Boyce, who played Carlos in the fantasy franchise, passed away in July 2019, at just 20-years-old, due to complications following an epileptic seizure. Posthumously, he starred in the indie film Runt (2020) and was a series regular on Amazon’s supernatural thriller Paradise City (2021). He also appeared in the HBO comedy miniseries Mrs. Fletcher.
The Descendants special acknowledged Carlos’ absence when Mal (Dove Cameron) opened a wedding gift of a charm bracelet including all their family crests, including one of Carlos. “The four VKs, linked together forever,” explained Evie (Sofia Carson).
A more direct reference to the late actor was made before the credits rolled, as a tribute card reading “In memory of our friend Cameron Boyce” appeared on-screen.
The first Descendants movie debuted in 2015 and follows the adventures of the children of famous Disney characters, including Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Jafar, and Queen Belle. Boyce played the son of Cruella de Vil, reprising the role for the animated shorts Descendants: Wicked World and in the sequels Descendants 2 and Descendants 3, the latter of which was released after his death.
A fourth film in the franchise could be in the works, especially with how the special ended. “Another story could be just beginning,” said Mal as the camera panned to a bunch of white roses painted red and fading to black in a rabbit hole.
Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon, who were behind the original Descendants movies, penned The Royal Wedding animated special with Ricky Roxburgh. Salvador Simó directs with Le Cube producing.
The Cameron Boyce Foundation was founded following Boyce’s death and aims to raise awareness for epilepsy and SUDEP (Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy). It also focuses on other causes that Boyce was passionate about, including providing young people artistic and creative outlets as an alternative to violence and bringing clean water to underdeveloped countries.
Descendants: The Royal Wedding, Disney Channel