Fans of Disney Channel’s popular made-for-television movie, “Descendants,” can look forward to a sequel, the network has announced. Although a release date was not been provided, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that “Descendants 2” (working title) will air in the spring of 2017.
“Descendants” explores the premise that the Disney villains (and some heroes) had children. The main characters — Jay (Booboo Stewart), Evie (Sofia Carson), Carlos (Cameron Bryce) and Mal (Dove Cameron) — are the offspring of Jafar, the Evil Queen, Cruella de Vil and Maleficent, respectively. The group is granted permission by the benevolent teenage son of King Adam and Queen Belle to leave the remote Isle of the Lost where they had been banished and attend prep school with the Disney heroes’ kids. This, of course, leads to a battle of good versus evil set amidst the backdrop of typical teenage angst.
The original movie’s screenwriters, Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon, will pen the sequel and also serve as executive producers on the new project. Principal actors — including the four teens and Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent — are expected to return, the newspaper reports.
Since its debut, “Descendants” ranks as cable television’s fifth highest-rated movie of all-time. It only falls behind “High School Musical 2” as the most-watched movie on Disney Channel. And it’s no coincidence that both Disney Channel shows were directed by Kenny Orega.
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer of Disney Channels Worldwide, said in a press release, “By almost every measure — domestically and globally — ‘Descendants’ has already become one of the biggest entertainment properties of the year, and we’re eager to delve deeper into the unfolding mythology of Auradon and Isle of the Lost. This kind of compelling, innovative storytelling, alongside our animated ‘Descendants: Wicked World’ shorts and unique transmedia campaign, continues to lay the groundwork for multiple franchise opportunities across virtually every line of business at The Walt Disney Company.”
Clearly, the fact that “Descendants” is profitable on multiple Disney platforms was integral to the approval of the sequel. Marsh told The Wall Street Journal, “What we were looking for is a metric much stronger and longer-term than the number of viewers.”
Consumers can purchase related books, the soundtrack, clothing, Halloween costumes, dolls and other toys with the ‘Descendants’ characters. And more is on the way. In May 2016, author Melissa de la Cruz will release another book in the series, “Return to the Isle of the Lost.” (She wrote a prequel novel for the movie.) Fans also can watch animated shorts based on the “Descendants” characters on TV and online.