“Decendants” is set to premiere in 2015 on Disney Channel.  No, this isn’t George Clooney’s Oscar-nominated film from 2011 (although George is coming to “Tomorrowland”, also in in 2015), it’s actually a contemporary live-action adventure comedy that centers around the children (actually teenagers) of Disney’s iconic, fairy tale villains.  Kenny Ortega, who most notably directed and choreographed Disney’s High School Musical franchise, is set to direct “Descendants.”

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Casting is now underway, for production next spring and 2015 premiere. The casting directors are Natalie Hart and Jason La Padura, C.S.A. (“High School Musical” TV movies and film, “Camp Rock,” “Teen Beach Movie”).

The official plot synopsis from Disney:

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?

Of “Decendants,” Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said:

We mined Disney’s treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves. The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes.

Based on the synopsis, director and casting, this production sounds like a “High School Musical” meets ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” hybrid.  There are some obvious continuity inconsistencies here (all characters live in the same fairy tale land including Cruella De Vil, who is actually from the “real world”), but “Once Upon a Time” faced a similar challenge and managed to somehow make it all make sense.  This also sounds like the launch of a new Disney Channel franchise, assuming the first TV movie does well.

Decendants
A contemporary live-action adventure-comedy that taps into Disney's heritage characters – notably its most evil villains – to introduce their progeny, a modern day generation of teenagers who ultimately question the evil that's always been in their hearts.
Directed by: Kenny Ortega
  • George Comerci

    It’s live action? And it’s on the Disney Channel? It won’t be a feature movie? I mean, it still sounds fantastic! But, imagine what it could be if it was brought to us on the silver screen by Disney Animation themselves! Ah well, it’s Disney villans kids, so I’m totally pumped.