By Disney’s own admission, it sounds like just about every single studio under the Magic Kingdom umbrella will be developing content for its forthcoming streaming service, Disney+. This makes sense given that Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that direct-to-consumer business is the company’s top priority moving forward. But exactly what kind of exclusive streaming content can consumers expect?
Here’s everything the Mouse House is currently developing for Disney+.
It’s no secret that Disney will leverage its treasure trove of blockbuster IP to attract customers. While top brass has said the service won’t initially cost as much as Netflix due to the disparity in library size, no other streamer in the game can match Disney’s franchise power. When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe—the single-most consistently successful Hollywood creation in history—it has big plans in store.
On Wednesday, news broke that Jeremy Renner would lead a Disney+ miniseries in which he will mentor Hawkeye’s successor in the comics, Kate Bishop. Bishop was a member of the group known as the Young Avengers, a title that would fit well on the younger-skewing Disney+ should the studio be planting the seeds for such a future.
Previous reports have said that several other big-screen heroes will get the small-screen treatment. Tom Hiddleston is expected to return in some capacity as Loki in a limited series that follows his misadventures throughout human history. Ricky and Morty writer and producer Michael Waldron has been tapped as showrunner. Captain Marvel writer Jac Schaeffer has penned a series headlined by Elizabeth Olsen’s Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany’s Vision. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier will also co-lead a miniseries overseen by Empire‘s Malcolm Spellman.
Slash Film reported last month that a What If Marvel TV series is also in the works. Based on the popular comic book series of the same name, What If is similar to DC’s Elseworlds line in which heroes are thrust into experimental non-canon adventures that explore ideas such as “What if the Fantastic Four had not gained their superpowers?”
Moreover, Disney+ will include unscripted content such as Marvel’s Hero Project, which follows kids who make positive impacts on their communities, and Marvel’s 616, which explores various connections in Marvel’s comic universe.
What viewers shouldn’t expect are revivals of the recently cancelled Marvel Netflix series Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, and Iron Fist. Netflix’s restrictive contracts won’t allow it.
More blockbuster TV, coming right up.
Jon Favreau’s Boba Fett–inspired live-action series, The Mandalorian, starring Pedro Pascal and featuring a murderers’ row of directors, is among our most anticipated new series of 2019. A second live-action Star Wars series revolving around Diego Luna’s Rogue One character Cassian Andor is also in the works. It will be a prequel to the film and likely won’t arrive on the streamer until 2020 or 2021.
At San Diego Comic Con last summer, The Clone Wars and Rebels creator Dave Filoni announced to a raucous reception that the former would be getting a new season on Disney+ following its abrupt cancellation when the Mouse House purchased Lucasfilm in 2012.
Disney has a mountain of other series in development that aren’t related to Marvel or Star Wars. The most anticipated of the bunch may very well be Pixar’s Monsters at Work, a spinoff of the Monsters Inc. franchise that will feature the original voice cast of both movies. The show is set six months after Monster Inc. and follows “Tylor Tuskmon (Ben Feldman), an eager and talented mechanic who dreams of working on the Laugh Floor alongside Mike and Sulley,” per The Hollywood Reporter. Bobs Gannaway will serve as showrunner.
Also in the works is a new 10-episode half-hour comedy, Diary of a Female President, produced by Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez. Ilana Peña (Crazy Ex Girlfriend) will serve as showrunner.
Elsewhere, audiences can expect a heavy dose of nostalgia. Disney+ is developing a meta take on the High School Musical franchise starring Joshua Bassett; a Muppets reboot; a Mighty Ducks series (which sounds pretty amazing); adaptations of Escape to Witch Mountain and Secret Society of Second Born; and shows revolving around Disney villains.
Additional unscripted fare includes a travel program called Rogue Trip; the environmentally conscious Earthkeepers; film production design series Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies; (Re)Connect, which circles family issues; Shop Class, which showcases students building creative things; cooking show Be Our Chef; a high-school-theater-based series called Encore!; and a documentary series about Disney’s lesser-known female animators titled Ink & Paint.
Not to get too technical, but there’s reason to believe Disney won’t lose as much money on Disney+ in the short term as everyone assumes. The studio generates more revenue from home video sales (roughly $2.5 billion to $3.0 billion per year) than any of its competitors. Consumers won’t have to spend any incremental dollars if they simply reroute their at-home Disney spending to Disney+, per REDEF’s Matthew Ball. That’s where the streamer’s exclusive films might come into play.
Several attention-grabbing original films are set to hit the streamer. Noelle will star the always wonderful Anna Kendrick as the daughter of Santa Claus, America’s Got Talent winner Grace VanderWall will lead an original movie called Stargirl and Oscar-winning filmmaker Tom McCarthy is overseeing an adaptation of the children’s book series Timmy Failure. Willem Dafoe will headline Fast and the Furious director Ericson Core’s Togo, which tells the story of the sled dog that brought medicine to Nome, Alaska, in 1925. Mean Girls director Mark Waters is developing a fictional fantasy summer-camp adventure titled Magic Camp. And last May, Variety reported that an adaptation of the children’s novel Flora & Ulysses was also on the horizon.
Unconfirmed original films for Disney+ also include 29 Dates, based on the YA book; a family-friendly take on Don Quixote; an adaptation of the popular book The Paper Magician; and an adaptation of the YA novel series The Grimm.
Blasts From the Past
Most notably, Disney+ will house a photorealistic remake (think this summer’s The Lion King) of Lady and the Tramp, starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, and a new take on The Sword in the Stone from 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo. The Disney Insider reports that Pete’s Dragon filmmaker David Lowery may also be overseeing a Peter Pan movie. Other projects rumored to be in development include new spins on Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Three Men and a Baby, Father of the Bride and The Parent Trap as well as Sister Act 3.