Disney won't put out its next movie until October, but that doesn't mean its blockbuster summer is over.
If churning out five new additions to the billion-dollar box-office club wasn't enough, Disney kept its record-setting 2019 going over the weekend, hosting its 11th annual D23 Expo in Anaheim. The event is essentially Disney's very own version of Comic-Con, complete with its own roster of star-studded panels to update fans on what's coming next for the company's content and theme parks divisions.
In previous years, D23's production updates have been largely focused on Disney's theatrical offerings, but the small screen stole the show at this year's event.
The House of Mouse is just a few months away from unleashing Disney+ — the long-awaited streaming service that's been seemingly labeled a potential "Netflix killer" since before it was announced in September of 2017. Disney ($DIS) used D23 to put its original content slate in the spotlight and give audiences their best sense yet of what to expect when the platform goes live on November 12.
All of Disney's highly-lucrative properties will stream on the new service, from older classics (Disney+ will be the exclusive streaming home of the studio's entire theatrical library) to newly acquired ones (the Disney-Fox deal means "The Simpsons" are moving to Disney+) to the studio's current phase of extended cinematic universes (if you thought you were already suffering from Marvel and 'Star Wars' fatigue — you ain't seen nothing yet.)
Marvel Studios is working on at least eight episodic series for the streaming platform, with superproducer Kevin Feige revealing the latest three titles from the D23 stage ("She-Hulk," "Ms. Marvel," and "Moon Knight").
Lucasfilm, Disney's other prized acquisition, followed suit, premiering the trailer for "The Mandalorian," a new show set in the "Star Wars" galaxy that will serve as Disney+'s cornerstone original series when it launches this fall. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also confirmed that the animated cult favorite "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" will be revived on Disney+ after going off the air in 2014.
Superheroes and Skywalkers aren't the only nostalgic entities getting new life on Disney+. The studio also confirmed rebooted versions of "High School Musical" and "Lizzie McGuire," with the latter featuring Hilary Duff's return to the show that made her a household name in the early 2000's. Viewers will also be able to stream other recognizable characters like Forky, the breakout star of this summer's "Toy Story 4," when the utensil toplines Pixar's new animated series "Forky Asks a Question."
Disney+ will also introduce a new type of content to the studio's slate: original movies distributed exclusively on the streaming platform. Disney's (very successful) strategy of remaking its animated classics will continue with a live-action version of "Lady and the Tramp" that premieres with the platform in November. Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn also used his time on the D23 stage to introduce "Noelle," a holiday comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader as Santa Claus's adult children.
So far, the early renderings of Disney's user interface are almost indistinguishable from Netflix's now-iconic landing page. But the platform will take at least one different approach compared to its main rival: According to TVLine, the entertainment giant will reportedly release new episodes of its streaming series weekly, which clearly differs from Netflix's signature full-season drops.
Let the next battle in the Streaming Wars begin.