This week at the Walt Disney Company’s four-hour-long investor day presentation, the company shared with us some big news for Disney entertainment on the horizon.
No doubt, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to Warner Brothers’ announcement that all films slated for release in theaters in 2021 will be released on their HBO Max streaming service the same day. Many wondered, and perhaps even hoped, that Disney would go this route with their streaming services as well. But Disney acknowledges success with theatrical releases in 2019 and hopes for continued success in the future. According to Disney CEO Bob Chapek, “…for us it’s about balance.”
Disney will remain flexible about theatrical releases, but I think we can always expect Marvel and Star Wars features to be released in theaters. While there still has been no release date announced for Black Widow yet, here’s what we learned about other feature films set for theatrical release:
- “Black Panther II” will debut theatrically on July 8, 2022. The film will not re-cast the title role played by the late Chadwick Boseman. Instead, the film will honor his legacy by exploring the world of Wakanda and rich characters introduced in the first film.
- Black Widow is set for theatrical release on May 7, 2021.
- Other announced Marvel projects include:
- Fantastic Four
- Ant Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
- Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
- Spiderman ( a new sequel as yet unnamed)
- Star Wars:
- “Rogue Squadron” is expected to debut Christmas 2023
- Turning Red – about a teenager who turns into a giant red panda when she gets excited. Seriously. 2022
- Lightyear – with Chris Evans voicing the title character. 2022
- Luca – set in Italy about a young boy named, well, Luca. 2021
- Jungle Cruise – a live action film based on the classic attraction
- The remakes Peter Pan & Wendy, and Pinocchio are also set for Disney+ however no official release date has been announced for either.
- Encanto is set for a theatrical release in Fall 2021.
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid is set for a Disney+ release in 2021.
- West Side Story is set for theatrical release on December 10, 2021.
- The final Indiana Jones is now in pre-production and will be released in July 2022, and Harrison Ford will reprise his role.
- Sister Act 3 will happen and will have Whoppi Goldberg!
- Hocus Pocus 2 is happening!
Disney is planning to release over 100 new titles across all of its brands (which include Disney Plus, ESPN and Hulu), and about 80% will go to Disney Plus. Disney Plus has become a giant in the digital streaming world, reaching over 86 million subscribers as of December 2. With it’s rapid increase in popularity in recent months, it’s no surprise that Disney will be increasing the fee for this service from $6.99/month to $7.99/month as a sure way to recuperate from financial losses of 2020. On this platform, there are plans for 10 Marvel series, 10 “Star Wars” series, and 15 Disney and Pixar series and features for Disney Plus in the coming years.
- WandaVision, the first Marvel Studios show coming out on Disney Plus, got a new trailer ahead of its upcoming January 15th release date.
- The Falcon and the Winter Solider also finally got a full trailer, along with a March release date.
- A first look at Loki, Disney’s highly anticipated short series based on Tom Hiddleston’s god of mischief character. The show also got a May 2021 release date.
- Hawkeye is premiering on Disney Plus in “late Fall 2021.” The studio also confirmed that Hailee Steinfeld will be appearing in the series.
- What If?, an animated series from Marvel Studios that features the voice acting cast of many Marvel Cinematic Universe stars, also got a new trailer that offered a first look at the upcoming series.
- Feige also announced three new series coming to Disney Plus: Ironheart, set to star Dominique Thorne engineering protégé Riri Williams; Armor Wars, which examines one of “Tony Stark’s biggest fears” and stars Don Cheadle, who is reprising his role as Colonel James “Rhodey” Rhodes; and Secret Invasion, the previously rumored Nick Fury-led series that will see Samuel L. Jackson reprise his role as the SHIELD director alongside Ben Mendelsohn’s Skull shapeshifter Talos. No release dates for the new projects were announced.
- Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige also gave some casting updates on the already announced Moon Knight, She-Hulk, and Ms. Marvel. Notably, Tatiana Maslany will play the lead role in She-Hulk, with Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner also set to appear, while Ms. Marvel star Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan will appear in Captain Marvel 2. Feige noted that the shows will continue to interweave with the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Marvel is also working on a new Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special for Disney Plus, due out in 2022, that will be directed by James Gunn. The special will film alongside the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, also directed by Gunn and set for release in 2023. There’s also I Am Groot, a series of short films starring Groot.
Star Wars Series
- Disney Plus is getting two new Star Wars shows, both spinoffs of The Mandalorian: Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka. The three shows are planned to feature crossovers in the future, too
- Star Wars: The Bad Batch, an animated series about the Bad Batch of clones from The Clone Wars, will debut exclusively on Disney Plus
- Star Wars: Andor starring Rogue One’s Diego Luna is coming to Disney Plus in 2022
- The Acolyte, a new Star Wars series helmed by Russian Doll creator Leslye Headland, set in the “High Republic” era of the franchise, is coming to Disney Plus
- Hayden Christensen is returning as Darth Vader in Obi-Wan Kenobi
- A Droid Story, a new project for Disney Plus, will feature a new hero alongside R2-D2 and C-3PO
- Star Wars: Lando is a new ‘evet series’ coming to Disney Plus
- Star Wars: Visions is an upcoming anime anthology series coming to Disney Plus
Disney Animation and Pixar
- Baymax!, a series based on Big Hero 6, is arriving in early 2022
- Zootopia Plus, a new series based on Zootopia, is hitting the streaming service in spring 2022
- Tiana, based on The Princess and The Frog, is premiering on Disney Plus in 2023
- A longform musical comedy series for Moana, hitting Disney Plus in 2023
- Encanto, a new movie set in Colombia with music written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is in development
- Iwaju, an original longform series made in partnership with Kugali Media, is premiering on Disney Plus in 2022
- The newest SparkShorts episode, Burrow, arrives on Disney Plus on December 25th
- Pixar Popcorn, shorts featuring iconic Pixar characters, start streaming in January
- Dug Days, a new series featuring the beloved dog Dug from Up, premieres in fall 2021
- A Cars series, following Lightning McQueen and Mater, is coming to Disney Plus in fall 2022
- Win or Lose, Pixar’s first original longform animated series, is about a middle school softball team. It’s coming to Disney Plus in the fall of 2023
- Disney is making a new Disney Plus spinoff movie starring the weasel character from the movie series, Buck. The movie, titled Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, will star Simon Pegg as the voice of Buck. It’s premiering in early 2022.
Last big piece of news, which these Mouskemoms are a little unsure of, is The Kardashians have signed a contract for lots of content on Hulu.. we will see about this!
Well, Disney just gave us information overload on big news for Disney Entertainment, and also in the process made their stocks jump! Moral is, if you don’t have Disney + yet, run, don’t walk and go get it! Better yet, give it as a gift!
Comment below with what you are most excited about!