Kenny Ortega will be bringing some evil descendants to life…
The 63-year-old Latino producer, director and choreographer, best known for directing the High School Musical trilogy, will be returning to the Disney Channel to helm the network’s Descendants.
The network’s first live-action original movie tapping into Disney’s vault of classic fairytale characters, the contemporary adventure-comedy centers on the offspring of some of Disney’s most evil villains, introducing a modern generation of teenagers who question the evil that’s always been in their hearts.
“We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer of Disney Channels Worldwide. “The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”
Written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, Descendants is set in a present-dayidyllic kingdom, where the benevolent teenaged son of the King and Queen (Beast and Belle from Disney’s 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?
Casting is currently underway, overseen by High School Musical casting directors Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, with production slated to begin in the spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel.