Streaming is quickly becoming the future of television and film distribution, so it only seems natural that Disney would join the race. After experimenting by putting some of its own content on both Netflix and Hulu, Disney is gearing up to release its own service later this year. While there’s still a lot of information that isn’t known, over time Disney has shown a bit of its hand in regards to what the service will entail.
What’s it called?
Disney+ is the official name of the streaming service. It lines up with a few of Disney’s other services, like FastPass+ and ESPN’s streaming service, ESPN+.
How much will it cost?
While no price has been officially announced yet, there has been some talk on the cost of the service. Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in 2017 that Disney intends to keep the subscription fee affordable as compared to its competitors.
“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,” Iger said.
ESPN+ costs $4.99 per month, or $49.99 for a yearly subscription. It would not be unreasonable to expect Disney+ to be at or near that price point. Hulu, which Disney will take control of in its acquisition of Fox, costs $5.99 each month with commercials included in streaming, or $11.99 per month to view without commercials. It has yet to be announced whether or not Disney+ will have similar options, but considering it will still have less content than Hulu at launch, natural speculation lends to the idea that Disney’s new service will see pricing models closer to that of ESPN.
What is the launch date?
Late 2019. Much like pricing, no specific date has been announced yet.
What programming will it have?
Disney+ is going to pull content from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic. Most of its family-friendly content will live on the service, meaning shows solely geared toward an older audience, like a new group of four Marvel adult animated shows, will appear on Hulu. Fortunately, a lot of the content on Disney+ will still be suited perfectly for adults, with some of Hollywood’s biggest names attached to several original projects. A handful of those have already been revealed, including:
- A Rogue One-themed Star Wars series starring Diego Luna, who played Cassian Andor in the film.
- The Mandalorian, a new Star Wars series set seven years after Return of the Jedi’s Battle of Endor. It’s been announced to have at least 10 episodes from the start, with an approximate budget of $100 million. John Favreau is set to serve as both a writer and executive producer for the series, and Taika Waititi, director of Thor: Ragnarok, has directed an episode.
- Tom Hiddleston is reprising his Marvel Cinematic Universe role of Loki in the character’s own spinoff series. While little else has been announced regarding the series, rumors say it’ll feature Loki meddling with different people throughout different time periods in Earth’s history.
- Although unconfirmed, Elizabeth Olsen is rumored to be reprising her Marvel role of Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany his role of vision in a new series starring the two.
- While the most credible rumors for live-action Marvel content ends there, word has been circulated that there could also be series featuring Winter Soldier and Falcon, Rocket Raccoon and Groot, Nick Fury, Nebula and Gamora, Hawkeye and a final show with Lady Sif. The rumors are thinner for these shows and Disney has not given official word on it, but it is almost guaranteed that more Marvel stars will find their way to the service.
- Aside from the live series, Marvel is reported to be working on an animated Marvel series based on the What If comics, which explored alternate versions of Marvel history and events. Some examples from the comics include “What if Captain America had been elected president?” and “What if Loki found the hammer of Thor?”
- An animated Monsters, Inc. series
- A High School Musical docu-series
- A Mighty Ducks series
- A film called Magic Camp
- A film called Noelle, featuring Anna Kendrick
- A dog sled film called Togo, featuring Willem Dafoe
- A live-action Lady and the Tramp film
- Other live-action films are reported to be based on Peter Pan, The Parent Trap, The Sword in the Stone, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Don Quixote, Father of the Bride and more
- Programming from Disney’s television networks, including Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior is expected
- Original documentaries, including one based on Walt Disney Imagineering
- New Disney films recently released in theaters. Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4and Star Wars Episode IX will be some of the first films featured.
- It was just announced that Disney’s entire back catalog will be available shortly after the service launches. That means some of Disney’s most coveted films, the ones that are stored in the vault and only occasionally see daylight, will be made available to stream.
More details of what to expect should be solidified as 2019 rolls on, but it certainly seems like Disney+ already has an enormous wealth of content created and planned.