RANKED! The Biggest Announcements and Reveals From Disney’s Investor Day 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has all but put a muzzle on the entertainment industry; media conglomerates like Disney have had to close their theme parks, lay off employees, and shut down productions. Aside from Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster, Tenet (which aimed to reinvigorate movie-going but didn’t), parking your keister in a dream lounger seems to be a thing of the past. Perhaps Disney’s biggest competitor, Warner Media/Brothers recently announced plans for their upcoming theatrical releases becoming available on HBO MAX. Then, after being quiet for the majority of 2020, the mouse house dropped a nuclear bomb of content announcements at Disney’s Investor Day event.
The company unveiled several projects in the works for Disney+, most of which revolving around Marvel Studios (10 new shows), Lucasfilm (10 new shows), and Pixar. While they did divulge their updated theatrical release schedule, Disney is leaning into their streaming service—investing $14-16 billion in content between now and 2024. That said, the price of a subscription will be raised to $7.99 in March of 2021—with 50 projects on the horizon, Disney + is poised to become the new streaming behemoth. This assertion of dominance of epic proportions is a blatant reminder that Disney owns everything under the entertainment umbrella. With that in mind, here are the biggest announcements from Disney’s Investor Day 2020.
Cover Photo: Disney+
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16. 'Ice Age' Spinoff Series Starring Simon Pegg
A new spinoff movie, Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, will feature Simon Pegg voicing Buck (2022)...moving on.
15. Nat Geo Series Featuring Will Smith and Chris Hemsworth On Disney+
National Geographic presents two shows; Welcome to Earth (nice Independence Day reference), following Will Smith as he “embarks on an awe-inspiring journey to unlock secrets of this planet’s most extraordinary, unexplained phenomena,” and Limitless, following Chris Hemsworth as he pushes his body to its limits.
Photo: Nat Geo
14. Pixar Disney+ Series
In addition to Disney animation’s Big Hero 6 and Zootopia spinoff series, Pixar has announced Dug Days, a new series following the beloved dog from Up (fall 2021), Cars, a series following Lightning McQueen and Mater (fall 2022), and a handful of other new projects.
No. Chris Evans is not replacing Tim Allen as Buzz Lightyear. Lightyear is not a Toy Story prequel, it’s a movie set in a universe where Buzz is an actual human being—inspired by the toy from Toy Story.
12. 4 More Seasons Of 'It’s Always Sunny'
That’s right, Disney and FX have primed It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia for (at least) 18 seasons—which would make it the longest-running live-action sitcom in history.
Amy Adams is returning in Disenchanted, a sequel to 2007’s Enchanted. This time, Giselle finds herself beaten down by the world, unemployed, perpetually drunk, and gambling her life away (not really).
10. 'Willow' Disney+ Series
Warwick Davis is returning as Willow Ufgood in a sequel (series), directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) to the 1988 fantasy of the same name.
9. Indiana Jones 5
Lucasfilm will be bringing Harrison Ford back as Indy for one final film—which will begin filming in spring 2021 (theaters 2022).
8. 'Black Panther 2' Won't Recast Chadwick Boseman
Following the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced that they will not be recasting the role of T’Challa AKA the Black Panther in Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther 2 (July 2022). While this news was expected, it’s still nice to know for sure.
7. Spinoff Series Of iconic Franchises On Disney+
The Mighty Ducks, Turner and Hooch, Chip & Dale, Percy Jackson and the Olympians (reboot), Pinocchio, and Peter Pan and Wendy will all be getting live-action spinoff series. Also, Disney reiterated an upcoming sequel to 1993’s Hocus Pocus.
6. Patty Jenkins Directing ‘Rogue Squadron’ For 2023
A galaxy far, far away will still make its way back to the big screen (despite those lackluster sequels). Aside from Taika Waititi’s mysterious (probably High Republic-centric) installment, Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) will direct Rogue Squadron set for Christmas 2023. The film’s title presumably refers to the iconic group of rebel pilots led by a young Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. You can view that announcement teaser here.
5. 'Alien' TV Series At FX
Disney-owned FX is teaming up with Fargo (series)/Legion creator Noah Hawley to make a series set in the Alien universe. The show will take place on Earth and focus on a tone similar to Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic.
Side note: Disney is launching a free tier within Disney+ called "Star," an international answer to Hulu that will stream shows/movies with higher ratings under the FX and 20th Century umbrellas.
4. The Fantastic Four Are Coming To The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Ever since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, fans have been wondering if/when characters like Deadpool, X-Men, and the Fantastic Four would get implemented into the MCU. The latter's previous outings have been, well, less-than-impressive. So, many have been looking forward to Marvel Studios’ steady hand doing the Thing, Mister Fantastic, Susan Storm, and Human Torch justice. That said, Kevin Fiege officially confirmed that Marvel Studios will be making a Fantastic Four movie set in the MCU.
3. Marvel Disney+ Series Trailers
Marvel Studios/Disney has already announced WandaVision (Jan. 15), Falcon and the Winter Soldier (March 19), Moon Knight, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, What If…?, and Loki (May), Disney+ series taking place within (or around) the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They released new trailers for WandaVision, Loki, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Ms. Marvel, and What If…?—which only furthers hype.
2. 9 Star Wars Shows On Disney+
Piggybacking off of The Mandalorian’s success, details for several new Disney+ series were discussed revolving around characters the likes of Lando Calrissian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Ahsoka Tano. Head of Lucasfilm released footage from Rogue One spinoff, Andor, starring Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) as well as Star Wars: The Bad Batch, an animated spinoff of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It was also confirmed that the Ewan McGregor-led Obi-Wan series will see Hayden Christensen return as Darth Vader. Other shows include the Lando series, Ashoka, The Rangers of the New Republic (direct spinoff of The Mandalorian), The Acolyte (a mystery thriller set during the High Republic), Visions (animated anthology), and A Droid Story (animated series that sees R2-D2 and C-3PO mentor a new droid).
1. More Marvel (Shows/News/Casting)
In addition to what has already been announced for Disney+, four new MCU series and one The Guardians of the Galaxy 2022 Holiday special (directed by James Gunn) are also in the works. Samuel L. Jackson will star as Nick Fury in Secret Invasion, Don Cheadle will return as James Rhodes in Armor Wars, Riri Williams will play a teen who finds Tony Stark’s armor and becomes a local hero in Ironheart, and Baby Groot will star in a series of shorts under the mantel I Am Groot.
On the movie side of things, Captain Marvel 2 (November 2022) is set to release on July 8, 2022. Monica Rambeau is joining the cast as Photon (Teyonah Parris) as well as Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani). Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania added Kathryn Newton as Scott Lang’s daughter, Cassie, and Jonathan Majors making his debut as the MCU’s new big bad, Kang The Conqueror. Christian Bale has also been confirmed as Gorr the God Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder (May 2022), a villain hell-bent on ridding the MCU of well, Gods.
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