Disney+ streaming service unveils price, November launch date
To paraphrase a certain Agrabah magic carpet user, Disney+ is ready to show you a whole new world of streaming.
Disney CEO Bob Iger and other executives unveiled new details about the upcoming streaming service during an investor presentation Thursday, teasing a mix of Disney archival classics and new original content. The service will launch Nov. 12, with subscriptions available for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year, making it the exclusive streaming home of franchises like Star Wars, Pixar, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Simpsons, and more.
The studio first announced back in 2017 that it would be ending licensing deals with streamers like Netflix and launching its own branded streaming service. Now titled Disney+, the service will give subscribers exclusive, ad-free access to highlights from the Disney vault, as well as original films and TV shows that won’t be available anywhere else. It’ll also be the exclusive streaming home of Disney theatrical releases, starting with Captain Marvel, which will be available to stream when the service launches.
Subscribers will be able to download and stream content offline, as well as customize parental control settings and set up individual profiles for family members. (Users can also pick their own avatars, based on characters from the Disney library.)
Animated classics including Snow White, Cinderella, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Moana, and The Little Mermaid will all be available to stream when Disney+ launches, and Pixar’s entire library (including its shorts) will be available within the year.
Disney is developing many of the new TV shows and films based on some of the studio’s most beloved brands, including Star Wars, Pixar, and Marvel. Several shows from a galaxy far, far away are already in the works, most notably the eight-episode series The Mandalorian, Star Wars’ first live-action TV show. Iron Man and The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau is spearheading that one, which will follow a bounty hunter played by Game of Thrones alum Pedro Pascal as he explores the outer reaches of the galaxy, set after the events of The Return of the Jedi. (Expect more details Sunday, during The Mandalorian’s panel presentation at Star Wars Celebration.)
Elsewhere in the Star Wars universe, Disney+ is launching a series in 2021 about Diego Luna’s Rogue One character, Cassian Andor, with Alan Tudyk reprising his role as the voice of the droid K2-SO. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy teased it as “a thrilling spy series set in the Star Wars universe,” and she also promised that there are “several more live-action series in development.” (The beloved animated Star Wars series The Clone Wars is getting resurrected for 12 new episodes as well.)
The Mandalorian will be available to start streaming when Disney+ launches, and all Star Wars movies will be available to stream within the first year.
Disney will also be launching a bunch of limited-series TV shows based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe: There’s WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan; and a Loki show with Tom Hiddleston. Also in the works is an animated show called What If, based on the Marvel Comics series of the same name, exploring alternate timelines and universes in the Marvel world. (Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige teased that one episode will explore what might have happened if Peggy Carter was the one to become a super soldier, instead of Steve Rogers.) And just yesterday, the news broke that Disney+ is also developing a Hawkeye series with Jeremy Renner, centering on his mentor relationship with fellow archer Kate Bishop.
Feige added that these Marvel series will focus on “major plotlines” and have “ramifications” for the rest of the MCU, especially after the events of the upcoming Avengers: Endgame. “A post-Endgame MCU will be extremely different and extremely focused on Disney+ tying into our future movies,” he said.
Also in the works are live-action films based on animated classics (like Lady and the Tramp, starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux), as well as new series developed from films such as Monsters Inc. and High School Musical. There’s also some National Geographic content coming down the pipeline, including a series called The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
Plus, Disney+ will be home to more than 5,000 episodes of Disney Channel series (including shows like Lizzie McGuire, Kim Possible, and That’s So Raven) and 100 Disney Channel Original Movies.
The Disney+ news comes just weeks after Disney completed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, and the streaming service closed out its presentation by announcing that a Fox staple, The Simpsons, will be coming to Disney+. All 30 seasons of the long-running animated show will be available to stream, as soon as the service launches.