Disney+ streaming service: Exec hints at reviving Netflix's canceled Defenders

 cnet.com  12/18/2018 21:05:53  3  Mike Sorrentino,

Disney is betting big on its 2019 streaming service, called Disney+. 

The company is ending its relationship with Netflix at the end of the year, and will instead make its own service the exclusive home for many Disney movies, TV shows and other streaming programming. And the Marvel Defenders shows Netflix has cancelled -- like Daredevil and Luke Cage -- could be revived for Disney+.  

You might be thinking, "No Disney, I don't want to pay another monthly fee," but that's the direction the entertainment business is headed. Netflix seems to trot out original shows and movies on an almost daily basis. Hulu (which will be majority-owned by Disney following its acquisition of Fox's entertainment assets) provides a home for many broadcast network shows. CBS is pumping its CBS All Access service full of Star Trek shows and other original programs. (Disclosure: CBS is CNET's parent company.) And DC Entertainment now has its DC Universe streaming service full of shows, movies and comics. 

So is the 2019 Disney+ streaming service something you should consider? Let's go over all the details we know here, but the TL:DR is: if you like Star Wars or Marvel, yes.

On Nov. 8, Disney announced a Star Wars prequel series based on Rogue One and starring Diego Luna, who played Cassian Andor in the original movie. Disney also confirmed the service is developing a live-action Marvel series focused on Loki, a character from the Avengers, which will star Tom Hiddleston reprising the role.    

Now playing: Watch this: Disney cuts the cord with Netflix

What is the Disney streaming service?

Disney+ streaming service will be a competitor to services like Netflix. Customers will be able to subscribe for a yet-to-be announced monthly fee to get access to TV shows, movies and other videos from the world of Disney. 

When's the release date? 

You may be waiting even longer than Avengers 4 for this: Disney says it's shooting for a release in late 2019. 

How much will it cost?

Disney hasn't yet announced pricing for its streaming service, but expect it to cost less than Netflix

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in November 2017 that his company's service price will be "reflective of the fact that it will have substantially less volume" but plans to make up for it with high-quality programming from across its empire.


The Clone Wars is getting a new season, exclusively on Disney's upcoming streaming service.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

How will this effect Disney stuff on Netflix?

Disney will mostly disappear from Netflix. 

Since 2016, Netflix has been the first place to watch Disney's movies with a subscription. That deal made Netflix the go-to place for the biggest US blockbusters of the last three years. The top two movies of 2017 and the top three movies of 2016 and 2018 were all from Disney. Netflix has been the place to binge them all. 

But Disney decided against renewing that Netflix deal as it plotted its own competitor. So starting with Disney's 2019 slate of movies, all those films are destined for Disney+. 

Netflix's Marvel Defenders shows are more complicated. Netflix has put out five original series based on Defenders' characters in partnership in with Disney. But in 2018, Netflix canceled three of them: Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Kevin Mayer, the Disney executive in charge of Disney+, has said Disney+ could possibly revive the canceled shows. But the terms of their original deal could restrict Disney+ from any revivals until 2020, according to a report. 

At the same time, Netflix still has subsequent seasons of other Defenders series -- Jessica Jones and The Punisher -- set to come out in 2019. So some of the Defenders gang is staying at Netflix for the time being. 

Shows and movies: What will I be able to watch?

Disney plans to make Disney+ the online home for all its family-friendly content, while Hulu -- which Disney will control after its takeover of 21st Century Fox -- will be its subscription for edgier, more adult-oriented fare. Disney+ will be the only place you can stream all of Disney's theatrically released movies starting with its 2019 slate, and it will include content from the Disney brand itself, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic. In fact, it's organizing the app by those exact categories.  

In addition to live-action shows and movies, animation is supposed to be "integral" to Disney+, CEO Bob Iger has said, and Disney+ will have original behind-the-scenes documentaries. Out of the vast library of Disney's past catalog, Disney+ is supposed to offer "thousands of hours of library products" but we don't know exactly what will be included or left out.  

We do know the service will include shows and movies such as: 

  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars new season (exclusive to this service)
  • Marvel movies, starting with 2019's Captain Marvel
  • Star Wars films, starting with 2019's Episode 9
  • Pixar films, starting with 2019's Toy Story 4
  • A live-action, big-budget Star Wars TV series called The Mandalorian, being developed by Jon Favreau
  • A Star Wars Rogue One prequel TV series, starring Diego Luna
  • A live-action Marvel series focused on Avengers character Loki, starring Tom Hiddleston 
  • Possible Marvel series that could star Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), according to Variety
  • Possible Marvel series that would team up Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) and Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie), according to Slashfilm
  • An animated series based on Pixar's Monsters Inc.
  • A documentary about Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Timmy Failure film directed by Spotlight's Tom McCarthy
  • A live-action Lady and the Tramp remake
  • The Sword in the Stone remake
  • Noelle, a movie starring Anna Kendrick
  • Togo, a sled dog movie starring Willem Defoe
  • Three Men and a Baby remake
  • The Paper Magician film
  • Stargirl film
  • A High School Musical series
  • A possible Muppets series

What shows and movies do you want to appear on Disney's streaming service? Pop them into the comments section and we'll keep updating this post with more information as it becomes available.

This piece was first published Aug. 27, 2018 and frequently updated as more news arrives.

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