Disney Channel is turning to some of the darkest characters on the Disney shelf for its next live-action movie. Descendants will focus on the progeny of Disney baddies like Cruella De Vil, Maleficent, the Evil Queen and Jafar.
But the movie, directed by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), will follow these modern-day teens as they begin to question the evil in their hearts. Casting is currently under way for Descendants, which is set to begin production next spring and premiere in 2015.
"We mined Disney's treasure trove of stories and developed a new, comedic approach to the fabled characters everyone knows and loves," says Disney Channel president and chief creative officer Gary Marsh. "The result is a modern and unexpected re-interpretation of classic heritage characters utilizing contemporary, relatable settings and themes."
In the script, written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott (The Starter Wife, Runaway Bride), the teenage son of the King and Queen (Beauty and the Beast's Beast and Belle) prepares to take the throne. His first act: Giving the offspring of Cruella De Vil and her evil ilk a chance at redemption.
Those villains have been cast off and imprisoned on a forbidden island. But their offspring — Carlos, Mal, Evvie and Jay — are given a chance to enter the kingdom and join a prep school alongside the kids of Disney heroes like the Fairy Godmother, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Mulan.
Do the evil teen offspring arrive to create chaos, or will they embrace goodness? Descendants is the latest major original movie production from Disney Channel, which boasts five of the top six movies in cable TV history among total viewers.