The Disney Channel is tapping back into its rich history of villains for a new live-action original movie titled “Descendants.”
Set to begin production next spring for a 2015 premiere, “Descendants” will introduce modern relatives of its greatest villains, specifically their teen offspring who are beginning to question the family business of evil.
“We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves,” Disney Channels Worldwide’s president and chief creative officer, Gary Marsh, said in a statement.
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“The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes,” he continued.
Emmy-winning director and choreographer of the cable channel’s “High School Musical” franchise, Kenny Ortega, has been tapped to direct. Casting is currently underway.
Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (“The Starter Wife,” “Runaway Bride,” “Desperate Housewives”). Mark Hofeling (“Teen Beach Movie,” “High School Musical”) will head production design. And Kara Saun (“Project Runway,” “America’s Best Dance Crew”) will oversee wardrobe design.
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The movie will revisit characters from “Beauty and the Beast,” “101 Dalmations,” “Sleeping Beauty,” “Snow White,” “Aladdin,” “Cinderella,” “Rapunzel” and “Mulan.”
See below for Disney Channel’s description of the new original movie:
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?
Original TV movies are just good business for Disney Channel as it holds five out of cable’s six top spots for total viewership of original movies. A Disney Channel Original Movie franchise production has held the No. 1 spot for TV movies among tweens for a straight 12 years.