Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame!
The Disney Legends Awards have honored dozens of creative figures associated with the House of Mouse since their inception in 1987. Now that Marvel and Star Wars are part of the Disney family, the studio has the opportunity to present the award to a wider assortment of artists. With the annual D23 expo right around the corner, Disney has just announced this year’s recipients. Via ScreenRant, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, and James Earl Jones, and are among the latest honorees.
Downey is being recognized fresh off the massive success of Avengers: Endgame. By now, we all know that the film marks Downey’s final appearance as Tony Stark in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since Endgame has only been out for less than a month, Downey has yet to issue an official statement confirming that his time as Iron Man has come to an end. Accepting the award could give him the chance to bid a proper farewell to the role that breathed new life into his career more than 10 years ago.
Joining Downey onstage will be Jon Favreau. Naturally, Favreau helped kickstart the MCU when he directed the first two Iron Man films in 2008 and 2010. He continued working with Disney when he helmed the live-action remake of The Jungle Book in 2016. Favreau is currently giving another classic Disney cartoon the live-action treatment with this summer’s The Lion King. Most recently, he has lent his talents to The Mandalorian, the upcoming live-action Star Wars series premiering on Disney+ later this year.
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Obviously, it was only a matter of time before Disney recognized the contributions of Darth Vader himself. Jones has been playing the Dark Lord of the Sith since the original Star Wars film in 1977. Additionally, he provided the voice of Mufasa in the original Lion King, a role he’ll reprise in Favreau’s new film.
Another honoree is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Ming-Na Wen, whose relationship with Disney dates back to 1998 when she voiced the title character in Mulan. The list also includes Bette Midler, Kenny Ortega, Barnette Ricci, TV personalities Robin Roberts and Dianne Sawyer, composer Hans Zimmer, and former Disney Imagineer Wing Chao.
What do you think of this year’s crop of Disney Legends? Who should the studio honor at future ceremonies? Let us know in the comment section below!