Disney’s on the verge of finalizing its purchase of 20th Century Fox, and with a brand-new streaming service due out later this year, the House of Mouse might one day soon feel like a total monopoly on the entertainment world. But, at the very least, before long we’ll all be able to enjoy watching every Marvel Studios movie in one place: Disney+.
Many are heralding Disney’s streaming service as a Netflix-killer, and while that remains to be seen, Disney+ is definitely going to shake-up the broader entertainment industry.
Disney+ currently has a landing page where anyone can sign up to receive updates, but there’s little to no information other than logos for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.
What does everyone need to know about Disney+? When will it actually be made available to consumers? How will it actually work? And what does it mean for all our favorite Marvel and Star Wars TV shows and movies? Here’s all that and more.
When Is the Disney+ Release Date?
A report from Deadline last year indicated that Disney was aiming for a “fall 2019” release date for Disney+. For the moment, there’s no reason to believe there’ll be any significant delays, so we can all expect Disney+ to go live before the end of the year.
How Much Will Disney+ Cost?
During a 2017 earnings call, Disney president Bob Iger said, “It will be substantially below Netflix because we’ll have substantially less volume.”
That’ll be easy to accomplish, especially after Netflix increased the prices for all of its plans in January, raising the standard plan from $10.99 a month to $12.99 a month. We can all expect Disney+ to cost less than Netflix’s range of $8 to $14, so it might even be $5.99 a month to start. But as production ramps up on new shows and movies, and Disney+ reclaims the streaming rights to the substantial back catalog, rest assured that the price will gradually increase over time.
What Will Be Available to Stream on Disney+?
In theory, Disney+ will one day be the only place to stream anything and everything from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic — but it won’t be so easy in the first year. At launch, the aforementioned cheaper price point will get viewers exclusive access to original movies and shows, while many Disney-owned properties — like the Marvel and Star Wars movies already on Netflix — remain where they are for now.
“The goal in the first year is to generate four to five original movies, and five TV series for the streaming service,” a February 2018 Deadline report reads.
At the start, Disney+ will still be the exclusive place to stream more than 5,000 hours of Disney-owned original films and TV shows. In other terms, it’ll be roughly 7,000 episodes of television and 500 movies.
What Movies Will Be on Disney+?
At launch, Disney+ will have a substantial backlog of Disney theatrical animated feature films, including many of the classics, along with live-action films and Pixar movies. Many of the older Marvel films not currently streaming anywhere should also, in theory, be on Disney+.
One of the biggest selling points for a lot of potential consumers is Disney+ being the home of the MCU. Beginning with Captain Marvel, Disney+ will be the only place to stream every new MCU film (other than buying it directly on services like iTunes, Amazon, or Vudu). That includes Avengers: Endgame but not Spider-Man: Far From Home since Sony Pictures controls distribution on all Spider-Man films.
For the time being, however, newer films like Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Infinity War will remain on Netflix for 18 months following their initial release on the streaming platform. Thor: Ragnarok, for instance, should theoretically hit Disney+ shortly after the movie leaves Netflix on or around December 6, 2019.
The same rules apply to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Starting with Episode IX, every single Star Wars movie — from Rian Johnson’s new trilogy to anything done by the makers of Game of Thrones — will eventually land on Disney+.
Turner still has the broadcasting rights to the original six Star Wars films, however, so don’t expect to see Empire Strikes Back on Disney+ until 2024 or later.
Here are some new movies in the works specifically for Disney+:
- Live-action Lady and the Tramp starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux
- Live-action Peter Pan adaptation
- Live-action The Sword in the Stone adaptation
- 3 Men and a Baby remake
- Father of the Bride remake
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids remake
- The Parent Trap remake
- A live action movie based on the Timmy Failure books from Spotlight director Tom McCarthy
- Stargirl movie, starring Grace VanderWaa
What Shows Will Be on Disney+?
In addition to an undefined backlog of Disney shows, a slew of new programming is coming to Disney+ in its first few months and years.
For Marvel, Disney+ will host a limited series featuring Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, along with a similar series starring Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch. There’s a Falcon-Winter Soldier series in development as well.
For the time being, the Marvel Netflix shows will remain with Netflix, but many fans are hopeful that once they’re all cancelled, Disney+ will acquire them and/or continue the series on the new platform.
In the realm of Star Wars, Disney+ will be home to a currently untitled Rogue One prequel series starring Diego Luna, along with The Mandalorian starring Pedro Pascal as a Boba Fett-type bounty hunter in the years between the original trilogy and the new one. There’s also a new season of The Clone Wars in development.
What else? Gina Rodriguez was hired in late January to serve as executive producer on a series called Diary of a Female President, in which a Cuban-American 12-year-old girl narrates her life years before becoming President of the United States.
Zoë Kravitz is starring in a gender-bent TV adaptation of High Fidelity, in which she plays a record store owner who’s obsessed with music and the pop culture surrounding the scene.
And there’s even more:
- Noelle starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader
- Togo is an action movie about dog sledding starring Willem Dafoe
- A new High School Musical show
- New Mighty Ducks
- A Monsters, Inc. spin-off series from Pixar
- A mysterious new Muppets series apparently also from Pixar
How Will Disney+ Compete With Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO?
Outside of original content created and owned by specific streaming services, a lot of other shows and movies drift between the various streaming platforms as licenses expire and are purchased. But that won’t be the case with Disney+. Their grand plan is to take ownership over the many properties Disney has created over the years.
Which is to say that once Disney finally reacquires all of its shows and movies, they’ll never leave Disney+. And as the company creates more and more blockbusters in huge franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, the value of Disney+ is only going to gradually increase. Consumers will begin to realize they’ll get more value by going all-in on a streaming service that reliably has the shows and movies they want to see rather than buying Blu-rays or even a cable subscription.
Netflix might’ve changed the way the industry looks at the TV and film industry, but Disney could stand to really shake things up with Disney+.
Disney+ will launch sometime in late 2019.