Disney reveals the name of their new streaming service launching in late 2019 and teases new series starring Tom Hiddleston and Diego Luna.
Disney investors got a ton of information about Disney’s upcoming streaming service Thursday afternoon, officially revealed as Disney+, including new series announcements for both "Star Wars" and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but many fans were hung up on that name.
The "+" didn’t do Google+ any favors, but as a brand extension, it matches with the already launched ESPN+ sports streaming service, which has performed well for the company. Disney CEO Bob Iger also explained one way in which Disney+ will differ from key rival Netflix and that’s in how it organizes its content.
Instead of complex algorithms with rows and alarmingly specific categories, Disney+ is going to be divided into five hubs, similar to themed areas in an amusement park. Those five branches of Disney+ are Disney, Pixar, Marvel, "Star Wars" and National Geographic.
Each category will have its own look and feel specific to the brand its representing and feature archived and original content. That latter delineation is what many genre fans are most excited about, as Iger announced major new projects for both the Marvel and "Star Wars" hubs.
While the films labeled "A Star Wars Story" have reportedly been shelved after the poor performance of "Solo," Disney is looking back to its more popular entrant with an expansion of the "Rogue One" saga via an exclusive television series digging deeper into the backstory of Cassian Andor, once again portrayed by Diego Luna.
This joins the already announced "Mandalorians" series and the promised final season of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" animated series. And there’s no reason to imagine Disney would skip the opportunity to premiere new big-budget "Star Wars" films on the platform as well, and especially if they want to compete with Netflix.
On the Marvel side, along with already-announced series for the Scarlet Witch and the Winter Soldier, the MCU’s most popular villain has been confirmed to get his own series, with Tom Hiddleston on board to explore more about the crazy life of Thor’s half-brother Loki.
Other original content touted for the streaming service includes a "Monsters Inc." series on the Pixar hub and several holiday-themed films. Disney will be removing its movies from Netflix in 2019 before the launch of Disney+ later that year. Existing original MCU shows on Netflix and Hulu will stay put for now as Disney+ is looking at a more family-friendly focus, though it remains possible they could wind up there eventually.
Presumably by that time, the Fox deal will be done, which explains NatGeo’s presence as a hub. Will other Fox properties simply fold into the existing hubs, then? It remains to be seen. If it does, hopefully they’ll have a way to differentiate canon MCU properties from disasters like all of the "Fantastic Four" movies to date.
In the meantime, check out how fans are reacting to the big announcement, including their excitement about the launch and their disappointment in the name. But seriously, is it worse than DC Universe?
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