The Walt Disney Company's quarterly earnings call dropped multiple bombshells today: Disney is developing a new Marvel television series, a live-action Star Wars television series and a new trilogy of live-action films from a galaxy far, far away under Star Wars: The Last Jedi writer and director Rian Johnson.
The Marvel and Star Wars television series will make their exclusive debut on Disney's forthcoming streaming service, set to launch in 2019, with the service also poised to offer television series based on Disney/Pixar's Monsters, Inc. franchise and Disney Channel's tween-aimed High School Musical franchise. Disney CEO-chairman Bob Iger announced the news Thursday.
Pixar's Monsters, Inc. grossed $577 million worldwide in 2001, with its prequel, Monsters University, scaring up $744 million worldwide in 2013. Both movies starred John Goodman and Billy Crystal as blue-furred James P. "Sulley" Sullivan and one-eyed Mike Wazowski, respectively, best friends and work partners who work as top employees at Monsters, Inc., Monstropolis' energy-producing company. One of the most popular franchises under the Pixar brand, Monsters, Inc. has a presence in several of Disney's theme parks across the globe, including Disney California Adventure, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland.
Disney launched the High School Musical franchise in 2006, with the rom-com Disney Channel Original Movie giving way to a 2007 TV-movie sequel and a second sequel, 2008's High School Musical 3: Senior Year, the first installment of the tween musical series to be released theatrically. The franchise will return to the small screen with High School Musical 4 under Jeffrey Hornaday, who directed Teen Beach Movie and Teen Beach 2 — Disney Channel's newest craze teen musicals.
A direct-to-video spinoff, Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure, debuted to Blu-ray and DVD in 2011 before airing on the Disney Channel. The hit franchise produced a concert tour, a live stage musical, an ice show and a theme park show that made it into all of Disney's theme parks worldwide. A reality-TV competition, High School Musical: Get in the Picture, aired in 2008 and proved to be an abysmal failure despite airing during the height of the High School Musical craze. The original movie trilogy starred Zach Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale.