Disney Channel has greenlighted a sequel to its hit 2015 musical fantasy original movie about the teenage children of classic Disney villains, with production on Descendants 2 set to begin this summer. The project, which had been in development, will premiere in summer 2017 with China Anne McClain joining the main cast as Uma, daughter of The Little Mermaid‘s big, bad Ursula. She joins returning cast members Dove Cameron, Cameron Boyce, Booboo Stewart, Sofia Carson as the children of Maleficent, Cruella de Vil, Jafar and the Evil Queen, and Mitchell Hope as the son of Belle and the Beast. Further new casting will be announced in the coming weeks, including for the children of villains Captain Hook and Gaston.
The creative team behind Descendants also is returning, headed by Kenny Ortega, who will direct, executive produce and choreograph Descendants 2, along with writers Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon, costume designer Kara Saun, and production designer Mark Hofeling. They’re joined by Ortega’s frequent collaborator Tony Testa (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, This Is It) who will serve as co-choreographer, and by producer Shawn Williamson. Parriott and McGibbon also will executive produce alongside Wendy Japhet.
Descendants was the No. 1 cable television movie of 2015 and the fifth-highest-rated cable film of all time among total U.S. viewers. The film also was the best-performing Disney Channel original movie in France, Netherlands, Belgium (south), Portugal, South Africa and Spain and No. 1 among girls in Italy. Subsequently, the spinoff novel The Isle of the Lost spent 14 weeks atop the New York Times bestsellers list, with the sequel Return to the Isle of the Lost debuting last week at No. 2.