Netflix, Amazon et al will have a new rival this year – Disney’s forthcoming streaming service has lined up a launch date of 12th November in the US, with the promise that it’ll be ready for a worldwide rollout within the next two years.
The streaming product, called Disney+, is set to come complete with customisable settings and profiles – so you can make your own avatar using Disney characters – and it will be full to the brim with movies and TV shows currently under the Mouse House umbrella. Going somewhere with rocky Wi-Fi? No worries, you’ll be able to download and watch the library offline.
It’s been announced that new US subscribers will be paying $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year, but we won’t know the UK pricing structure for a while yet. There’s a promising level of demand stateside, though – a survey by Ampere Analysis found that a third of 18-24 year-olds and households with children in are already keen to sign up.
Many of the films and shows planned for Disney+ are in various stages of development, but there will be an eye-watering 5000 hours of Disney Channel series and 100 Disney Channel Original Movies waiting for you from the get-go, with plenty of other titles ready to stream, too. You’ll be able to find the whole Signature Collection, including animated staples like The Lion King, Bambi and The Little Mermaid, for example, along with live-action classics such as Mary Poppins.
Here’s an ever-growing list of intriguing things on the way to Disney+, some of which will definitely premiere with its launch…
Along with all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies – Captain Marvel has been confirmed to be available from day one and according to Disney’s latest earnings report Avengers: Endgame will be streaming also – Disney+ will likely eventually bring us a good chunk of Fox’s Marvel titles. There are also these marvel-lous upcoming TV series, eyed to tie into the MCU…
Marvel’s favourite trickster will back for his own limited series on the platform in 2021 from Rick And Morty writer Michael Waldron, with Tom Hiddleston confirmed to return as Loki. In what capacity? We’re not sure yet. There are rumours that Tom will mostly be on narrating duties for this, and that the series “will follow Loki as the trickster and shape-shifter pops up throughout human history as an unlikely influencer on historical events.”
Jac Schaeffer (who worked on the Captain Marvel screenplay) has been hired to shepherd a Vision and Scarlet Witch TV series onto Disney+. Details on the story are virtually non-existent, but a 50s setting has been teased. All we have so far is the official title of the show, WandaVision, and the knowledge that Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen are set to reprise their MCU roles for it. The series, premiering in the spring of 2021, will also connect to the big screen Doctor Strange sequel.
Falcon And Winter Soldier
Empire’s Malcolm Spellman is writing a Falcon and Winter Soldier limited series, set to stream in autumn, 2020. The big budget spin-off show will star Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson, naturally. It would be great if this one had shades of Ed Brubaker’s work, wouldn’t it? It’s unclear whether Falcon will end up taking up Captain America’s shield here, but villain Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) will both be back, giving the whole thing a Civil War spin-off vibe.
Jeremy Renner will return as Clint Barton in autumn 2021 to pass the Hawkeye mantle onto Kate Bishop, one of Marvel’s most popular Young Avengers characters. This will absolutely be one to watch, as Renner will finally get some decent screen time to show us a little more of what Clint’s about and what he’s been through – before he retires gracefully, we assume – all while introducing us to the extremely badass Bishop!
On the animated/doco side, Marvel’s What If?, Marvel’s 616, and Marvel’s Hero Project are all in the pipeline, too.
The full Star Wars back catalogue will be up on Disney+ in the first year, and these are the TV series also in the works:
Arriving upon launch, the first ever live-action Star Wars series is sounding terrific. Original MCU puppet master Jon Favreau is the showrunner on The Mandalorian, and episode directors include Thor: Ragnarok’s Taika Waititi and Dave Filoni (Star Wars Rebels).
The Mandalorian will take place seven years after the events of Return Of The Jedi, setting up the series as a bridge between the original and sequel trilogies. Game Of Thrones’ Pedro Pascal will star here as “a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the new republic” and joining him in the cast are Gina Carano and Werner Herzog, among others.
Cassian Andor Prequel Series
Rebel Spy Cassian Andor bought the farm in Rogue One, but that’s not the end of his story! Well, it is technically the end, but he’ll be back in a prequel series that will follow his adventures during the early days of the Rebellion. Cassian’s memorable droid K-2SO will be along for the ride, voiced by the lovable Alan Tudyk once again.
“The rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire,” promises the official Star Wars website.
Sounds pretty good!
A third live-action series is also in the early stages of development, but there are currently no details on what’s in store.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
Fan favourite animated series The Clone Wars ended prematurely after six great seasons a while back, and though a few episodes were later released as “lost missions” the story was far from over. Luckily, creator Dave Filoni will now get a chance to complete the saga on Disney+.
You’ll be able to watch all the Pixar shorts right away on Disney+, with the Pixar film catalogue being promised to stream within the first year. But there’s more…
Monsters At Work
Along with Pixar’s in-development Toy Story 4 pieces like Forky Asks a Question and Lamp Life, Disney is planning a Monsters, Inc. TV series with the original voice cast returning. That means the dulcet tones of Billy Crystal and John Goodman, alongside new addition Ben Feldman playing Tylor Tuskmon, a mechanic at Monsters, Inc. who is desperate to join the Laughter Floor team. They were previously harvesting children’s screams instead of their laughter to power the city of Monstropolis six months ago – yes, this takes place fairly soon after the events of the first movie, and it’s not a prequel like Monsters University. Yay!
New Disney Movies
In terms of new Disney movies getting the exclusive streaming treatment on Disney+, we’ve got Timmy Failure, directed by Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), Willem Dafoe’s ‘Alaskan sled dog adventure’, Togo [wait – Willem Dafoe and sled dogs? – this just shot to the top of our list], a live-action version of Lady And The Tramp, a Christmas film entitled Noelle, featuring Pitch Perfect’s Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader (Barry), remakes of Sword In The Stone, Three Men And A Baby, and Father Of The Bride, a big Stargirl film, and a Paper Magician movie.
There’s also a brand-new Phineas And Ferb film coming, featuring the original voice cast.
New Disney Series
Yep, The Muppets are being rebooted again. Disney already tried it once at ABC in 2016, but that show only lasted one season and got a critical drubbing, so it’s time to take another run at it!
Secret Society Of Second Born
Coming from the people behind Gossip Girl, The Bold Type and, er, Predators, Secret Society Of Second Born follows a 15- year-old girl who just so happens to be second in line to the throne. Sent to a summer school which she initially believes is run-of-the-mill, she later finds out it’s a training camp for second born royals with superpowers. Could be good!
Diary Of A Female President
This new series comes from the pen of a staff writer from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Ilana Peña). 10 half-hour episodes of this are winging their way to Disney+, and the story centres on a 12-year old Cuban-American girl on her journey to becoming the future president of the United States.
A Love, Simon TV series is “being explored” for Disney+. It’s unclear whether it’ll have any connection to the beloved teen rom-com’s film version, but director Greg Berlanti will not be returning as he’s in a deal with Warner Bros, so This Is Us showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger are currently considering taking over the reins.
Love, Simon revolves around a closeted high school teen who falls in love online with an unknown classmate, and what happens when he begins investigating who it might be.
Disney has also proposed an Escape To Witch Mountain series, a Sandlot series, a new High School Musical series, a reality show called Encore!, Be Our Guest – a cooking show – and a craft series called Shop Class. A Chip ‘N’ Dale reboot series has also been confirmed with 39 new episodes planned so far.
Mergers And Acquisitions
Not to get too Patrick Bateman on ya, but 2019 has also been about a certain merger and acquisition for Disney, too. The recent buyout of Fox means that loads of lovely Fox content will be available on Disney+. Wonderful.
Charlie’s Angels director McG is shepherding his long-in-gestation True Lies reboot series into fruition at Disney+, it’s been confirmed. The show was originally in the works at Fox TV, but James Cameron has signed off on this new version for the Mouse House. There may also be a cameo from Arnie in the air, but we’ll have to wait and see!
If you’re missing Malcolm In The Middle (or you have yet to experience the joy that is Malcolm In The Middle) it’s been announced that it’ll have a home on Disney+, as will all 30 seasons of The Simpsons. Blimey!
Disney has stated that none of the more adult Fox titles will appear on the service, so you may not find the Deadpool movies at your fingertips, however, more family-friendly stuff like The Sound of Music and The Princess Bride will be there.
The man behind Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix was the first big signing at Fox TV under Disney. He’s agreed to develop a range of new TV content, some of which may end up on Disney+. We’ll keep a close eye on any announcements for you, although whether we’ll see Daredevil itself – or any of Netflix’s other Marvel shows for that matter – back up and running, is rather up in the air at the moment.
Over 250 hours of National Geographic content will be included in the launch including acclaimed doc Free Solo and The World According To Jeff Goldblum. If we know you as well as we think we do, that last one will raise an eyebrow.
Last, but not least, a behind the scenes documentary about the making of Frozen 2 is coming to Disney+, alongside loads of other interesting docs.
Phew! Is that enough to tempt you…?