Production giant Disney has finally confirmed the name of its long talked about streaming device. The name, Disney+, might not be the most creative, but it will contain the beloved classics and well as new features and might put other streaming platforms to shame. The new direct-to-customer service will go online in late 2019.
CEO Bob Iger, announced a few of the impressive slate of series and movies the company has planned. With Lucasfilm and the Marvel Cinematic Universe under their belt, Disney + already has a strong stance to stand on, and many of the series that have been announced are leveraging those universes for the small screen. Here is a quick lookout on what to expect on Disney + next year.
Star Wars: Cassian Andor Series
The new rebel spy thriller will see Diego Luna reprise his role from Rogue One as Cassian Andor, set before the events of that film. In the 2016 picture Andor played one of the Rebel Alliance spies transmitting the plans for the Death Star to fellow rebels. The series will see Andor will set out on daring missions during the rise of the Rebellion, to restore hope in the face of the ruthless reign of the Empire. It is eagerly awaited by fans and will go into production next year.
Star Wars: The Mandalorian
Also planned is the Star Wars series The Mandalorian, set in the post-Return of the Jedi universe, written and produced by Jon Favreau. It will tell the story of a lonesome Mandalorian gunfighter in the out skirts of the galaxy. In between the fall of the Empire and the rise of the First Order, this live-action series takes place far from the authority of the New Republic. The plot poses many questions, not at last what kind of business a lone fighter has to tend to in such a far galaxy, but for the answers we have to remain patient. The first season, containing ten exciting episodes, went into production recently and moves at a Game of Thrones-like budget exceeding $100 million. And speaking of Game of Thrones, Pedro Pascal who is known for his role in the series as Oberyn Martell is rumoured to take on the lead in this upcoming format.
Marvel Cinematic Universe: Loki
The god of mischief will get his own show on the exclusive streaming portal. A title has not been confirmed yet, but Tom Hiddleston will take on the role of the Thor’s half brother and Asgard’s most devious inhabitant. The series is rumoured to be set before the events of the recent Avengers: Infinity War, in which (SPOILER ALERT) Loki seems to have perished once and for all by the hand of Thanos. No information has been confirmed yet, but Disney will keep us posted about further news.
High School Musical: The Musical
This spin off of the beloved teen drama will be delivered in ten episodes and take place at the high school production of High School Musical. Told in documentary style the series follows the students of East High working on the winter theatre production of the musical. Every episode features new renditions of the songs as well as the original tracks, and we can expect as much drama onstage as behind the scenes of the theatre production. Tim Federle (Ferdinand), and Oliver Goldstick (Pretty Little Liars) will take on the production and casting director Julie Anderston is currently searching for eight series regular roles. Who will carry on the legacy of a series which launched the successful carriers of Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and consorts, is yet to be confirmed.
Series: High Fidelity
After the original adaption of the Nick Hornby classic novel, in 2000, it will get another shot at screen time in this ten-episode format. Starring Zoe Kravitz the story reimagines the plot from a female perspective, evolving around a record store owner with an obsession for pop culture and Top Five lists. Carrying on family tradition, Kravitz’ mother Lisa Bonet starred in the original picture as the ex-girlfriend of lead John Cusack. Veronica West and Sarah Kucserka wrote and executive produce the script alongside Midnight Radio’s Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg.
Ever wondered if Santa Claus had children? In this motion picture he has one daughter, Noelle Claus, portrayed by the brunette sweetheart Anna Kendrick. The American Christmas movie written by Marc Lawrence is a genre mix of fantasy, action and comedy. The flick can be expected in late 2019 and co-stars Bill Hader and Shirley MacLaine.
The Lady and The Tramp Remake
After the incredibly successful original feature from 1995, Disney is bringing back the story of the female Cocker spaniel and the stray. It will be adapted into a live-action and CG hybrid series directed by Charlie Bean (The Lego Ninjago Movie). Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson will lend their voiced to the two dogs on the romantic adventure, which will not premier in the theatres but will be an exclusive to Disney +.
…and the rest
Plenty of other formats are in planning, like a kids’ show set in the Monsters Inc. Universe, and Oscar-winning director of Spotlight Tom McCarthy will give the kids book series Timmy Failure a place on the screen. Disney will also have another go at bringing back the Muppets in a series format, after their attempt a few years back had a rather short run on ABC. A series about the Marvel character Scarlet Witch, portrayed in the Avengers: Infinity War by Elizabeth Olsen is rumoured, but has not been confirmed yet.
Amongst the new blockbusters, sequels of beloved Pixar franchises will also find a home on the platform. The long awaited Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and the remake of The Lion King will debut in 2019. And as if the Disney Pixar library wasn’t large enough, Disney recently purchased Fox adding significant amounts of original features to their own brand. Hand in hand with the ownership of Fox, Disney also inherited their 60 precents share of the successful streaming platform Hulu. The quite possibly most complete offering of online TV contains a Live TV service, as well as a huge library of older content and some original features. Whereas Disney is mostly known for their kid friendly contents, Fox speaks to a more mature audience with adult-orientated series like Archer and The Americans.
As if the huge line up of new features weren’t enough to attract a loyal viewership, Disney is planning on pulling their original movies from other streaming platforms. Which will be disappointing to some existing subscribers of the competition. Yet Netflix CEO Reed Hastings appears to be everything but nervous about this massive competition in the making. He said, that other streaming devices like Netflix would even profit from the increasing competition by learning from each other, and growing.
This is certainly reason enough to get excited and to re-watch your favourite Disney flick while it is still available on Netflix. Because no doubt, without the beloved Disney classics, no movie library would be complete.
Disney+ launches in late 2019.