The House of Mouse is getting into the streaming game in a big way in 2019.
Disney is preparing to roll out its own digital streaming service, filled with its already sizable archive as well as new original programming, with the hopes of competing in the already bustling streaming market. Thanks to the strength of its sprawling library, which includes everything from beloved animated classics to buzzy Marvel and Star Wars movies, Disney's new service won't go too content-heavy on new originals — as CEO Bob Iger put it, they'll "not necessarily be in the volume game, but to be in the quality game" — but fans can expect to see a few key properties in bloom with the new offering as well.
Here's what we know about Disney's streaming service so far.
It'll be called Disney+ and launch in late 2019. Early on in the process, Disney's streaming service was tentatively referred to as "Disney Play," but the company has since confirmed it'll be called Disney+ and launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. There's no word on price yet.
There's no rated R allowed. This joint will be kid-friendly through and through as no R-rated movies will be allowed on Disney+.
Disney will slowly pull back on other availability options. Although Netflix's cancellation of Marvel shows like Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil might have seemed a bit draconian, the streaming service is winding down its relationship with Disney as a whole — to the point that Disney will give up about $300 million a year in licensing fees from Netflix, starting in 2019. In addition to pulling Disney's animated and live-action films from Netflix, it'll also migrate all MCU and Star Wars movies to Disney+ as well.
The studio's other new movies are expected to head straight to Disney+. Now that Disney will have its own one-stop shop for streaming, fans can count on seeing the at-home premiere of upcoming new films like Frozen 2, Captain Marvel and Star Wars Episode IX to bypass all of the other streaming options and head straight for Disney+ instead.
The MCU will continue on Disney+. Loki lives! Well, sorta. Disney+ is expected to give a few of our favorite characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe renewed life by way of limited series devoted to them, starting with a series about Loki (Tom Hiddleston). These miniseries are expected to run somewhere around six to eight episodes apiece, and the full slate of characters who might be given their own standalone properties on Disney+ hasn't been revealed. However, a series starring the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) is in the works with Empire scribe Malcolm Spellman attached. A potential Vision (Paul Bettany) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) series has also grabbed Captain Marvel writer Jac Schaeffer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Meanwhile, rumor has it that Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) may finally return to the MCU, following her curious absence from Thor: Ragnarok, by way of a standalone series as well.
Marvel boss Kevin Feige confirmed that these series will be officially connected to the MCU, for those of you worried about AUs. "They will be entirely interwoven with both the current MCU, the past MCU, and the future of the MCU," he told ComicBook.com.
The Mandalorian will mark an all-new Star Wars debut. The MCU isn't the only franchise expanding by way of Disney+. One of the most exciting things to come out of the new service is the introduction of some all-new Star Wars properties — the first of which is a live-action show called The Mandalorian. Jon Favreau is executive-producing the series and revealed that it will center on a galaxy not so far away, as far as fans are concerned: "After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic."
There is no word yet on an exact premiere date, but subscribers can count on seeing The Mandalorian debut on Disney+ exclusively sometime after the service's launch. Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal will star alongside Nick Nolte, Gina Carano (Deadpool), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad), Emily Swallow (Supernatural), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Omid Abtahi (American Gods) and Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man).
A second Star Wars series is in development. Disney has also unveiled its plans to revive Diego Luna's Cassian Andor from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for a prequel series that will follow the Rebel spy before his time on that fateful final mission. According to the description of the new series, "The rousing spy thriller will explore tales filled with espionage and daring missions to restore hope to a galaxy in the grip of a ruthless Empire."
The Clone Wars will also come back. The popular animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars will be making a comeback on Disney+ as well. After its fifth season concluded its run on the Cartoon Network, the series enjoyed a sixth season on Netflix but hasn't featured any new episodes since 2014. At San Diego Comic-Con, however, a new season was announced for Disney+'s original programming plans.
Lady and the Tramp is getting the live-action treatment. Disney's live-action/CGI reboot trend continues with a new look for Lady and the Tramp, which will feature the vocal talents of Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux in the title roles. Unlike Cinderella, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast before it, though, this Lady and the Tramp film will skip a theatrical bow altogether and head straight for Disney+. Another throwback Disney favorite that's expected to be rebooted for the service is The Sword and the Stone.
National Geographic programs will be available, too. The animal kingdom will get some major love on Disney+, as the streaming service will feature some key National Geographic content on the menu in order to add some educational value to all the family-friendly entertainment.
Some old favorites will get extensions as well. In addition to the new Marvel and Star Wars series, Disney also plans to introduce new series based on the worlds of Monsters, Inc. and the Disney Channel's hit series High School Musical. The latter project, a very meta documentary-style series called High School Musical: The Musical, will star Joshua Bassett as a junior named Ricky, who attempts to win over his ex-girlfriend by starring alongside her in their school's production of "High School Musical."
More, more, more. Disney is also developing a 10-episode series that reimagines High Fidelity. It will be executive-produced by and star the one and only Zoë Kravitz, whose mother Lisa Bonet starred in the original film. Meanwhile, that potential TV reboot of The Mighty Ducks could also find its way to the streaming service as Disney also reportedly eyes potential reboots of The Muppets, Father of the Bride, The Parent Trap, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. The studio has also reserved a few films that were originally expected to hit theaters for debut on the streaming service, including Magic Camp and Noelle.
If that's not enough, other titles that are reportedly in conversations for Disney+'s movie plans include Don Quixote, The Paper Magician, Stargirl, Togo, 3 Men and a Baby, and Timmy Failure. In other words, while Disney+ supposedly won't be focused on quantity, they've got a whole lot of original shows and film plans on deck already.
Gina Rodriguez will executive produce a series called Diary of a Female President. The Hollywood Reporter announced that the streaming service had picked up Diary of a Female President, which will be a 10-episode series about a Cuban-American girl in middle school and her journey to becoming the future president of the United States.