In less than two weeks, some of Marvel’s best series ever debut on Disney+.
We’ll talk about this remarkable turn of events in this week’s Disney’s Headlines.
Coming Soon to Disney+
I’ve been covering this story for our sister site, MarvelBlog, and I’m here to tell you that it’s been the bane of my existence for a few weeks.
In February, word leaked that Netflix had lost its licensing rights to The Defenders.
These characters are a superhero team, including Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Daredevil. So, The Punisher sometimes kills people, too.
The various characters from these shows have given Netflix an identity during its early days of content creation.
In truth, the first series, Daredevil, legitimized Netflix in a way that House of Cards or Orange Is the New Black never could.
The Marvel series appealed to a broader audience. Even though the characters weren’t technically part of the MCU, they loosely connected Netflix with Iron Men et al.
Netflix viewers lapped up the new programming, with Daredevil and Jessica Jones, in particular, earning glowing reviews.
Afterward, Netflix’s leadership committed fully to new content, leading to many of the shows you’ve loved since then.
So, the impact of Marvel programming on Netflix is both profound and historically significant from a societal perspective.
Somehow, Netflix set up its Marvel contract wrong, though. At Universal Studios, park officials gained the Marvel license in perpetuity.
That’s a legal term for “as long as Universal Studios wants it and pays the agreed upon amount for the rights.”
Netflix didn’t set up its Marvel library the same way. Instead, it allowed the rights to expire on February 28th.
Since then, debates have raged about when and where these programs would go.
We now know the answer, and it comes with profound implications.
The New Disney+
On March 16th, two weeks before the debut of Moon Knight, Disney+ will air seven Marvel series. The list includes:
- The Defenders
- Iron Fist
- jessica jones
- Luke Cage
- The Punisher
- Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
That last program aired on ABC first, but Netflix possessed its rights as well.
For that reason, Disney had to wait out the licensing rights before it could bring its own network program to Disney+.
That’s just a side discussion here, though. The big story is that programs like Jessica Jones and Daredevil debut on Disney+ in less than two weeks.
This introduction marks a drastic change in Disney+ programming. If you’ve never watched Jessica Jones, I’m here to tell you that it’s VERY adult.
During the first season, the primary story arc involves brainwashing and is a prolonged evaluation of consent.
Meanwhile, The Punisher is hyper-violent and decidedly un-Disney. But, of course, I could say the same for all the other former Netflix shows as well.
Only Agents of SHIELD fits the existing model for Disney+ content.
So, this announcement comes with the hidden signal that Disney+ won’t rely on family-friendly IP as its sole means of driving subscriptions.
If Disney wanted that, Daredevil et al. would air on Hulu+ instead.
Disney is counting on adult users to use the Parental Control settings to prevent children from watching these shows.
As a reminder, Disney doesn’t distinguish between Hulu and Disney+ content in Canada and other international markets.
That’s because Hulu really isn’t a thing outside the United States. So instead, Disney has added a Star tile that includes much of the Hulu content.
With this week’s news, Disney has hinted that it could consolidate some of its programming onto a primary streaming service. And it would be Disney+, not Hulu+.
For this reason, it’s an industry-shaking announcement.
About Galactic Starcruiser
MickeyBlog is covering this subject exhaustively, as it’s among the most impactful industry stories in recent memory.
Still, I’d be remiss if I failed to include the topic in Disney Headlines. After all, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is THE subject receiving the most attention.
Before this week, critics had pre-judged the Star Wars Hotel, presuming to know everything about it. Here’s one such piece.
Something funny happened once guests visited Galactic Starcruiser, though. They fell in love with the place.
Glowing reviews abound. Here’s one from the New York Times and another from CNN.
Also, here’s gushing praise from StarWars.com, admittedly the most biased of sources.
Then again, if you’ve interacted with many Star Wars fans (or read the internet), you know that these folks are often the most critical of the stories.
So, I find it remarkable that this individual loved the immersive hotel stay so much.
Disney has meshed the best parts of an escape room and the former Adventurers Club at Disney Springs to create something unprecedented.
Moreover, Galactic Starcruiser debuts at an ideal time. Millennials famously prioritize experiential entertainment more than previous generations.
A visit to the Star Wars Hotel is 100 percent experiential in nature. Each activity propels you in a new direction, and your actions dictate your future.
Many of the reviews mention a frustration about the length of the trip…but not the way I would have expected.
People don’t want to leave and hate that the trip lasts for just two nights and three days.
That’s mind-blowing to me since this hotel lacks conventional amenities like a pool or, you know, windows that look outside.
Nobody cares since they are so aggressively focused on their next task, though. Disney has nailed this one, at least so far.