The Walt Disney Company is set to enter the streaming entertainment market this November with the launch of Disney+. The new streaming service has been marketed as a one-stop shop for Disney's biggest brands, including Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar. For example, a previous deal between Disney and Netflix saw all of the Marvel Studios and Star Wars movies make their streaming debut on Netflix. Beginning with Captain Marvel, Disney’s blockbusters will instead make their streaming introductions on Disney+, with older films on Netflix making the jump the Disney+ as well.
This sounds like bad news for Netflix, but a new report from Bloomberg suggests there’s a wrinkle in Disney’s plans that the company hasn’t drawn much attention to. Under the current deal, all of the films that went to Netflix as part of that previous deal — which spanned from 2016 through 2018 — will return to Netflix in a few years time, beginning around 2026. The return to Netflix will be a return to exclusivity as well, meaning the films will be removed from Disney+. Those are all the specifics available, but the report suggests that the contract with Netflix guarantees these periodic content cycles for several years to come.
What the report suggests is the majority of Marvel’s Phase Three movies — Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp — as well as the Disney era Star Wars films released to date — Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and Solo: A Star Wars Story — may be irrevocably tied to Netflix for the foreseeable future. The exclusivity clause means this will prevent the Disney+ library from being truly complete. If fans want to marathon either franchise in their entirety without relying on physical media or à la carte digital purchases, they’ll need subscriptions to both streaming services.
What do you think of this new complication in Disney’s streaming plans? Let us know in the comments.
Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters. Captain Marvel is now available on Digital HD. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 2nd.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20th. Other upcoming Star Wars projects include a new film trilogy from Game of Thrones creators DB Weiss and David Benioff launching in 2022 and The Mandalorian TV series on Disney+.