Continuing the fairy tale. Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Booboo Stewart and the late Cameron Boyce, among others, starred in Disney Channel’s Descendants trilogy from 2015 and 2019.
A continuation of classic fairy tales, the musical Descendants franchise introduced fans to the offspring of Disney’s most famous heroes and villains. Cameron (Mal), Carson (Evie), Stewart (Jay) and Boyce (Carlos) played the kids of Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar and Cruella de Vil, respectively, and were known as the main four Villain Kids — VKs for short.
Carson looked back at her Descendants years fondly during a February 2020 interview with Teen Vogue, explaining that nabbing the role of Evie was “the moment where my life changed completely.”
The Feel the Beat actress added, “The first day on set we were shooting the opening number, ‘Rotten to the Core.’ My mom flew in, and I remember having the biggest case of butterflies in my stomach, but it was magical. As much as the movie is a fairy tale, even shooting it felt like a fairy tale. To be a part of something with The Walt Disney Company where I get to play the daughter of a heritage character — to play, like, a real-life Disney princess, it was so surreal.”
The first Descendants movies saw the VKs moving from their home on the Isle of the Lost, where magic is forbidden, to the magical kingdom of Auradon. The kids attended Auradon Preparatory school where they met Audrey (Sarah Jeffrey), Ben (Mitchell Hope) and Jane (Brenna D’Amico), the children of Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip, Queen Belle and Beast and Fairy Godmother, respectively.
Throughout the film, viewers watched as Ben and Mal — struggling with a battle between good and evil — formed a romantic relationship, a story line that continued throughout the rest of the films. The two ultimately got engaged in the final movie.
Since the trilogy’s end, the stars have spoken out about not being able to continue the series without Boyce, who died at age 20 in July 2019 — one month before the Descendants 3 premiere.
Cameron, for one, told Barstool Sports’ “Chicks in the Office” podcast in July 2020 that it would be “really hard” for the cast to film another movie without Boyce.
“I’m sure there’s a part that would feel very healing and very much like we’re coming home,” the “Boyfriend” songstress explained. “It’s very much a personal kind of experience, so I think it would be healing to come back to it — like a homecoming — but also, I think it would be really hard, and I don’t know if we would be up for it.”
The cast, however, stars did end up reuniting for the August 2021 animated Descendants: The Royal Wedding special, which showed Ben and Mal officially tying the knot and Boyce’s legacy being honored.
“Our fans are just the most extraordinary in the world and they love this franchise, and it means so much to them, so this is really dedicated to them and it’s an animated special,” Carson told Entertainment Tonight in March 2021. “We just hope that when people watch this, they feel happy and they feel connected to the characters and of course, to our Cam.”
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