Disney Plus (also styled as Disney+) is the house of the mouse's foray into streaming media, and the reason why its movies will be removed from Netflix in 2020.
Set to launch in 2019, Disney+ looks to be one of the best streaming services, at least for families, offering a library made up of Disney's films and TV shows, as well as original programming based on its biggest properties, such as Star Wars and Marvel. Here's what we know so far, with details on all of the Disney Plus shows.
When will Disney Plus launch?
At Disney's April 11 Investor Day event, the House of the Mouse revealed that Disney+ will arrive in the U.S. on November 12, 2019.
Is Disney Plus Free?
Sorry, folks, we don't know how this rumor spread, but you're gonna pay for this one. Fortunately, it's starting at the low price of $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. That's especially competitive as Netflix has hiked the pricing for its Standard package from $10.99. Netflix also offers other tiers, starting at $8.99 per month and topping out at $15.99 per month.
That low price should take advantage of high early interest. Cnet is citing a UBS survey that claims "43% of people in the US were interested in subscribing," a rate that's below Disney's own estimates for the public's appetite for Disney Plus.
Will ESPN be on Disney plus?
Not exactly, but ESPN and Hulu fans will likely have additional reasons to consider Disney Plus. At the Disney Investors event on April 11, 2019, Disney chairman of direct-to-consumer and international business Kevin Mayer stated that Disney will "likely" offer lower-priced bundles packaging two to three of those services.
On May 14, Disney finished its takeover of Hulu from Comcast, which all but ensures the discounted combo pricing that Mayer predicted, since Disney will now get all the spoils for both services.
Mayer also revealed that Disney+ will be ad-free.
What devices will support Disney Plus and where will it be available?
In terms of streaming devices, Disney has only confirmed thus far that Disney Plus will be available on Roku and PS4. But we'd bet that Disney launches on everything from the Apple TV to Amazon's Fire TV. You'll also likely be able to stream Disney Plus on phones and tablets.
In its presentation, Disney showed a stock image of its service on a wider arrange of devices, such as Amazon Fire sticks, the Chromecast and Apple TV. The most surprising item was Disney Plus running on the Nintendo Switch, which only has YouTube and Hulu right now, and is giving some hopes of streaming Falcon and Winter Soldier in between Zelda: Breath of the Wild binges.
Disney+ is launching in the U.S., but at its Investor Day event, the company stated its plans for the service to be available in "nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years."
What will be on Disney's streaming service?
On May 20, news broke of The Muppets returning to TV, via Disney+, though it will be in the form of "variety shorts" according to The DisInsider.
At launch, Disney Plus will feature 9 exclusive episodic shows, with much more on the way. Disney's got a lot of marquee names on board. That list begins with Loki, a new MCU TV show starring Tom Hiddleston. We'll also get a live-action Star Wars series starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, and Alan Tudyk as the voice of K-2SO, their characters from Rogue One.
Oh, and about that Loki show, we've got a quote that we kinda need to place a SPOILER WARNING in front of.
So, if you haven't seen Avengers: Endgame yet, stop reading already.
Okay, so remember when Cap and Iron Man were trying to get the Time Stone? In an interview with Business Insider, co-writer/director Joe Russo said that "Loki, when he teleports away with the Time Stone, would create his own timeline. It gets very complicated, but it would be impossible for [Cap] to rectify the timeline unless he found Loki. The minute that Loki does something as dramatic as take the Space Stone, he creates a branched reality." That sounds like a perfect way to 1) create a basis for the new Loki show and 2) create a reason for Chris Evans to make a cameo in said Loki show.
Disney's also confirmed "Monsters At Work," a new show based on the Monsters Inc. movies, at its April 11 event. High School Musical: The Show is also coming.
In late April, MTV News reporter Josh Horowitz tweeted that Disney+ "is developing a WILLOW series based on a pitch by
@JonKasdan. It's a continuation and would feature @WarwickADavis. Straight from @RealRonHoward's mouth to a greenlight please!!! You in, @valkilmer?" This claim should be contested by a note, though: the only other news we've heard about this was in a podcast Horowitz embedded where Ron Howard said such a show was in "serious discussions," and not actually greenlit.
An April 11 report from Variety revealed that Jeremy Renner will be reprising the role of Hawkeye in a limited-run TV show for Disney+. Disney and Marvel declined to confirm the report of a show based on the arrow-shooting Clint Barton training his replacement.
In March 2019, we found out that Disney+ will feature an adaptation of Marvel's "What If" comic book series, which presents our favorite heroes and villains in alternate realities, where different scenarios have played out. The first episode, according to Kevin Feige, will center around a world where Peggy Carter, not Steve Rogers, became Captain America.
Disney Plus is also getting WandaVision, a new TV series starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, reprising their roles from the Marvel movies, though we're not sure when this show will occur in the MCU timeline, an issue facing most of its programming in the wake of Infinity War and Endgame.
In October 2018, writer/director/actor Jon Favreau revealed that the live-action show he's set to helm is will be called The Mandalorian. According to an Instagram post from the veteran director/actor, the show will be set between the events of The Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, and will "follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy." At the Disney Investor Day event, Favreau noted the show's first season is slated to go 8 episodes.
The Mandalorian will star Pedro Pascal in the titular role as the Narcos actor portrays a gunfighter living on the outer reaches of the galaxy. Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito will join Pascal, along with Carl Weathers (Predator) and the most shocking names on the list: famed director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) and the derranged Nick Nolte.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2018, Disney announced that its service will also include a new season of animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which will conclude the series.
A Mighty Ducks show is under consideration.
There's even been recent speculation that we'll get a show dedicated to the Ewoks, those pint-sized little bear-like creatures from the planet Endor, who we first met in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. This is not confirmed, and the report from Moviehole seems pretty thinly sourced, but sounds like a potential hit with kids in the making.
Some of the new films made for the service look to be based on existing properties, such as Lady and the Tramp, Sword and the Stone, and 3 Men and a Baby.
What do we know about the Disney+ app?
In a demo at the Disney Investors event on April 11, it was revealed Disney's made deals for Disney+ to be on Roku and PlayStation 4, as well as smart TVs, tablets, smartphones and other devices. The tablet version of the app will offer unrestricted mobile downloads
What else will Disney+ have?
If you thought that Disney's service would be limited to content made by the family friendly company, think again. In order to give customers the maximum bang for their buck, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that "We are buying certain products from the outside opportunistically." This could put Disney+ on par with your Netflixes and Hulus, which don't solely rely on original shows and movies.
Curious about how it will compare to the competition? Check out our guide to all of the announced and rumored Apple TV Plus shows and movies to see what the Cupertino company will use to start its first battle in the streaming war of 2019.
Is Disney pulling Marvel shows from Netflix?
Shockingly, Disney isn't just keeping its movies on Hulu (see below for more about that), it's creating new Marvel shows for Hulu. Variety is reporting that Marvel Television (a division of Marvel, which is owned by Disney) is partnering with Hulu in the creation of four animated shows, each based on one of the following characters: Howard the Duck, M.O.D.O.K, Hit-Monkey, and Tigra and Dazzler. The four will later unite in a special dubbed "The Offenders." Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats) and Dave Willis (Aqua Teen Hunger Force) are signed on to writer/exec. produce Howard The Duck, while the M.O.D.O.K series is headed by comedian Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum (Community, American Dad).
Netflix's contract with Disney — which covers films such as Coco, Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi — ends at the end of 2019. That means 2020 is Netflix's deadline to fill that void with other content.
While reporting claimed that the Defenders of Hell's Kitchen, Harlem and the rest of New York will stay where they are — on Netflix — the surprise cancellation of Luke Cage on Oct. 19, and the equally shocking Nov. 29 report of Daredevil's demise has everyone scratching their heads about the future of these shows. A source familiar with the matter told The Hollywood Reporter that "the cancellation was due to creative differences and the inability to agree to terms for a third season of the show."
Marvel's already announced that the third season of Jessica Jones — prior to its debut — is going to be the final season of the Netflix show. The announcement was made via Twitter, in a post that says "Everything changes, and nothing really changes. People die, new people are born, and we exist in between."
TV critic Alan Sepinwall tweeted a list of reasons why we shouldn't bet on these shows coming to Disney+. Foremost is a lack of interest, as he notes "The execs have already said they don't want these shows on the Disney service," and that "the Marvel shows for Disney+ are being produced by Marvel movie execs, who do not like or get along with the Marvel TV execs who made Dardevil [sic] et al. Technically, they COULD make a Luke Cage show a few years down the line. They just don’t want to."
A Variety report firmed up Sepinwall's line of thinking, noting that its sources claimed "that the deal for the original four Marvel shows includes a clause that prevents the characters from appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation."
Further, Sepinwall notes that bringing these characters to Disney+ would mean losing their actors, saying "And if they did, they’d be starting over from scratch creatively, like Sony ditching the Andrew Garfield movies for Tom Holland as Spider-Man."
Also of note: Disney's not bringing any R-rated films it owns to the platform, as they're going to Hulu.
Will classic Disney movies be on Disney+?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Disney service will start with "around 500 films from the Disney library," as well as "around 7,000 episodes of Disney TV fare."
Disney Plus' launch offerings will include the 13-film "Signature Collection," including classics such as Aladdin, Bambi and The Lion King.
18 Pixar films will be available at launch, with Coco, Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4 arriving later. The delayed availability of Coco and Incredibles 2 is likely tied to Disney's Netflix contracts.
Will all Marvel movies be streaming on Disney Plus?
Marvel Films Chief Kevin Feige told us that among other films coming to Disney+, Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame will make streaming debuts as exclusives on the service. Deadline reports that Endgame will debut make its Disney Plus debut on December 11, news announced by Disney CEO Bob Iger. Whether or not Disney will add on any special features — to make this as enticing as buying a Blu-ray — is to be seen.
The big Disney Investor Day keynote did not spell out the roadmap for when the rest of the chapters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe will arrive.
Are the Star Wars movies coming to Disney Plus?
LucasFilm's Kathleen Kennedy announced that the whole of the Star Wars films are coming to Disney+.
Any other big news?
Ah the perks of mergers and acquisitions! The Simpsons aren't moving from 742 Evergreen Terrace, but their new exclusive home for streaming will be Disney+.