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Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

In September 2017, Disney announced plans to create its own streaming video service — a platform created to challenge Netflix, Hulu, and similar high-end streamers. Just over a year later, that service was given a name: Disney Plus.

Disney Plus (also known as Disney+) is intended to compete with industry leader Netflix and the various other direct-to-consumer streaming video platforms currently in use and in development. Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger indicated that Disney Plus is the company’s “biggest priority” in 2019 — which says a lot, given the scope of Disney’s influence and content.

It will also include some high-profile exclusive content and every movie in Disney’s expansive library, including a number of previously hard-to-find animated features.

Here’s everything we know about Disney Plus so far.

Pricing, release date, first look

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

Disney rolled out a long and somewhat star-studded presentation (does Jon Favreau count?) to investors on April 11 to give a first look at its new service, along with some intriguing details. The highlights? The service will cost $7 per month at launch or $70 per year (don’t be surprised if that price rises quickly) and is expected to arrive in November 2019.

The company also showed off a prototype of its new service which, frankly, looks very Netflix-y — but in a Disney kind of way. The smooth and clean interface offers a row of tiles at the top of its home screen differentiating the multiple tiers, including Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, Disney, and National Geographic tiles for each of the service’s marquee properties.

Disney also shared some other details including a road map for the service’s first year which is set to include 25 original series (starting with titles like its new Star Wars series The Mandalorian), a whole slate of films from its vault (including classics like Snow White, The Little Mermaid, and Pinocchio) and in a surprise reveal, all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, fresh off the brand’s new acquisition of Fox properties.

What will it include?

Disney is planning to have approximately 7,000 episodes of television series and 400 to 500 movies available on the service when it launches, including many of the titles mentioned above. First and foremost among the content will be a variety of projects tied to Disney’s Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney-specific properties. The overall theme of the service will be family-friendly content.

Those numbers will rise very quickly, too. During an investor’s meeting, Iger claimed that every single movie in the Disney catalog will arrive on Disney Plus “at some point fairly soon after launch.” Previously, Disney only released its most popular animated films on home video on a limited-time basis in order to make them feel more special. However, the so-called Disney “vault” is going to vanish when Disney Plus arrives. With Disney Plus, you’ll be able to watch favorites like Aladdin, The Lion King, Fantasia, Fantasia, and scores of others whenever you want. For families, Disney nerds, and animation buffs, that’s a big, big deal.

Initial reports also suggest that the studio’s upcoming movie slate — which includes Frozen 2Toy Story 4, Star Wars: Episode IX, and Favreau’s live-action remake of The Lion King — will probably have exclusive streaming availability on the service. Captain Marvel will be the first Disney movie that the company will maintain exclusivity on after its theatrical release, which also makes it the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that will not be available on Netflix.

Disney Plus won’t just be a greatest hits collection, though. There will be original content on the service, too.

Here are the projects we’ve heard about — both confirmed and rumored — so far.

Marvel Cinematic Universe shows

Hawkeye

Jeremy Renner is expected to reprise his role as Avengers sharpshooter Hawkeye for a live-action series that will have him pass the torch — as well as his bow and arrows, most likely — to a young girl named Kate Bishop. The series is inspired by the Marvel Comics series that followed Clint Barton and his young protege.

Loki

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

The Loki series will be overseen by Rick & Morty producer Michael Waldron and is said to follow the God of Mischief as he meddles with key events in human history.

WandaVision

The Scarlet Witch and the Vision will co-headline a show for Disney Plus that will bring back Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as the titular android and energy-manipulating heroine, respectively. Captain Marvel co-writer Jac Schaeffer will serve as head writer and showrunner.

Falcon and Winter Soldier

MCU veterans Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie will reprise their roles as the Winter Soldier and the Falcon, respectively, in this series a series penned by Empire writer Malcolm Spellman

What If?

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

A March report indicated that an animated series based on Marvel’s alternate-universe What If? comics is also being developed for the streaming service. The anthology-style series will tell stand-alone stories that explore what might happen if certain events in Marvel’s cinematic universe unfolded differently. For example, one episode will show what would happen if Peggy Carter received the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers, forcing the scrawny Brooklyn kid to suit up in a Howard Stark-created suit of armor. The live-action MCU actors are expected to voice their characters for the animated series.

Star Wars shows

The Mandalorian

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

The live-action Star Wars series being developed by Jon Favreau will be set seven years after the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, and will follow “a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.” Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal will play the series’ title role. The first season has already wrapped production, and the pilot episode (and possibly others) will be on Disney Plus on launch day.

Untitled Cassian Andor series

Set after the events of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi and before Episode VII — The Force Awakens, this series will bring back Rogue One: A Star Wars Story actor Diego Luna as the rebel spy Cassian Andor. Alan Tudyk will also return to voice K-2SO, Andor’s sassy robot sidekick. The series will take place prior to the events of Rogue One.

Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries

The long-rumored Obi-Wan Kenobi feature could live on as a Disney Plus TV show. Star Wars News Net reports that a six-episode Obi-Wan Kenobi miniseries is “the next top priority” at Disney Plus. It’s not clear if Ewan McGregor will appear in the series — or if the project is actually happening — but Star Wars News Net notes that McGregor has seemed enthusiastic about slipping back into his Jedi robes in the past and that the script is reportedly “great.”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars series

seventh season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is currently in production for Disney Plus.

More rumored Star Wars solo series

Obi-Wan might not be traveling to Disney Plus alone. We Got This Covered claims that series starring Star Wars characters like Lando Calrissian, Solo‘s femme fatale Qi’ra, reformed stormtrooper Finn, and ace Resistance pilot Poe Dameron are all in early development at Disney. The report doesn’t say whether or not Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, Oscar Isaac, or John Boyega, all of whom are highly sought-after Hollywood stars, will reprise their big-screen roles, and none of these shows have been confirmed by Disney. For now, consider these shows rumors, and nothing more.

Untitled Muppets Series

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

A new show based on The Muppets, developed by actor Josh Gad and Once Upon A Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, is rumored to be in the works for Disney Plus.

Monsters, Inc.

A new series set in the world of Disney and Pixar’s Monsters Inc. is also in the works, although it’s uncertain when the series will be set in the franchise’s timeline.

Other series and movies

A spin-off of Disney Channel’s High School Musical franchise, called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, will be part of Disney Plus’ original live-action offerings.

Series or movies based on the following properties are also rumored to be in development:

  • 3 Men and a Baby
  • Don Quixote
  • Father of the Bride
  • Flora & Ulysses
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Magic Camp
  • Noelle
  • The Paper Magician
  • The Parent Trap
  • The Sandlot
  • Stargirl
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • Timmy Failure
  • Togo
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Unscripted series

In April, a report indicated that Disney Plus is developing 10 unscripted series for its streaming platform. They include the following projects.

Marvel’s 616

An anthological documentary series will explore Marvel’s legacy of stories, characters, and creators and the “historical, cultural and societal context that has become inseparable from stories of the Marvel Universe.”

Earthkeepers

The creators of Chef’s Table helm a cinematic documentary series following the people changing the way we see the animal kingdom, including conservationists and the animals they’ve devoted their career to studying.

Be Our Chef

Angela Kinsey of The Office hosts a Disney-inspired cooking competition that will ask contestants to creating a dish that “represents their family through a Disney lens.”

Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies

An anthology series that explores the props and costumes that made films unique.

Encore!

The Good Place actress Kristen Bell serves as producer on this series, which brings together former castmates of a high school musical and tasks them with re-creating their original performance.

Marvel’s Hero Project

This series puts the spotlight on inspiring kids who have dedicated their lives to selfless acts of bravery and kindness.

(Re)Connect

A family that has reached their breaking point gets the help they need in this series that explores the issues driving families apart and the ways they can resolve those issues.

Rogue Trip

Bob Woodruff and his 27-year old doppelgänger son, Mack, host this travel guide to all the places the average tourist is least likely to venture.

Shop Class

A competition series featuring inventive students tasked with designing, building and testing new contraptions.

Untitled Walt Disney Imagineering documentary series

This show chronicles the history of Walt Disney Imagineering and the people, craft, and business behind Disney’s theme park magic.

Non-Disney content

Disney Plus will also feature some non-Disney owned content, including material from National Geographic, that it is in the process of acquiring through its purchase of 21st Century Fox’s magazine and affiliate TV businesses.

The name

Initially identified as “Disney Play” by Iger in early interviews, the official Disney Plus name — and its logo — was revealed in a November 2018 earnings presentation, with a press release confirming the details shortly thereafter.

What it won’t include

In what could be a sign of things to come, Netflix announced a series of cancellations in late 2018 and early 2019 that brought its five live-action Marvel series to an end following their most recent seasons. Various reports indicated that Netflix and Disney had reached an impasse in negotiating the terms of the series’ continuation on the streaming service, with Netflix looking to reduce costs for future seasons, only for the streaming provider to eventually pull the plug.

As initially promised by Disney, however, the existing episodes of every show will remain exclusively available to view on Netflix. However, Marvel TV teased that the series could return elsewhere. “As Matthew Murdock’s Dad once said, ‘The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it’s how he gets back up. To be continued…!,” Marvel told Deadline. Could that mean a Disney Plus revival for Daredevil and his friends? It’s not out of the question.

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming serviceStar Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Disney

The availability of the first six films in the Star Wars franchise is also uncertain at this point, as Disney sold the U.S. broadcast rights to the films — which also apparently included streaming rights — to Turner Broadcasting System in a 2016 deal that gives Turner control of the movies through 2024. Disney has made efforts to buy back the rights, but no deal has been struck at this point.

In keeping with Disney’s family-friendly approach to programming, there won’t be any R-rated projects available on Disney Plus, either. Any movies or TV series that push the boundaries of Disney’s typical PG-13 audience will be diverted to Hulu, according to various reports. This includes titles like Marvel’s Deadpool.

Updated on April 11, 2019: Added release date, pricing information, and confirmation of new projects.

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