Plot, Cast, and Everything We Know | Pretty Reel

A new magical adventure is coming to Apple TV+ in the future. Their second animated feature, Spellbound, will follow Elian (Rachel Zegler) as she tries to save her kingdom and defend her family.

Deadline confirmed that Rachel Zegler will voice the lead role in April. Additional cast members, including Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem and John Lithgow, were announced in June. The film will be directed by Vicky Jenson, with a screenplay by Lauren Hynek (Mulan), Elizabeth Martin (The Yule Ball) and Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Maleficent). Jenson is known for her work as director on longtime favorite Shrek.

Spellbound comes from Skydance Animation, a new division of Skydance Media. The parent company is known for True Grit, Annihilation, and Top Gun: Maverick. It formed its animation division in 2017, with its first film debuting in 2022 on Apple TV+. Here’s what to know about the animated feature so far.

Bewitched: the plot


Very little is known about the plot so far, but the released connecting line paints a great picture of what audiences can expect from the animated feature:

Spellbound tells the story of Elian, a teenage girl who comes of age using her magical powers to defend her family when the opposing forces of light and darkness threaten to divide her kingdom.

A spell splits her family’s kingdom in two for an incredible journey. Who cast the spell? Was it a ruler of a rival kingdom, a scorned wizard years ago, or maybe even someone within the kingdom itself? Is saving the kingdom a rite of passage she must complete before becoming the person she’s meant to be?

With just one image released, it looks like magical creatures are appearing. The way Elian tries to catch them makes it look like they could be his parents. Have they been charmed by something else, and she must find a way to counter the transformation? If so, how does he divide the kingdom? Is something trying to take their power while they are indisposed?

Known character names also hint at the plot. Besides a king and a queen, probably Eilan’s parents, there are two ministers and two oracles. Will the teenager have to visit the oracles to find out how to save the kingdom? Could ministers also provide advice?

Bewitched: the cast

20th century workshops

Rachel Zegler will voice Princess Ellian. The actress is known for her first role in West Side Story opposite Ansel Elgort. She’s since signed on to play Snow White in Disney’s live-action version of the classic film, one of the protagonists in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Serpents, and will be in the upcoming Shazam! Fury of the gods.

Other cast members include Nicole Kidman as Queen Ellsmere (Big Little Lies, Being the Ricardos), Javier Bardem (Dune, Mother!) as King Solon, John Lithgow (Interstellar, Pet Sematary) as Minister Bolinar, Jenifer Lewis (The Princess and the Frog, Cars) as Minister Nazara Prone, Nathan Lane (Only Murders in the Building, Modern Family) as Oracle of the Sun, André De Shields (Katy Keene, Uncoupled) as Moon Oracle and Jordan Fisher (To All the Boys: PS I Still Love You, Work It) as Callan.

Release date

With parts of the cast announced just months ago, interested audiences are unlikely to see the film this year. It is more likely to be released in 2023 or 2024.

Everything else we know

Celestial dance animation

Disney music fans should be on the lookout. Spellbound landed a big name to compose their music. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed in 2020 that Academy and Tony Award-winning composer Alan Menken was attached to the project. Audiences will know his work from Beauty and the Beast, Tangled and the two Aladdins. He’s set to compose the score and write original songs for the animated film, so get ready to have a new soundtrack to add to your playlists.

Spellbound, originally announced as Split, was intended for a 2019 release. Several setbacks, including another name change to The Unbreakable Spell, made the split’s second film, Luck, the first released. The feature debuted on Apple TV+ in August to mixed reviews.

Luck and Spellbound are just getting started. Skydance Animation already had two more in production, likely with more on the way. The first is Pookoo comes from Nathan Greno, the director of Tangled. No plot details have been revealed. The second is Brad Bird’s Ray Gunn. Bird is known for his work on The Incredibles, Ratatouille and The Iron Giant. The Wrap describes the project as “a retro-futuristic crime novel”.

While you wait for Spellbound, take a trip through the decades with the best Disney animated movies over the years.

Plot, Cast, and Everything We Know | Pretty Reel