Here's Everything We Know About Disney's Huge New Streaming Service
It's called Disney+, and it's due to launch in the US later this year.
Streaming platforms have become one of modern life's certainties, with new instances continuing to pop up all over the place. In fact, this year along will see two huge players giving Netflix, Amazon and the like a run for their money — not only Apple, which will release Apple TV+ in the second half of 2019, but Disney as well.
First revealed last year, Disney+ will boast a swathe of high-profile content, including new Star Wars and Marvel TV shows, plus all of your favourite Disney animated movies in one place. Now the service has announced a US launch date of November 12, as well as "plans to be in nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years." Just how long viewers Down Under will have to wait is yet to be seen; however given the array of titles heading to the platform, here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.
With Disney recently merging with competitor Fox, Disney+'s US range is hefty — not only spanning Disney, Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar, but National Geographic and the entirety of The Simpsons, too. During its first year of operation, it's due to release more than 25 original series and 10 original films, documentaries and specials. And, to make its catalogue available from US$6.99 per month, in both HD and 4K, and "on a wide range of mobile and connected devices, including gaming consoles, streaming media players and smart TVs".
In the Marvel sphere post-Avengers: Endgame, new series Loki, WandaVision and The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will all focus on their eponymous characters — Tom Hiddleston's trickster Loki, Elizabeth Olsen's Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany's Vision, and Anthony Mackie's Falcon and Sebastian Stan's Winter Soldier, with all of the actors retaining their roles. A Hawkeye series with Jeremy Renner is also in the works, as is animated program Marvel's What If…, which'll take inspiration from the comics of the same name, asking the titular question about important Marvel Cinematic Universe moments.
Fans of Star Wars can not only look forward to the $100 million live-action series The Mandalorian from The Lion King, The Jungle Book, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 director Jon Favreau (and with Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi helming an episode), but look forward to it soon — it'll launch when the platform does in the US. Also zooming to screens from a galaxy far, far away is a spinoff from Rogue One about Diego Luna's Rebel spy Cassian Andor. Set before the events of the film, it — like all of Disney+'s big-name series — will also feature the star reprising the character.
Elsewhere, two new Toy Story-based projects — animated short series Forky Asks a Question and one-off short film Lamp Life — are on their way, well-timed to hit after the release of Toy Story 4. If you just can't let it go, a Frozen 2 making-of special will also feature, about the sequel headed to cinemas later this year. And, because everyone loves Jeff Goldblum, National Geographic's The World According to Jeff Goldblum will involve the actor delving into the fascinating stories, science and facts behind seemingly familiar objects.
Going big when it comes to bringing the company's well-known properties to the new streaming platform, a High School Musical TV series, another show based on Monsters, Inc. and a live-action Lady and the Tramp movie will also be on the bill.
On the classic front, Fox titles like The Sound of Music, The Princess Bride and Malcolm in the Middle have been named as part of a lineup of more than 7500 television episodes and 500 films — alongside "the entire Disney motion picture library" according to CEO Bob Iger, which should be available "at some point fairly soon after launch". Viewers can also likely expect Disney and Fox's recent flicks to be made available on Disney+, and for subsequent cinema releases due to hit the service within a year of their big-screen release.
Disney is also reportedly contemplating buying a bigger stake in existing streamer Hulu according to Variety, which would give it full control over that platform. Like the timing of Disney+'s international rollout, just how the purchase might affect the company's new service hasn't been revealed.
In Australia, a big batch of the aforementioned existing Disney content is currently available on Stan, spanning both movies and TV series — but you can reasonably expect that that arrangement will be impacted by Disney+, whenever it does finally hit locally.
Top image: Marvel Studios.
Published on April 28, 2019 by Sarah Ward