Feb. 11 Update: New Marvel TV shows are coming, but they won't land on Disney+. Details below.
Disney, tired of sharing all of its shows and movies with Netflix and other services, is building its own streaming service.
Set to launch in 2019, this to-be-launched subscription service will offer 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.Credit: Lucasfilm
When will Disney's streaming service launch?
According to Deadline, Disney conducted "meetings within the creative community to give a sense of its new OTT service that will launch in fall 2019." A Washington Post report credits Disney CEO Bob Iger with the news that the service will be called Disney+, matching the company's ESPN+ service.
Upon launch, Disney+ will include "at least five content channels" including Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic.
How much will Disney's streaming service cost?
While Disney has yet to announce a specific price, Bob Iger said, "I can say that our plan on the Disney side is to price this substantially below where Netflix is. That is in part reflective of the fact that it will have substantially less volume."
If you're going by the standard Netflix plan — which offers HD image quality and up to 2 simultaneous stream — that means Disney's service will likely cost less than $12.99 per month, as Netflix just raised 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.
What else will Disney+ have?
If you thought that Disney's service would be limited to content made by the family friendly content, 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 rely on original shows and movies.
Will Disney Take its Shows and Films from Netflix and Hulu?
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 4 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."
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.
What original content will it have?
Disney is aiming to offer four to five original films and five TV shows for the streaming service. In November 2018, we learned that assortment will include a Loki-focused Marvel series starring Tom Hiddleston and a live-action Star Wars series starring Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, his character from Rogue One.
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."
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.
A Variety report broke news of Disney creating new TV shows based around Marvel Cinematic Universe characters. These live-action shows will include titles dedicated to Loki and The Scarlet Witch, and MCU actors Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olden will be returning to play those characters.
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.
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.
How much of Disney's back catalogue will be there?
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."
Iger noted that the service "will have the entire output of the studio, animation, live action at Disney, including Pixar, Star Wars and all the Marvel films."
Where will the service be available?
In terms of devices, we'd bet that Disney launches on everything from the Apple TV to Roku to Amazon's Fire TV. The original Deadline report suggests the service will start in America "and then expand overseas."