Things are eerily quiet on the front of a potential release for Descendants 4.
The upcoming fourth film in Disney Channel's Descendants franchise will continue to honor the legacy of over 100 years of movies from the House of Mouse.
The series of films follows the sons and daughters of iconic Disney characters such as Cinderella, Ursula, and Aladdin as they undertake magical adventures just like their parents.
When Will Descendants 4 Be Released?
Having been in the works - at least publicly - since September 2021, a release date has still not been confirmed for Descendants 4.
Following the release of the animated spin-off Descendants: The Royal Wedding, a fourth movie seems all but locked in. That film ended with a tease of more to come, with Disney Branded Television's Senior Vice President of Original Movies Lauren Kisilevsky telling fans when asked about the future of the franchise, "[a] tease is a tease" (via Deadline).
After another Descendants film was revealed to be in the works in 2021, it was not until May 2022 that the fourth mainline movie was officially announced.
Subtitled The Rise of Red, the fourth Descendants movie was filmed from January to March 2023, with no release information having been made public yet.
Some have speculated a potential Descendants 4 release set for some time in early 2024, which would make sense.
Descendants 3 finished principal photography in July 2018 before hitting Disney Channel 13 months later in August 2019.
If Descendants 4 is following a similar production pipeline then a debut sometime between February and May 2024 seems highly likely. However, nothing has been confirmed.
The only thing release-wise that is certain is the fact that for the first time in franchise history, The Rise of Red will premiere on Disney Channel and Disney+ simultaneously.
Who Is Returning to Descendants 4?
The full cast of Descendants 4 has been revealed with several stars set to return from past entries in the fantastical movie series.
Leading the charge, though, this time are newcomers to the franchise Red (played by Kylie Cantrall) and Chloe Charming (played by Malia Baker). These two teens play the daughters of the Queen of Hearts and Cinderella/Prince Charming respectively, joining the series as the heroes of this movie.
Appearing alongside them in the film are returning actors China Anne McClain as Uma (the daughter of The Little Mermaid villain Ursula), Brandy Norwood as Cinderella, and Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother, among others.
The full cast list can be seen below:
- Kylie Cantrall as Red
- Malia Baker as Chloe Charming
- China Anne McClain as Uma
- Dara Reneé as Ulyana
- Rita Ora as the Queen of Hearts
- Brandy Norwood as Cinderella
- Paolo Montalban as King Charming
- Melanie Paxson as Fairy Godmother
- Levin Valayil as Aladdin
- Shazia Pascal as Jasmine
- Jeremy Swift as Principal Merlin
- Leonardo Nam as Maddox
- Alex Boniello as Jack of Diamonds
- Sam Morelos as Zellie
- Peder Lindell as Morgie
- Mars as Young Maleficent
- Joshua Colley as Teen Hook
- Anthony Pyatt as Teen Hades
Will Dove Cameron be in Descendants 4?
The biggest question fans will have heading into Descendants 4 is whether series star Dove Cameron will return to reprise her role as Mal (the daughter of Maleficent).
Cameron has appeared in all three mainline Descendants films before this as well as the animated Royal Wedding spin-off.
However, she will not be a part of Descendants 4 along with some of her co-stars from the other Descendants films.
Cameron, Booboo Stewart, and Sofia Carson all decided to forgo the upcoming fourth film, thus why The Rise of Red will have its pair of leads.
When asked by PopBuzz in May 2022 if she would have any interest in returning to the Descendants universe, Cameron stated, "No" as she did not believe "it would be the same without the whole original cast:"
"I'm gonna say no, because I don't think it would be the same without the whole original cast. It would just be different now and also we did it. We told a full story. We completed it."
This was likely referencing the death of her Descendants co-star Cameron Boyce, who played the son of 101 Dalmatians big bad Cruella de Vil, Calrlos, in the first three movies before tragically passing away in 2019.
What Will Happen in Descendants 4?
Following the tease of "another story could be just beginning" at the end of Descendants: The Royal Wedding, it is very clear where Descendants 4 will go.
Fans got a taste of this next story to close The Royal Wedding as seconds before credits rolled, the camera panned down to a pile of red rose petals, whose colors faded before being swallowed up into an Alice in Wonderland-style portal.
Descendants 4 will follow up on this development, thrusting new characters Red and Chloe Charming into a journey across time and space.
According to Disney (per Deadline), Descendants 4 (internally titled The Pocketwatch) will see Red and Chloe transported "through [a] rabbit hole to the hostile unincorporated territory of Wonderland," creating this modern twist on the reality-bending Disney classic:
"'The Pocketwatch' returns to these lands and also takes audiences through the rabbit hole to the hostile unincorporated territory of Wonderland, a magical, mysterious place made famous in 'Alice in Wonderland.'"
Beyond that, the story of Descendants 4 remains unseen, but one can assume the movie's pair of leads will not be the only two characters transported to Wonderland, with a villain like China Anne McClain's Uma taking advantage of the discovery of this new reality.
Descendants: The Rise of Red currently has no publicly available release date.