By Emma Boyle
When Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, we were only at the very beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe phenomenon. Since then, the MCU has blown up on a massive scale, with three phases of films and a handful of TV shows already behind us. Some releases have been more successful than others, but all play a part in the big picture of the Marvel universe.
Now, as Marvel’s game-changing Phase 3 comes to an end, and we move into Phase 4 of the studio’s grand plan, Disney is launching its Disney Plus streaming service. Marvel will be a core pillar of what the service has to offer, and now the studio’s original TV shows will be closely linked to its movies – unlike the previous Marvel TV offerings on Netflix that were largely of inconsistent quality and lifespan.
It’s pretty clear that Disney has big plans for its Marvel TV shows as well as its movies in the coming years, and Disney Plus will allow you to catch up, and keep up, with the Marvel universe in 4K/HDR.
With Marvel assembling alongside heavy-hitters like Star Wars, Pixar and Disney itself on the streaming service, fans are naturally wondering just how much it will cost them to keep up with the exploits of their favorite heroes. If that’s the case just head to our Disney Plus price guide which has all the information you’ll need.
So, curious about what Marvel treats are actually coming to Disney Plus? Here’s everything that’s been announced so far.
Disney Plus Marvel Movies: what’s available at launch?
There are 23 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but unfortunately they won’t all be available on Disney Plus at launch. The reason for this is kind of convoluted – some of the existing Marvel movies are tied up in existing licensing deals and are, therefore, not able to be streamed consistently around the world.
The rights of other titles, like the 2008 Hulk movie and the Tom Holland Spider-Man films, are also owned and distributed by other studios and can’t, therefore, appear on Disney’s streaming service.
Outside of these legal constraints, it’s possible that Disney doesn’t want to make its entire Marvel movie catalogue available right away – there are DVD and Blu-ray sales to maintain after all.
The seven MCU titles confirmed as being available at launch in Disney’s mammoth Twitter thread are as follows:
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 3
- Thor: The Dark World
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain Marvel
As for the rest? Well, we at least know that Avengers: Endgame will be coming to the service on December 11 2019, but dates for others remain unconfirmed.
It’s likely that most of the MCU movies will appear on Disney Plus eventually, it just won’t be straight away so you’ll have to hold off on that binge session you have planned.
Disney Plus Marvel TV Shows: what and when?
One of the most exciting things about Disney Plus is the prospect of a deluge of new and exclusive Marvel TV shows that might actually hold up against their cinematic counterparts – and make up for previous misadventures. Given the big names attached to the shows, and reports that each episode of each show could have a budget of as much as $25 million, expectations of quality are high.
Disney has already confirmed a handful of shows that will be coming to the service over the next couple of years and we know that there’ll be a mix of live-action, animation and documentary on offer. But it’ll be a while until the new offerings start, with the first big series starting in 2020.
The first new and exclusive show out the gate will be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their respective roles for the small screen.
After that we know Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be reunited as Scarlett Witch and Vision in WandaVision; Tom Hiddleston will also be causing havoc as Loki in his very own branch of reality, courtesy of the Tesseract. Like Loki, Hawkeye will be getting his own show, starring Jeremy Renner, although we’re not expecting to see it premiere until 2021.
On the animated side of things, What If…? will explore a whole range of alternative storylines within the Marvel universe, including what might have happened had Peggy Carter taken the soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. And just because it’s animated doesn’t mean the stars are stepping back – 25 of the biggest Marvel stars have been confirmed to be returning to voice their characters, including Hayley Atwell and Samuel L. Jackson.
Disney will be using its TV shows to introduce new heroes as well as delving deeper into the stories of its existing stars. It was confirmed during D23 that Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk and Moon Knight will be making their debuts on Disney Plus with their own dedicated shows. When those debuts will be, however, is still unknown.
Disney Plus Marvel TV shows: release schedule
- Marvel’s Hero Project documentary (November 12, 2019)
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Late 2020)
- WandaVision (Early 2021)
- Loki (Early 2021)
- What If? (Mid-2021)
- Hawkeye (Late 2021)
- Marvel’s 6161 (2020)
- Ms. Marvel (no release date)
- Moon Knight (no release date)
- She-Hulk (no release date)
Disney Plus and Marvel: the next phase
So, the future looks busy and bright for the Marvel universe on Disney Plus. While things on the TV front won’t be getting properly started until 2020, we know at the very least that the shows will be going strong through 2021 and beyond. Between the introduction of new characters and expansions on the stories of those we already know, there’s plenty coming – and if you’re invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Disney Plus is likely the best place to be between the big movie releases.
- Get properly prepared for all these new shows with our guide on how to watch the Marvel movies in order