After years of development, Disney will finally launch its much-anticipated streaming service, known as Disney+, toward the end of 2019. The service will be the go-to place to watch movies like Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode IX.
In the past, Disney content could be found on third-party streaming services, and there was even an exclusive distribution deal struck with Netflix once upon a time. However, with that deal set to expire this year, the launch of Disney+ will finally happen—and it's expected to pose a major threat to other existing and upcoming streaming services.
More importantly, Disney+ will not only be the only place to stream movies like Frozen and Finding Dory, but the place to find exclusive content from all of its major properties, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar.
Here's everything you need to know about Disney+.
Expect a lot of (original) content
Disney+ will feature content from all of its big properties, like Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm. At launch, the service is rumored to offer nearly 7,000 TV episodes and 500 movies. Crucially, Disney+ will feature content from Disney's famed vault, which includes movies such as Dumbo, Snow White, The Lion King, and more.
One such movie Disney already has confirmed will stream exclusively on Disney+ is Captain Marvel. Disney's previous deal with Netflix saw some of Disney's biggest movies, including Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, come to the service after ending their theatrical runs.
Unfortunately, some content you'd expect to be available on Disney+ will be missing at launch. For example, the first six Star Wars movies — the original Skywalker trilogy and the prequel trilogy — won't be available because the U.S. streaming rights are currently held by Turner Broadcasting.
One of the biggest selling points of Disney+ will be its library of original content. The first big series, known as The Mandalorian, will take place in the Star Wars universe and tell the story of a lone bounty hunter beyond the reach of the Empire. The series features an ensemble cast, including Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, and Nick Nolte.
A second Star Wars series starring Diego Luna also is being developed. The show is said to be a prequel to Rogue One and will further explore Luna's Cassian Andor, a Rebel Alliance Captain who helped Jyn Erso steal the Death Star plans.
Although it hasn't been confirmed, Disney is also rumored to be cooking up an Obi-Wan Kenobi series, though it's unclear if it'll star Ewan McGregor, who played the Jedi in the prequel movies. We may also see shows starring Lando Calrissian, Qi'ra, Finn, and Poe Dameron.
Disney+ will further expand the Star Wars and Marvel cinematic universes
In addition to original Star Wars content, Disney+ will also feature TV shows starring characters we've seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Three MCU series are said to be in development, including shows featuring Loki, Vision and Scarlet Witch, and Falcon and Winter Soldier.
All of these shows are expected to star the actors who portrayed these characters in the MCU and keep up with the standard we've come to expect from Marvel. Few details have been revealed, but Marvel head Kevin Feige has confirmed they'll take place in the same universe as Avengers: Endgame.
Beyond Marvel, Pixar fans can look forward to a Monster's Inc. series, which will expand on the previous movies. The service will also shine the spotlight on some of Disney's most iconic villains such as Ursula, the witch from Snow White, and others.
Here's a list of other exclusive content in development for Disney+:
- Lady and the Tramp
- Magic Camp
- Timmy Failure
- 29 Dates
- 3 Men and a Baby
- Don Quixote
- Father of the Bride
- Flora & Ulysses
- The Grimm Legacy
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
- The Paper Magician
- The Parent Trap
- Peter Pan
- Sister Act 3
- The Sword in the Stone
- Diary of a Female President
- High Fidelity
- High School Musical: The Musical
- Ink & Paint
- The Mandalorian
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (season 7)
- Rogue One prequel
- Disney Villains
- The Vision and Scarlet Witch
- Muppets Live Another Day
- ABC Studios docuseries
- Falcon and Winter Soldier
- Mighty Ducks
- Monsters, Inc.
- Walt Disney Imagineering docuseries
Some big content will be missing
As mentioned above, Disney+ won't launch with the first six Star Wars movies, so you won't be able to catch up on the Skywalker saga. Those movies are currently tied up in a deal with Turner Broadcasting through 2024; it's unclear if Disney will be able to buy back the rights earlier than the current expiration date.
Disney's service also won't include the numerous live-action Marvel shows on Netflix and other direct-to-consumer streaming platforms, which means Daredevil, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones will all remain on Netflix. That doesn't mean, however, these shows might not get the reboot treatment on Disney's service.
Additionally, Disney has made it very clear that its upcoming service will be family-friendly, so there won't be any R-rated content. With Disney expected to acquire Fox's entertainment arm, that means subscribers won't see Deadpool on Disney+. Expect that stuff to be available on Hulu, a service that Disney owns a majority stake.
When does Disney+ launch?
Disney still hasn't shared an exact launch date for Disney+, instead providing a "late 2019" timeframe, so there are still several months to go before Disney feels comfortable enough to publicly launching the service.
The company previously confirmed that it will give investors an early look at the service in April. Hopefully, Disney will also share more details with the public, like an exact launch date and a sneak peak at the service's exclusive content.
How much will Disney+ cost?
Notably, Disney will price Disney+ competitively—at least at launch. Disney has previously stated that its service will be around $7 per month, whereas Netflix can cost up to $16 per month for its premium plan.
The goal is for Disney+ to gain a loyal subscriber base as Disney ramps up production on original content. As more content is added, however, there's the possibility of the price going up—something we've seen from Netflix over the past few years.
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