboration is Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown Arc. It follows a former bad boy who uses his accidentally acquired powers of time travel to go back and save his high school girlfriend from being murdered.

Another title from Japan is the live-action adaptation Gannibal, the manga about dark and mysterious disappearances in a remote Japanese village. Co-produced by Teruhisa Yamamoto (producer of Academy Award winner Drive My Car) and Tatsuya Iwakura, and adapted for the screen by Academy Award nominee Takamasa Oe (Drive My Car), the series will launch on Dec. 28.

Finally, there is the original live action and fantasy series Dragons of Wonderhatch and House of the Owl. Dragons tells the story of a high school girl who struggles to fit in before being swept up on an adventure with a boy from another world. House of the Owl follows Japan’s number one fixer who faces his most daunting challenge in dealing with a chain of events that could forever change Japan’s politics, all while unable to control his family.

“Our aspiration is for these stories in the Asia Pacific region to be a key pillar to the Walt Disney Company’s next 100 years and to continue to move the hearts and minds of audiences worldwide,” Mr. Kang said. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman

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