The One and Only Ivan is an upcoming live-action/CGI film adaptation of the book of the same name by K.A. Applegate. The film will be directed by Thea Sharrock and written by Mike White. It is set to be released on August 21, 2020 on Disney+. Originally intended to be released in theaters, the film was moved to a release on Disney+ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


A gorilla named Ivan lives in a cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade with an aging elephant named Stella and a dog named Bob with no recollection of how they got there. They are owned by Mack, the owner of the Big Top Mall. When an abused baby elephant named Ruby shows up and is taken under Stella's trunk, Ivan starts to care for her as well and along with the janitor's daughter Julia, they help to turn things around at the mall.[1]


  • Bryan Cranston as Mack
  • Ramón Rodríguez as George
  • Ariana Greenblatt as Julia
  • Eleanor Matsuura as Candace 



On April 9, 2014, it was announced that Walt Disney Pictures may adapt the book with Allison Shearmur to produce.[1] On May 6, 2016, it was announced that Mike Newell would direct with a screenplay from Mike White.[2] On March 24, 2017, Thea Sharrock entered negotiations to direct the film after Newell left the project.[3]


On October 16, 2017, it was reported that Angelina Jolie joined the film as both a producer and the voice of an elephant named Stella.[4] On November 15, 2017, Brooklynn Prince was cast to voice Ruby, the baby elephant.[5] On January 9, 2018, Ariana Greenblatt joined the cast in a live-action role.[6] Producer Allison Shearmur died on January 19, 2018. She will retain her producer credit on the film.[7] On February 23, 2018, Sam Rockwell was cast to voice the titular Ivan, and Bryan Cranston was cast as a circus owner, while Brigham Taylor joined as a producer.[8] On March 13, 2018, Ramon Rodriguez signed on to a live-action role, that of the father of Greenblatt's character.[9] On May 1, 2018, Danny DeVito and Helen Mirren signed on to voice characters in the film, while Indira Varma and Eleanor Matsuura will appear in live-action roles.[10]


Principal photography began on May 1, 2018 in Lakeland, Florida, with locations for the film including the Southgate Shopping Center and Resurrection Catholic Church.[11] On May 7, 2019, the film was scheduled for a theatrical release on August 14, 2020 by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.[12] On June 12, 2020, it was announced the film would instead be released on Disney+ a week later on August 21, 2020, due to the closures of movie theaters that started in mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.[13] It was moved back to the original August 14 date on July 8, 2020, with the release of the film's official trailer. On July 27, 2020, it was announced that the film will go back to its original streaming date of August 21.[14]



  • This is the second Disney+ movie that was originally intended as a theatrical release, the first being Artemis Fowl.
  • Angelina Jolie and Bryan Cranston previously co-starred in the 2016 DreamWorks film Kung Fu Panda 3.
    • Coincidentally, Cranston also previously voiced an anthropomorphic tiger named "Vitaly" in the 2012 DreamWorks film, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. Coincidentally, both Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and The One and Only Ivan both have a circus setting.
  • Helen Mirren and Bryan Cranston previously co-starred in the 2015 film Trumbo.


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