Disney+ Streaming Service Lands in 2019 With Marvel, Star Wars Series

Well, it’s not called Disney Play after all. Disney has finally unveiled a name and timetable for its much-hyped streaming platform. The service will be called Disney+ and launch in late 2019, CEO Bob Iger announced on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call.

Disney+ has been in the works for years as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video have reshaped the digital entertainment landscape. Disney announced the service in 2017, tipping plans to let its current content deals expire and pull all of its movies and TV shows off other platforms starting in 2019. Along with the company’s similarly named ESPN+ service, Disney+ is built on streaming technology from BAMTech, the onetime Major League Baseball spin-off company that powers streaming apps for everything from MLB.TV and HBO GO to PlayStation Vue and the WWE Network.

Disney+ is the crown jewel in the entertainment giant’s big-picture strategy to pull all its classic movies and blockbuster franchises into one exclusive home, further fragmenting the streaming media market for consumers. To entice those viewers to pay for yet another monthly streaming subscription, Disney’s massive catalog will also feature original Marvel and Star Wars series, including a limited series starring Falcon and the Winter Soldier, a Scarlet Witch Series starring Elizabeth Olsen, and a Loki series starring Tom Hiddleston. The new season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars will also debut on Disney+ along with a Jon Favreau-directed live-action series called The Mandalorian and a newly announced Rogue One prequel series starring Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor.

The series will begin production in 2019, reportedly with a budget north of £100 million. Other already-announced original content includes a High School Musical reboot, an animated series based on Monsters, Inc, and live-action adaptations of The Lady and the Tramp and The Sword in the Stone. There will also be exclusive movies, including Noel starring Anna Kendrick as Santa’s daughter, and Togo starring Willem Dafoe, plus earlier digital access to blockbuster cinematic releases like Captain Marvel. This is only a fraction of the new and existing content Disney can pull into its streaming service.

Disney’s successful acquisition of 21st Century Fox adds another expansive trove of movies and TV shows including channels like FX Networks, not to mention the company’s own library of Disney Channel shows and its lineup of Pixar movies. Disney has said the service will be cheaper than competitors and won’t churn out original content as rapidly as Netflix. Disney+ will take more of an HBO model, prioritizing quality over quantity.

For cord cutters, the Mouse is throwing everything it’s got at you to pry some of your binge-watching hours away from Netflix.

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