We have learned that Walt Disney Animation Studios’ currently untitled Fall 2022 film will be directed by Don Hall and written by Qui Nguyen.
The duo worked together on Walt Disney Animation’s latest feature, Raya and The Last Dragon, which released earlier this year in March in select theaters that were open at the time and on Disney+ Premier Access. The streaming service just recently removed the $30 price tag from the film in June, leading to an acclaimed #2 spot on the Nielsen chart rankings with 1.1 billion viewing minutes.
Raya and the Last Dragon stars Kelly Marie Tran in the lead voice role alongside an all-star voice cast featuring Awkwafina, Izaac Wang, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Sandra Oh, and Alan Tudyk. The film is set in the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons used to live together in harmony. However, when unimaginable creatures known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned, and it’s up to the lone warrior Raya to track down the last dragon and stop the Druun for good.
Don Hall has been working at Disney for decades, although he only has 3 directing credits outside of Raya and the Last Dragon, those being the co-director of Moana as well as the director of Big Hero 6 and 2011’s Winnie the Pooh. He has worked as a story artist and supervisor on various Disney films including The Emperor’s New Groove, The Princess and The Frog, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. He also worked on the scripts for Meet the Robinsons and 1999’s Tarzan. After all his years at Disney, he finally brought home an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature with Big Hero 6 in 2015.
Raya and The Last Dragon was Qui Nguyen’s first film screenwriting credit, though he is more known for his work on TV and as a playwright. His TV credits include work on Syfy’s Incorporated, Netflix’s The Society, and AMC’s Dispatches from Elsewhere. Nguyen won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Preschool Animated Program for PBS’ Peg + Cat. As a playwright, he currently has over a dozen titles to his name, many of which have been performed to sold-out audiences.
Roy Conli will produce the untitled film for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Conli has been working at the animation studio since 1996 as a co-producer on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Since then, he’s produced Treasure Planet, Tangled, and Big Hero 6. Roy most recently worked as studio and creative leadership alongside Don Hall and Qui Nguyen on Raya and The Last Dragon.
Walt Disney Animation Studios have a large amount of projects currently in the works, including several series for Disney+ such as Zootopia+, Tiana, Baymax!, and Moana, The Series which will all release in 2022 as well as Iwájú, their first ever co-production. Iwájú is described as a comic-style animated sci-fi series set in Lagos that explores themes of class, innocence, and challenging the status quo.
The company is planning to release 2 films this year, Encanto and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Encanto is directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard, features music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and follows a young Colombian girl who has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers. Stephanie Beatriz is said to be voicing the lead role of Mirabel Madrigal. Encanto will release on November 24, 2021 in theaters.
Details are currently unknown on Diary of a Wimpy Kid, although Disney stated during their 2020 Investor Day presentation that the film would release by the end of 2021 on Disney+. They also mentioned that an Ice Age spin-off film, Buck & Wild, is in the works.
Plot details are currently unknown on Don Hall and Qui Nguyen’s next animated feature. The film is scheduled to release on November 23, 2022 only in theaters.