A few weeks ago, DC showed off new content across all media types. Not to be outdone, this week, Disney countered by showing off a bunch of new content coming specifically to its Disney+ streaming service. This content included shows and movies from Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney itself, and there is something for nearly everyone.
Of all of Disney's properties, Marvel has received the most consistent reviews from critics and fans alike (minus one notable recent exception). Because of that, Disney has put a lot of eggs in the Marvel basket, hoping to milk that cash cow as hard and for as long as they possibly can. There has been a fear that there might be some chaffing starting, especially with the less than stellar reception of Marvel's Eternals, but Disney is still all-in on Marvel content, representing the largest portion of the Disney Plus Day announcements.
Agatha: House of Harkness
Kathryn Hahn's character Agatha Harkness was the breakout success of WandaVision. Agatha is a witch from the Salem witch trials, turned teacher of Wanda Maximoff. Now, she will get her own series coming to the streaming service. The series is still early, and no release date has been made available, but we can expect that Disney and Marvel will put a lot of energy behind this project, as the character was an absolute fan favorite.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
If there is one thing that can make a franchise look its absolute best, it's a holiday special. If you need a good example of a franchise hitting its stride, check out the Star Wars Holiday Special. Obviously, that's sarcasm, as the Star Wars Holiday Special was so bad that George Lucas has dedicated much of his life to destroying all evidence that it ever happened.
Following in that grand tradition of ruining a beloved franchise, Disney will give the same treatment to the Guardians of the Galaxy. It will be written and directed by James Gunn, who has helmed the franchise on the big screen, but that doesn't promise success, either. Hopefully, this project will not damage the overall sentiment of the franchise when it releases in December 2022.
This project was a pleasant surprise. It is nearly a direct continuation of the popular 90s X-Men cartoon. The concept is to tell new stories set in the classic cartoon's timeline. What we don't know is if this will be a re-telling of older episodes, like a reanimation of old episodes, or if this will be a true continuation, picking up where the series left off.
We are hoping for a continuation of the older series, with new stories created in that space. This could give the series the ability to introduce characters that are new since the end of the series, as well as to show the progression of some of the existing characters. Being able to see those characters in altered scenarios, and possibly even in more modernized costumes, would be exciting.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year
This is also a surprising addition to the line-up. The Spider-Man franchise is famously out of Disney's control and in Sony's hands. This is a leftover from there early days, before Marvel began producing its own movies. The future of the character within the MCU has been in question, as the agreement between the companies is theoretically coming to an end after the upcoming third film.
With all of that said, the addition of an animated series, separate and distinct from the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and set in the MCU is a shock. This particular series will follow Peter Parker in the years before he became Spider-Man, covering the territory that was skipped during the most recent reboot of the franchise. It also plays into the nostalgia, in that it will be animated in early comic book style.
More interestingly, this indicates that a more permanent relationship between Sony and Disney has been reached. Disney has been interested in purchasing the rights back, or purchasing Sony's production company entirely if need be. However,there has been no interest from Sony. However, it looks like some solid agreement is in place.
The lovable, inflatable robot from the massively underrated 2014 film Big Hero 6 is back in his own series, premiering in 2022. The character, and the fil, is based on the Marvel character of the same name. If any Marvel character deserves his own series, it is Baymax.
A ton of additional projects were shown off. We know that Hawkeye comes out this month, but we also know that Echo will get a spin-off from that series. We got a look at Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk. Nick Fury will return in the upcoming series Secret Invasion, and Groot will return in the animated series I Am Groot.
Another popular franchise that Disney purchased years back is Star Wars. While the success of this franchise under Disney has not been quite as great as Marvel, it still produces products that a large number of people want. To that end, Disney showed off new content in the Star Wars universe.
Ewan McGregor, who played the role in the controversial prequals, returns to the role in this streaming series. This story will take place directly in the center between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, in the age where the Jedi Order is all but gone. The series will premiere in 2022.
This series will see Warwick Davis return as the titular character, joined by a large supporting cast. While not being a direct Star Wars title, it is widely understood that the original film took place on a planet set within the Star Wars universe called Andowyne. This was an April Fool's joke in 2006, but has all but been canonized as fact.
Disney did not just focus on their acquired properties. They also showed off a lot of new projects coming from in-house franchises. Some will be popular, some will be good, and some come from a trend that most people are already sick of.
Apparently, Disney has not gotten the hint that their live-action adaptations are mostly unwanted. But, despite this, we will be "treated" to a live-action adaptation of Pinocchio in the Fall of 2022. The company is doing what it usually does, packing the cast with big names, like Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Keegan-Michael Key. The success of this project is questionable, based on past experiences.
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Another semi-live-action adaptation comes in the form of the hybrid live and animated film Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. The film is based on the late 80s animated series, and the early 90s animated films of the same name. It will star John Mulaney as Chip and Andy Samberg as Dale, and premieres in 2022.
The hit film Enchanted is getting a sequel in Disenchanted, coming in the Fall of 2022. Hocus Pocus 2, a sequel to the popular movies from 1993, will hit theaters in Fall 2022. Another entry in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, an animated series of the same name, is coming to Disney+ to compliment the films on Hulu.
This is just some of the MANY projects the company showed off. Pixar, 20th Century, National Geographic, and Star all had announcements as well.