But now we have a clearer look at what will soon actually be on Disney+ in the near future, thanks to a number of media events this week.
Kevin Feige Talks Marvel Shows And Premieres Marvel’s Latest Hero
This week sees the return of what is called “the upfronts" in the television industry, where networks, and these days streaming services, premiere what they will be debuting soon to advertising, investors, and the media.
This is the first time since the covid-19 pandemic began that the industry has held an event in-person, and as The New York Times notes, “Advertisers are now allocating closer to 50 percent of their video budgets to streaming, up from around 10 percent before the pandemic, several ad buyers said in interviews.”
Streaming is increasingly becoming the center of the television industry, and Disney+ is well on its way to becoming the leader of the streaming field. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said in a recent earnings call that the company is projecting subscriber totals between 230 million to 260 million by 2024, which will help the company to “achieve profitability.”
While by no means the only reason for the paradigm-shifting success of Disney+, the company’s rapid growth has been greatly fueled by the success of its Marvel and Star Wars franchises.
At Disney’s upfront event, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige talked a bit about the television shows that he’s been overseeing for Disney+.
Plot threads that set up the multiverse were first introduced in last year’s Tom Hiddleston starring series “Loki,” which Feige said is so far the most-viewed Marvel Studios series on Disney+ and will begin production on season two in a few weeks.
Both the concept of the multiverse and the slow turn of the character Scarlet Witch into a Marvel Universe antagonist, an idea first introduced in last year’s Marvel show “WandaVision,” were key parts of the recent hit Marvel film "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
Feige indicated that the close connection between Marvel films and television shows will only increase in the future, as the two forms become increasingly intertwined while telling one bigger story.
“When we were first asked to start working on programming for Disney+, we knew we wanted to weave together storylines between the films and our series that are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or the MCU, as a whole,” he said at the upfronts.
“From the six series we’ve watched so far, we’ve introduced fantastic new characters, but we’ve also been able to dive deeper into the lives of the backstories of some of the MCU’s favorite superheroes.”
Then, Feige gave the crowd its first look at Marvel’s upcoming series “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,” which will premiere on Aug. 17.
Starring Tatiana Maslany, the show follows the adventures of lawyer Jennifer Walters, who received a blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, played by MCU regular Mark Ruffalo. Walters then becomes the super strong She-Hulk, and begins balancing superhero antics with her job specializing in superhuman-oriented legal cases.
The show is being touted as Marvel’s first sitcom, and the trailer promises a fun, dishy look at what the dating life for a superhero might actually look like.
Of Course There’s More Star Wars On The Way
But the upfronts didn’t get all the attention.
This week also saw a new Vanity Fair cover story hit the stands, detailing Disney+’s success with its Star Wars shows, particularly “The Mandalorian,” which will return later this year.
The story explored a few interesting facets from the past few years of the Star Wars franchise, from the underperformance of the 2018 film “Solo” to getting Ewan McGregor to return for the upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
The article also sheds light on the upcoming series “Star Wars: Andor.” The series will star actor Diego Luna as the titular character, a Rebel fighter who sacrificed his life in the “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”
The series, due later this year, will be a prequel story, and Luna said he was interested to return because it will tell the story of an immigrant who has to flee his planet to escape the Empire, and he liked the real world resonance.
“It’s the journey of a migrant,” he said. “That feeling of having to move is behind this story, very profoundly and very strong. That shapes you as a person. It defines you in many ways, and what you are willing to do.”
Fans also got a bit of information about “Ahsoka,” which stars Rosario Dawson as a fallen Jedi. The character was first introduced in the animated series “The Clone Wars” and was first played by Dawson in the second season of “The Mandalorian.”
Not much was revealed about the overall plot or when it will be released next year, but Dawson did say, “I love that she is this wanderer character who is going to just do good in the universe. The Jedi Order has disappeared in many ways, it’s so fractured, and so many people are targeted. She’s lost so much. She had left that Order under duress, and she’s just been finding her way.”