After months of speculation, we finally know what the new Disney service will be called: Disney+. The streaming service is expected to launch in late 2019. It will feature original and library content across Disney’s major entertainment brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. It also will incorporate programming from National Geographic, which it acquires when its $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox closes.
Disney CEO Bob Iger teased some of the exclusive content coming to the service during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call. One major surprise include a live-action prequel series based on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The film’s original star Diego Luna will return as Cassian Andor.
It’s the second Star Wars-based original series to be created for the streaming service. Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian. An origin story based on the warrior race from which bounty hunters Jango Fett and son Boba Fett sprung. Set after the fall of the Empire and the emergence of the First Order, it follows a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.
Lucasfilm will produce the series, which will go into production next year. It will follow the adventures of rebel spy Cassian Andor (Luna) during the formative years of the Rebellion and prior to the events of Rogue One. Which makes sense since he died in Rogue One.
“Going back to the Star Wars universe is very special for me,” Luna told StarWars.com in a story tied to Iger’s announcement. “I have so many memories of the great work we did together and the relationships I made throughout the journey. We have a fantastic adventure ahead of us, and this new exciting format will give us the chance to explore this character more deeply.”
But wait! There’s More!
A favorite Marvel character, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, will get an original series on the Disney+ service. It is still unsure whether Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role. Although, Disney will probably find a way to lure him back.
Disney Channel’s, High School Musical, will be rebooted for the streaming service. Disney+ will mine the Pixar character library to create a new animated series based on the Monster’s Inc franchise. The service include films as Noel. A Christmas movie about Santa’s daughter played by Anna Kendrick. Togo, a movie about the 1925 Nome Serum Run starring William DaFoe.
Iger sought to differentiate Disney+ plus from Hulu. It will gain a controlling 60% stake in with the completion of the Fox deal. Hulu will remain a general entertainment offering, Iger said. One that would see increased investment once Disney assumes a leadership role.
The Fox acquisition brings Disney a roster of talented television and film executives who, together with their Disney counterparts, can create “a lot more” original programming for Hulu.
“We feel (that) will enable Hulu to compete more aggressively in the market,” Iger said.