Editor's note: Eager to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home online, or re-watch it? Well, we've got good news for you about its digital release.
You can't say we didn't warn you. Spider-Man: No Way Home's streaming future has been a constant source of chatter online. It's probably the first movie in ages where digital rentals and purchases were a topic of conversation, as evidenced by the all the chatter around the Spider-Man: No Way Home's digital and Blu-ray release dates, which were leaked and then confirmed to be much later.
So, to answer the question people asking about Spider-Man: No Way Home on Disney Plus? Much like ... plot points I won't spoil here, I've got some bad news. Spider-Man: No Way Home, per Deadline (opens in new tab), is going exactly where Sony Pictures' old contracts said it would: Starz.
Yep, we're gonna have to wait a while before we can watch all the Marvel movies in order on Disney Plus.
Yes, Starz, the app and pay cable channel that is U.S. only and not as popular as the likes of Netflix and Disney Plus. Also, before you ask, Starz is not the Star channel on Disney Plus in the U.K. and in other territories. And, oh yeah, we've got to wait longer, as it's not arriving soon, but "sometime over the next six months." Starz will hold it for 18 months, too.
Confused about how streaming vs digital? Well, after a reader question on this topic came in over the weekend, I can say you're not alone. Digital releases (which typically come first) are the ala carte purchase/rental of a show or movie, on services such as Apple TV/iTunes and Amazon. Streaming service news refers to where a title lives inside of a regular subscription, such as Netflix, Hulu or Disney Plus.
This news makes sense considering Starz was the first streaming platform for Sony Pictures releases that dropped between from 2017 to 2021, per an older deal (opens in new tab) (and No Way Home did come out in Dec. 2021). Sony signed two deals for streaming rights in 2021, with Netflix getting films first before Disney Plus gets them afterwards.
Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch told Deadline about how the movie will be a boon to promoting Starz shows, saying "you put the right shows and content around it so you can move customers that watch Spider-Man into one of your originals."
In other Spider-Man news, a new interview has revealed that Tom Holland saw Spider-Man: No Way Home as a way to right a regret and the movie found a place in the Oscar nominations 2022.
Analysis: Disappointing but predictable
People being unaware of Starz' deal with Sony, combined with public's want to consolidate all MCU movies (and the Tom Holland-led Spider-Man movies are some of the best) into the same service, is going to lead to some upset fans. This includes Twitter user Geeks, Opinionated (opens in new tab), which claimed that No Way Home would be going to Netflix and not Starz.
Pringus McDingus (opens in new tab) had tweeted last month that they only "gotta wait months to see it on Disney Plus/BluRay." And since Starz is expected to have No Way Home into 2023? That won't just be a months-long wait.
And since this was clear before this news, some users have been ready with the emotional reaction GIF of their choice, such as Courtney Lanning (opens in new tab):
When I see No Way Home is going to Starz instead of Disney+: pic.twitter.com/ASW8MbJEa7January 7, 2022
People don't really care about contractual rights, especially when Disney and Marvel have convinced us that Disney Plus is the destination for watching all the MCU.
When to expect No Way Home on Disney Plus
So if No Way Home will be on Starz in the next six months, and then spent 18 months there before going to Disney Plus?
At the earliest, this would see No Way Home on Disney Plus in the summer of 2023, if not early 2024.
And at this point, we're guessing people are going to just buy Spider-Man: No Way Home on Amazon (opens in new tab) to own it for themselves, rather than wait.
In other streaming news, the canceled TV series Criminal Minds is actually getting its reportedly-canceled revival on Paramount Plus. Plus, Super Bowl 2022 commercials are already dropping. Plus, an anticipated TV show revival is canceled at HBO Max.