Disney Channel is prepping a new take on some of its most popular animated characters with "Descendants," a live-action telefilm that will look at the "next generation" of the studio's animated heroes and villains with High School Musical's Kenny Ortega attached to direct. The news broke via Disney's official fanclub, D23, with the following official description:
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?
“We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves," says Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. "The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.”
"Descendants" is written by "The Starter Wife" creators Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott with High School Musical's Mark Hofeling tackling the production design and Karen Saun ("Project Runway") providing the wardrobe design.
Casting is now underway for "Descendants" with production slated to begin next spring for a 2015 premiere on Disney Channel.