The Walt Disney Company announced a mammoth slate of titles to be released across its streaming platforms, including Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, on Thursday. Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek, Executive Chairman Bob Iger, and Senior Executive Vice President Christine McCarthy made the announcements on Thursday as part of their Investors Day programme. The targets include over a hundred original titles for Disney+ every year and up to 350 million subscribers by 2024.
Among the titles are live-action and animated projects, which are primarily sequels, prequels, spin-offs, and reboots based on Disney’s inventory of lucrative intellectual properties. Many of the projects emanate from the Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of these will be out in 2021.
The brand Star will be launched in “select overseas markets in February, 2021 as a full-integrated part of Disney+, with its own brand tile and a wide array of general entertainment”. Another streaming service, Star+, will be launched in Latin America in June, 2021.
The Star Network is part of 20th Century Studios acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 2019. This includes Disney+ Hotstar, which streams original Disney+ films and series in India. The company claimed on Thursday that Disney+ Hotstar has up to 27 million subscribers in India, which makes 30% of the total 86.8 million Disney+ subscribers Indians.
From Marvel Studios, the 2021 releases include the series WandaVision (January 15), The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March), Loki (May) and Hawkeye (late next year).
Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will reprise their roles as Wanda and Vision from the Marvel films. Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), and Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) will return too.
Other Marvel titles, including films and series, include Ironheart, Armor Wars (starring Don Cheadle as Captain Rhodes from Iron Man), and Secret Invasion, starring Samuel L Jackson as the Avengers’ boss Nick Fury.
Also in production are Moon Knight, She-Hulk (Mark Ruffalo will return as Bruce Banner), and Ms Marvel. Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige noted that Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel actor Iman Vellani will reprise her role in the movie Captain Marvel 2.
James Gunn is directing a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special, to be out in 2022 on Disney+. Gunn is also directing the third film of the franchise. A spin-off series I Am Groot is in the making.
Among Marvel movies, there’s Black Panther 2, in which the late Chadwick Boseman’s titular role won’t be recast. Boseman died in August 2020, from colon cancer. Academy Award winner Christian Bale will join the cast of Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder as the supervillain.
Also in production are a third Ant-Man film, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, a third Spider-Man movie, and a new Fantastic Four movie.
Ten new Star Wars-related series will be streamed on Disney+, the company announced. There will be two further spin-offs from the Star Wars spin-off on Disney+, The Mandalorian. These are Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka.
There’s the animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Rogue One’s Diego Luna will reprise his role in Star Wars: Andor. Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland is heading a new Star Wars series titled The Acolyte.
Hayden Christensen will reprise his Darth Vader role from Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005) in Obi-Wan Kenobi, in which Ewan McGregor will reprise the titular role. There’s the new series A Droid Story, featuring the robots R2-D2 and C-3PO. There’s also another series, Star Wars: Lando. Star Wars: Visions will be an anime series helmed by Japanese creators.
The Star Wars movie Rogue Squadron to be out in December 2023, will be directed by Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman). Waititi is also developing a Star Wars movie.
Lucasfilm, as part of Disney, will also roll out a new Indiana Jones film, with Harrison Ford reprising the classic role.
There are separate slates from Disney Animation and Pixar.
Disney Animation’s releases include Raya and the Last Dragon (March on Disney+), Big Hero 6 spinoff Baymax! (2022), a Zootopia-based series (2022), The Princess and The Frog-based Tiana (2023) and a Moana-based series (2023).
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is writing music for Encanto, set in Colombia. Disney has partnered with pan-African company Kugali Media to create the original series Iwaju, set for a 2022 release on Disney+.
Tom Hanks will star in frequent collaborator Robert Zemeckis’s live-action Pinnochio, which will head straight to Disney+.
From Pixar, there will be the January release Pixar Popcorn, a series featuring Pixar characters. The dog Dug from the movie Up gets its own series Dug Days. A series based on the Pixar movie Cars and Win or Lose, about a middle-school softball team, will be out in 2023.
Upcoming Pixar movies include Lightyear, an origin story for the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear. Chris Evans is voicing the role. There’s two other animated films, Luca and Turning Red, which is about a girl who turns into a giant red panda on reaching puberty.
The 20th Century Studios animated franchise Ice Age is getting a spin-off series based on the weasel character Buck. Simon Pegg will voice the role.
The creator of Fargo and Legion is helming a series based on the Alien franchise for FX and Hulu. Will Smith stars in the reality-adventure series Welcome to Earth for National Geographic. Chris Hemsworth stars in another Nat Geo series, Limitless.
Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, and Peter Sarsgaard will star in the “harrowing new drama series” Dopesick, to be streamed on Hulu and Star. Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy will star in the series Nine Perfect Strangers for Hulu. There will be a fourth season of The Handmaid’s Tale.
There will be new seasons for a bunch of FX series: Atlanta, American Horror Story, Dave, What We Do in the Shadows, Mayans, Better Things, Snowfall, and Archer.
Jeff Bridges will star as a Central Intelligence Agency operative “forced to reconcile with his past” in the original series The Old Man.
The Office star BJ Novak will star in the anthology series The Platform, which will use “the boldest issues of our times as a jumping off point to tell singular, character-driven stories about the world we live in today”. The hit graphic novel Y: The Last Man is being turned into a series, starring Diane Lane.