Disney is going to conquer streaming entertainment.
Disney+, the company’s new streaming service could be a total game-changer, one that may change the way you feel about your Netflix or Hulu subscription.
That’s because Disney already owns the rights to Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm, and all of the iconic works that fall under those banners. When its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox closes, Disney will not only being able to open up Fox’s vaults but the company will gain control of Hulu as well, opening unlimited possibilities.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Disney streaming service.
In a fourth-quarter earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that the streaming service will be called Disney+. More importantly, the service, which is scheduled to launch in fall 2019, will feature a live-action Star Wars series starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor. The show will be a prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
“Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me,” Luna said in a statement. “I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger had previously referred to Disney’s streaming service as “Disney Play” and called launching the service “the biggest priority of the company during calendar year 2019,” according to a new report from Variety.
What will be on Disney’s streaming service?
Disney’s streaming service (currently unnamed, but jokingly referred to as “Disneyflix) is, by all accounts, meant to be a platform for viewers to stream Disney-owned properties, like Star Wars and Marvel movies. It will also include a library of Disney films and will launch with Toy Story 4, the Lion King live-action movie, and the sequel to Frozen. It will also house shows from Disney’s television channels, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior. So yes, be prepared for your child to have infinite access to Doc McStuffins. Subscribers can expect at least 5,000 episodes of past TV shows.
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Like Netflix, Disney is also producing new, original content based on some of its existing franchises. Chief among these is a live-action Star Wars TV series (all the previous ones, like Clone Wars and Rebels, were animated), a new season of Clone Wars, a live-action Marvel show, and shows based on the Monsters Inc. and High School Musical franchises.
The Star Wars show is being written by Jon Favreau, who directed the first Iron Man and the live-action Jungle Book, and will reportedly have a budget of over $100 million for 10 episodes.
It’s unclear if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which airs on the Disney-owned ABC, will transfer over the streaming platform. As for Netflix/Marvel series like Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders, it’s also unclear where these shows (some of which have entered their second or third season) will end up.
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In a New York Times report, two agents and producers speaking on the condition of anonymity said that remakes of Lady and the Tramp and The Sword in the Stone are in the works. Togo, a film about a sled dog, and a Christmas movie featuring Anna Kendrick are also planned.
Other planned features include:
- Three Men and a Baby remake
- The Paper Magician
- Stargirl, based on the YA novel
- A new incarnation of Don Quixote
What won’t be on Disney Plus?
Perhaps the better question to ask is what won’t be on the Disney streaming service.
Due to licensing complications, there are a number of high-profile titles that won’t be on the service at launch. Turner, for example, has the rights to the first six Star Wars movies for the next six years, while Starz still has some Disney (The Princess and the Frog) and Pixar (Wall-E, Up) movies. Netflix, meanwhile, is sitting on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Thor: Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, Coco, Moana, and Beauty and the Beast, which rank among the best movies on Netflix. That said, Disney is reportedly working to renegotiate those deals, and it’s banking on the appeal of its 2019 blockbusters, which includes Avengers 4 and Captain Marvel.
You also won’t be seeing any R-rated films, like Deadpool, which is owned by the recently acquired Fox. There’s the possibility R-rated films will be edited to fit Disney’s standards, but it’s currently anyone’s guess.
Other Fox properties, like The Simpsons, will stay on Hulu to avoid clashing with Disney’s family-friendly image.
How much will Disney’s streaming service cost?
There’s no solid info yet on how much Disney’s streaming service will cost, but Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested to Variety that the service will likely cost less than Netflix due to its lower amount of content.
When does Disney’s streaming service launch?
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in an interview with Variety that he expects the streaming service to launch near the end of 2019.
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.