It’s no secret that Disney likes to keep its projects under wraps, leaving many fans to speculate what’s next in the multinational media company’s pipeline. Earlier today, fans were treated to a spattering of new announcements and projects already underway — including an unexpected sequel to 2016’s smash-hit Moana and a permanent home on Disney Plus for Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour concert film.
During Disney’s 1st fiscal quarter earnings call, CEO Bob Iger revealed plans for maintaining the company’s continued growth. “As we build for the future, the steps we are taking today lend themselves to solidifying Disney’s place as the preeminent creator of global content”, Iger stated.
“Looking at the renewed strength of all of our businesses this quarter – from Sports, to Entertainment, to Experiences – we believe the stage is now set for significant growth and success,” Iger continued.
Most announcements coincide with Disney Plus, so you can sign up here if you’re not a Disney Plus subscriber. But if you’re already eager to see what’s in store for the Walt Disney Company, here’s what its CEO announced today.
Moana 2 — in theaters November 27, 2024
Originally planned as a sequel spin-off series for Disney Plus, Moana’s second adventure came as a surprise for many. During his appearance on CNBC ahead of the earnings call, Iger revealed that the company ultimately decided to produce an all-new feature-length sequel instead, that will open in theaters on November 27, 2024.
“Moana remains an incredibly popular franchise,” said Iger. “And we can’t wait to give you more of Moana and Maui when Moana 2 comes to theaters this November.”
Iger added, “The original Moana film from 2016 recently crossed 1 billion hours streamed on Disney Plus and was the most streamed movie of 2023 on any platform in the U.S.”
According to a release from Disney, the film is set to take audiences on a new wayfinding voyage with Moana and Maui — and a brand-new crew of unlikely seafarers. After receiving an unexpected call from her wayfinding ancestors, Moana must journey to the far seas of Oceania and into dangerous, long-lost waters for an adventure unlike anything she’s ever faced.
The film will be directed by Dave Derrich Jr. and feature music written and produced by Abigail Barlow, Emily Bear, Opetaia Foa’i and Mark Mancina.
Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) — debuting on March 15, 2024 on Disney Plus
Disney Plus announced that Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) will make its streaming debut on March 15, 2024. This new version will feature the concert film in its entirety for the first time and include the song “Cardigan” and four additional acoustic tracks.
The film, directed by Sam Wrench, amassed more than $260 million worldwide, making it the top-selling concert film of all time, according to Disney’s release.
During the announcement, Iger said, “The Eras Tour has been a true phenomenon that has and continues to thrill fans around the world, and we are very excited to bring this electrifying concert to audiences wherever they are, exclusively through Disney Plus”.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians — renewed for season two on Disney Plus
It seems like Percy Jackson will be back on another quest to protect Camp Half-Blood. The renewal, which comes a week after the season 1 finale, was also flagged during the company’s earnings call. The first season of the original series generated more than 110 million hours streamed to date, and the premiere episode reportedly amassed 26.2M views within the first three weeks of its debut.
The announcement was seconded by show creator and author Rick Riordan in a tweet that read, “I can’t wait to bring the next season of Percy Jackson to Disney+! Raise anchors. Hoist the mainsail. All hands on deck, demigods. We’re heading for the Sea of Monsters!”.
The second installment will follow Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell), Annabeth Chase (Leah Sava Jeffries) and Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri) as they embark on a new adventure based on the second book of the series, The Sea of Monsters.
“Rich in magic, wonder, adventure and heart, Percy Jackson and the Olympians captivated the imaginations of viewers of all ages everywhere,” said Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis. “We’re thrilled to embark on an exciting new quest and a season two with Rick Riordan, our fantastic partners at 20th Television, and the exceptional ensemble of cast and creative talent that bring this story to life.”
ESPN, Fox and Warner Bros Discovery joint venture to launch sports streaming service in the U.S.
ESPN, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, has announced its joint venture with Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery to build an innovative new sports streaming service. The venture will launch this fall and bring together content from the companies’ combined assets.
“Ultimately, our mission is to make ESPN into the pre-eminent digital sports brand, reaching as many sports fans as possible and giving them even more ways to access the programming they love, in whatever way best suits their needs,” Iger said.
“We’re pumped to bring the FOX Sports portfolio to this new and exciting platform. We believe the service will provide passionate fans outside of the traditional bundle an array of amazing sports content all in one place,” Lachlan Murdoch, Fox CEO, added.
Further, Disney also announced that it will offer ESPN as a standalone streaming option by the fall of 2025 in hopes of creating a one-stop sports destination unlike anything else.
“Not only will consumers be able to stream their favorite live games and studio programming, they’ll also have access to engaging digital integrations like ESPN Bet and fantasy sports, e-commerce features, and a deep array of sports stats — all of which we know will be incredibly compelling to younger sports fans in particular,” Iger said.
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Lucy Scotting is a digital content writer for Tom’s Guide in Australia, primarily covering NBN and internet-related news. Lucy started her career writing for HR and staffing industry publications, with articles covering emerging tech, business and finance. In her spare time, Lucy can be found watching sci-fi movies, working on her dystopian fiction novel or hanging out with her dog, Fletcher.