New Disney movies are coming thick and fast through 2021 and beyond. There's a mix of live-action and animated films on the release slate, as well as some prequels and sequels, and brand new original movies. Cruella might have only just made a triumphant debut in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Access, but there's already a sequel reportedly in the works – and then there's Pixar's Luca to look forward to, which is arriving to Disney Plus imminently. Beyond that, there's Jungle Cruise, a live-action The Little Mermaid, Lightyear starring Chris Evans, and so much more headed our way.
We've rounded up all the new Disney movies arriving through 2021 and onwards, including release dates, trailers, and what the films are about. You won't find any updates on the MCU or the galaxy far, far away here, though – for those films, see our guides to Marvel Phase 4 and all the upcoming Star Wars movies. For everything else Disney has to offer, scroll on.
New Disney movies: 2021
Release date: June 18, 2021
Luca's an animated adventure from Pixar that follows the adventures of two boys, the titular Luca (voiced by Jacob Tremblay) and his friend Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer), who are set to have a sun-soaked summer at the Italian seaside. There's one catch – the boys are both magical sea creatures, and the town they're exploring doesn't seem all that accepting of underwater creatures.
It will be directed by Enrico Casarosa and will be the third Pixar movie released in just over 12 months, which is slowly becoming the norm for a studio that often took years between releases with a more sporadic output. It'll be available to stream exclusively on Disney Plus.
Release date: July 30 2021
Not the first Disney movie based on a theme park ride (Pirates of the Caribbean got there well over 15 years ago), Jungle Cruise recruits Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's comedic action chops and throws them in with Emily Blunt, who plays the swashbuckling scientist Lily. The pair embark on an adventure to find the Tree of Life. UK fans will also be pleased to know that comedian Jack Whitehall is also along for the trip, playing Lily's brother.
Release date: November 24, 2021
According to Disney, Encanto "tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto." It will feature original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and will be directed by Zootopia's Byron Howard.
Night at the Museum
Release date: 2021
Night at the Museum is coming back as an animated film. The original director, Shawn Levy, is attached as producer.
New Disney movies: 2022 and beyond
Thought an Aladdin sequel was wishful thinking? Think again. The billion-dollar live-action hit is being primed for an original follow-up. The Hollywood Reporter let the genie out of the bottle, confirming that Disney are working on Aladdin 2. Not only is Guy Ritchie set to return as director, but a writers’ room has been working on new ideas for the sequel by reading through stories from One Thousand and One Nights, the source material upon which the original Aladdin was loosely based.
That means any Aladdin sequel, which is being penned by Real Steel’s John Gatins and Straight Outta Compton’s Andrea Berloff, is unlikely to take its cue from the direct-to-video Return of Jafar, which followed on from the original 1992 animated smash hit starring Robin Williams. At this early stage, the cast haven’t been confirmed, though Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, and Will Smith are "expected to reprise their roles."
Hocus Pocus 2
Coming to Disney Plus in the near-future, the Hocus Pocus sequel will be directed by Hairspray's Adam Shankman. It's not yet known if Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, or Kathy Najimy will repreise their witchy roles from the 1993 original.
Three Men and a Baby
The '80s comedy featuring Ted Danson, Tom Selleck, and Steve Guttenberg was a surprise hit. So much so, that Disney is bringing it back for a reboot. The premise, which saw three bachelors receive a surprise 'package' in the form of a baby is likely to stay, but the cast will be shaken up. Zac Efron is confirmed to star in the Disney Plus release.
Cheaper by the Dozen
Coming in 2022, this reboot sees "a multiracial, blended family of 12, navigating a hectic home life while managing their family business." Gabrielle Union is attached to star.
Lion King prequel
Surprise! The Lion King prequel is is in the works with with Moonlight's Barry Jenkins stepping in to replace Jon Favreau as director. As confirmed by Disney, Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams, and Nicholas Britell will provide the music.
Peter Pan and Wendy
It turns out that there's more of the Peter Pan story to tell, because Disney is making a brand new live-action version of the 1953 animated film. Director David Lowery, though, is confident that he can do something a little different with the remake, although it's not clear exactly how.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, producer Jim Whitaker said that "it'll be a big, rollocking adventure", which is kind of what you would hope for with a Peter Pan movie. Apparently, it's still very much in the script-writing stage though, so don't expect an official release date anytime soon.
News also broke (via Variety) that a Wendy was cast, with Ever Anderson stepping into the role, while Peter Pan will be played by Alexander Molony. Jude Law is playing Captain Hook and Yara Shahidi is Tinker Bell. Filming is set to begin in 2021.
Another live-action movie in the works is Pinocchio. The story of the puppet-turned-real-boy is about to get a lot more real. This live-action remake has been in development for quite some time. Robert Zemeckis is directing and Tom Hanks will lead the cast. As per Deadline, Beauty and the Beast actor Luke Evans is heading for another villainous turn as the nefarious Coachman.
According to Variety, Guillermo del Toro is also currently producing, writing, and directing a stop-motion, musical version of Pinocchio exclusively for Netflix. Knowing del Toro's penchant for combining childlike wonder with the macabre, you can bet that his adaptation will follow the darker elements of the original 1883 novel much more closely. It's set in 1930s Italy for a start, during the rise of Mussolini's fascism, which certainly doesn't sound very Disney to me. Neither del Toro's take nor Disney's adaptation have release dates as yet.
Amy Adams is back as Giselle in a Disney Plus sequel to Enchanted. No word yet on plot, cast, or even a director.
Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers
Now, this came out of left-field. Rescue Rangers will be a hybrid live-action/animation film and will feature John Mulaney and Andy Samberg as the squeaky chipmunks. Seth Rogen is also set to cameo.
Sister Act 3
Whoopi Goldberg and Wendy Makkena are returning for Sister Act 3. Hallelujah!
Indiana Jones 5
Indy's back! Harrison Ford will return as as the adventurer for a fifth (and presumably final) time. Ford vs. Ferrari director James Mangold will helm the project. The script is still currently being worked on with no word of filming date.
Pirates of the Caribbean reboot
A potential Pirates of the Caribbean sequel/reboot/reimagining isn't out of the question, but a sixth entry in the popular Disney franchise remains moored for now.
Deadpool writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick were originally brought in to write the script but departed sometime in early 2019. Since then, THR reported that Ted Elliott and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin, who will also be working on The Last of Us HBO series, have stepped in to replace the pair.
Pirates of the Caribbean (with Margot Robbie)
Arr, me mateys! We could be getting a double dose of rum-and-sailin' shenanigans if this Pirates report rings true.
Sources close to The Hollywood Reporter indicate that Margot Robbie will take the lead in a female-fronted original movie set in the Pirates universe, wholly distinct and separate from a likely sixth Pirates of the Caribbean mainline movie.
Speaking to Collider, Robbie was tight-lipped about plot details, but teased we're getting “Lot of girl power. No, it’s too early to talk about it… I love Christina, obviously. I’m not a producer on Pirates, so I’ll sit back and kind of wait for the process… No we’re really, really excited at the prospect of adding obviously a very key female element to that world.”
The Little Mermaid
Still no release date for the live-action The Little Mermaid remake, although we now have cast info. US singer Halle Bailey will be playing Ariel, while original Game of Thrones prequel creator Jane Goldman will be penning the script. Awkwafina and Jacob Tremblay have also been cast alongside Melissa McCarthy, Daveed Diggs, and Javier Bardem.
Per Deadline, The Undoing's Noma Dumezweni will appear in a "brand new role" that wasn't in the 1989 animated film. New music will feature (and will be written by Lin-Manuel Miranda) and the old tunes will also be included.
Releasing on March 11, 2022, Pixar's Turning Red features a decidedly unique premise. As per Disney's press release, "Mei Lee, a confident, dorky 13-year-old torn between staying her mother’s dutiful daughter and the chaos of adolescence. And as if changes to her interests, relationships and body weren’t enough, whenever she gets too excited she “poofs” into a giant red panda."
Turning Red will be directed by Bao's Domee Shi, so we have high hopes for this one. Bring tissues.
Well, now. This is interesting. Chris Evans is set to play Buzz Lightyear. No, not the toy. This is all to do with the in-universe astronaut on which the merchandise was based. Confused? Evans has cleared it up and it changes lore from the original Toy Story, 25 years on.
Release date: Unknown
Supposedly titled "Tron: Ares" thanks to a slip up from new lead Jared Leto, the third Tron movie is set to be directed by Garth Davis. Beyond that, we don't know much, but we are very much excited to see light cycles on the big screen once more.
Cruella 2 is reportedly in the works already. Not much is known about the sequel yet, though director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) and screenwriter Tony McNamara are thought to be returning. Considering the Cruella post-credits scene, it's likely the sequel will bring us closer to the events of 101 Dalmatians – though that's just speculation at the moment. We can probably also expect Emma Stone back as the titular villain.