Disney has unveiled plans for ten new
The barrage of new announcements – with 100 new titles unveiled in all – also includes 15 live-action series and 15 new Pixar shows as Disney ramps up its efforts to outperform
The latest Star Wars offerings include two more series based on The Mandalorian, a hit series featuring the character popularly known as Baby Yoda, as well as a return for divisive prequel star Hayden Christensen in a series about Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Disney will also produce a Buzz Lightyear prequel and a Black Panther sequel in which the late
Fan favourite: The character popularly known as Baby Yoda in a scene from The Mandalorian, which is getting two new spinoff shows in Disney’s barrage of streaming announcements
Comeback: Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker-turned-Darth Vader in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith – a role he will reprise in a new Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff
Returning: Longstanding Star Wars characters R2D2 and C3PO, pictured in the original Star Wars movie in 1977, are part of the Disney announcements
Production on the Kenobi series will start in March, featuring Christensen’s return as Darth Vader in what Disney described ‘the rematch of the century’.
Actor and singer Donald Glover will reprise his role as dashing smuggler Lando Calrissian, a favourite of the original Star Wars films, for for the TV series Lando.
Animated Star Wars offerings coming to Disney+ in the next few years include A Droid Story’ featuring the beloved C-3PO and R2D2, and The Bad Batch about experimental clones.
A Star Wars mystery thriller called The Acolyte, directed by Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland’, is also part of Disney’s new package.
The two Mandalorian spinoffs will be entitled Ahsoka and Rangers of the New Republic.
Also in the Star Wars universe, a previously announced spinoff of the 2016 movie Rogue One, titled Andor, has just begun production in London.
Stellan Skarsgard and Fiona Shaw join the cast of the ‘tense, nailbiting spy thriller’ created by Bourne Identity screenwriter Tony Gilroy.
Rogue One was one of two spinoffs, along with Solo, which came alongside the Star Wars sequel trilogy – The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker – which Disney produced after buying out the franchise.
First look: Marvel Entertainment released the exclusive first look at upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon And The Winter Soldier starring Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie
A Black Panther sequel will go ahead – but the role of Chadwick Boseman (pictured), who died in August 2020, will not be recast
Star Wars will also return to cinemas with a 2023 movie called Rogue Squadron, set in a ‘future era of the galaxy’ to the nine movies in the main franchise.
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins will direct Rogue Squadron, making her the first female director of a Star Wars movie.
The film will ‘introduce a new generation of starfighter pilots as they earn their wings and risk their lives in a boundary-pushing, high-speed thrill ride,’ Lucasfilm said.
Rogue Squadron is one of several films which are continuing with theatrical plans despite Disney’s latest streaming drive.
These include a Black Panther sequel, in which the role of the late Chadwick Boseman will not be recast, and a Buzz Lightyear prequel due in 2022 starring Chris Evans as the voice of the popular Toy Story character.
Boseman died in August after a four-year battle with colon cancer, having never publicly discussed his condition, throwing the follow-up to one of the record-breaking Marvel films’ most acclaimed movies into doubt.
But a planned sequel to the 2018 smash hit will still go ahead using ‘all of the rich and varied characters introduced in the first film.’
Among other Marvel film announcements, Christian Bale joins Thor: Love and Thunder as the sequel’s villain, with filming due to start next month.
As part of the barrage of announcements, Marvel released the exclusive first look at upcoming Disney+ series The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, starring Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie.
Samuel L Jackson reprises his role in the franchise for Secret Invasion on Disney+ , hyped as ‘arguably the biggest crossover comic event in the last 20 years.’
Other upcoming movies which have been steered into the streaming service include Pinocchio with Tom Hanks and an Enchanted sequel with Amy Adams.
The Kardashian-Jenner family signed a deal with Disney-owned Hulu, making it their new home after their departure from E!
Renewed: The Handmaid’s Tale, starring Elisabeth Moss (pictured), is back for a fifth season
The Disney-owned Hulu will also be home to more original films and will become the new home of the Kardashians, recently departed from E!.
The streaming service also renewed The Handmaid’s Tale for a fifth season.
Regardless of where Disney content premieres, it will end up on Disney+, according to media and entertainment division chief Kareem Daniel.
Hollywood had been eagerly awaiting Disney’s response following WarnerMedia’s announcement last week that it will release all 17 of its 2021 films simultaneously on its streaming platform, HBO Max, and in theatres.
Stocks for WarnerMedia’s parent company AT&T were up about six per cent since the announcement.
AT&T boss John Stankey said on Tuesday that the pandemic had unleased a new media reality unlikely to fade after COVID-19. ‘That horse left the barn,’ he said.
Disney boss Bob Chapek laid out the company’s own super-sized ambitions in a virtual presentation for investors on Thursday.
Chapek said Disney+ subscribers worldwide have reached nearly 87million, up from 74million last month, but it is aiming for up to 260million subscribers by 2024.
Including Hulu and the ESPN+ sports streaming services, Disney currently has about 137million subscribers. Netflix has nearly 200million.
Disney will increase the monthly price of the streaming service by one dollar to $8 (£6) a month in March.
”We knew this one-of-a-kind service featuring content only Disney can create would resonate with consumers and stand out in the marketplace,’ Chapek said.
Disney’s’s films accounted for more than $13billion in ticket sales worldwide last year and 38 per cent of moviegoing in the US and Canada. Seven Disney films topped $1billion worldwide.
‘Of the 100 new titles announced today, 80 per cent of them will go to Disney+,’ said Chapek. ‘But we had $13 billion of box office last year and that’s obviously not something to sneeze at. For us it’s about balance.’