Disney Channel has made it official — formally putting a Descendants sequel in development by commissioning a script by the original movie’s screenwriters, Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon, who will also serve as executive producers on the project, tentatively titled Descendants 2.
Disney’s live-action, music-filled hit Descendants, a modern-day coming-of-age adventure about the teenage sons and daughters of Disney’s most infamous villains, stars Dove Cameron as Mal, Cameron Boyce as Carlos, Booboo Stewart as Jay, Sofia Carson as Evie, Mitchell Hope as Ben, Tony-winning Kristin Chenoweth as Maleficent, Wendy Raquel Robinson as Cruella de Vil, Maz Jobrani as Jafar, Kathy Najimy as the Evil Queen, Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother, Brenna D’Amico as Jane, Sarah Jeffery as Audrey, Zachary Gibson as Doug, Jedidiah Goodacre as Chad Charming, and Dianne Doan as Lonnie. All are expected to return for the sequel.
The July 31 premiere of original Descendants, directed, choreographed and executive- by Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), and executive produced by Wendy Japhet, delivered over 12.2 million (Live+7) total viewers in the U.S., including 3.1 million adults 18-49, making it the No. 1 cable TV movie in nearly three years in that demographic and cable’s fifth-highest-rated movie of all-time. It also broke viewing records on the WATCH Disney Channel app where it has posted 3.3 million video views since July 24.
“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,” said Gary Marsh, President and Chief Creative Officer, Disney Channels Worldwide. “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.”
Around the world, Descendants has now reached over 32 million total viewers including 1.2 million on Disney Channel UK where it was the No. 1 telecast in six years (against all kids channels) among kids, girls and tween girls 8-12. On Disney Channel Italy, it ranks as the highest-rated Disney Channel original movie ever among girls 4-14. In Australia, it was Disney Channel’s highest-rated program among kids 5-15 since 2010. On Disney Channels in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile, it ranked No. 1 against all free TV and cable TV among kids 4-11 and kids 4-17. In Brazil, it ranked No. 1 of all cable TV networks among Kkids 4-11 and kids 4-17.
Descendants has become a major franchise and big trans-media property for Disney, with an animated short-form series, Descendants: Wicked World, set in the Auradon and Isle of the Lost worlds, debuting last month on Disney Channel (reaching 5.9 million total viewers), WATCH Disney Channel (1.7 million views), and YouTube (over 10 million views to date). A Descendants mobile game from Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media will launch in November. A Karaoke App released July 30 and reached No. 1 in the kids 9-11 category in four countries including the U.S.
The Descendants soundtrack entered the Billboard 200 at #1 and six music videos of its musical numbers plus its end-credit song “Believe” by Shawn Mendes and a “Rotten To The Core” remix by Sofia Carson, have delivered over 254 million views on DisneyMusicVevo. The Descendants DVD released on July 31 and is the No. 1 TV movie and the third-best-selling TV title on DVD year to date.
Also announced today, Melissa de la Cruz will write a second novel as part of the ongoing “Descendants” publishing program. “Return To The Isle Of The Lost” will publish in May 2016. The prequel novel, “The Isle of the Lost: A Descendants Novel,” hit No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List (Children’s Middle Grade) for 13 of the past 22 weeks. In total, four “Descendants” books from Disney Publishing Worldwide have been on the New York Times Best Seller List for a combined 41 weeks.