As 2023 draws to a close, the world’s biggest companies are filing their final reports and providing their last updates of the calendar year to investors. In many cases, those announcements involve details about the year to come. In the case of Disney, many of those details will be of great interest to fans of the company’s extensive repertoire of animated shows, live-action TV series, and movies. There were over fifty entertainment-related announcements made during their 2023 Investor Day, all of which are new information. In fact, so much information was given out that it’s been difficult for the media to report on it all, so we’d like to bring you up to speed on what you might have missed.
The announcements contain something for everyone, whether you’re fans of classic ‘family-friendly’ Disney films, “Star Wars,” the Marvel Universe, or entertainment in general. In among all the information that’s now circulating on the internet, we’ve picked out a few of the headlines that we think you’re most likely to be interested in. Here’s what Disney has up its sleeve for the year ahead!
Black Panther 2 Is Still Happening
This once highly-anticipated film was expected to be canceled after the tragic death of Chadwick Boseman earlier this year. With the star of the first movie no longer with us, appetite for a sequel was greatly diminished, and the idea of making one didn’t seem unfeasible. In what some might see as a distasteful move, Disney is going to push ahead anyway. “Black Panther 2” will start filming in 2023 with an anticipated release date of mid-2022. The company has confirmed that Boseman’s iconic role won’t be recast, but if anything, that makes it harder to see what the film’s appeal will be. This being Disney, though, they’re likely to have something up their sleeve.
Harrison Ford Will Play Indiana Jones Again
There have long been rumors that a fifth “Indiana Jones” movie has been in the works, but those rumors appeared to be squashed early in 2023 when Steven Spielberg confirmed that he wouldn’t be directing another film in the franchise. After that, everything went quiet, and the movie-loving world quietly concluded that there was no longer any mileage for Harrison Ford, in his late 70s, playing the famous fedora-wearing treasure hunter. We were all wrong about that. The fifth “Indiana Jones” movie is going ahead, and pre-production has already started. Ford will be 80 by the time the film is released, so we assume that there will be someone else in the cast to do all the running and fighting for him.
Hayden Christensen Is Back as Darth Vader
It’s probably fair to say that Hayden Christensen’s performances as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader in the three “Star Wars” prequels weren’t met with universal acclaim. In fact, he received two “Golden Raspberry” awards for them, and he hasn’t even told his daughter that he’s been in “Star Wars.” He’s going to have to now, though, because he’s returning to the role for the forthcoming “Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi” series for Disney Plus. Although Christensen hasn’t done much in the way of acting work since his “Star Wars” performances, his contribution to the franchise has been re-evaluated in recent years and is now looked upon more kindly than it once was. That might be what’s persuaded him to come back – although we hope an excellent script or two was also a factor in that decision.
Disney Hopes You Really Love “Star Wars”
When Disney bought out LucasFilm and picked up all the copyrights associated with “Star Wars,” they promised to bring the franchise back to life. They did that by making three new big-screen sequels, a couple of ‘secondary’ films, and the hugely popular “Mandalorian” Disney Plus series. “Star Wars” fans thought they’d never had it so good, but it turns out they were only the beginning.
An almost-frightening amount of “Star Wars” content is currently in the pipeline. “The Mandalorian” is getting two spin-off series, there’s an animated series called “The Bad Batch” on the way,” a follow up to “Rogue One” called “Star Wars: Andor” is in pre-production, a live-action TV series called “The Acolyte” has been given the green light, R2-D2 and C-3PO are back in “A Droid Story,” and Lando Calrissian will get his own series under the name “Star Wars: Lando.”As if that weren’t enough, there’s a Japanese anime-style show in the works called “Star Wars: Visions.” We guess we’re about to find out whether it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.
Disney Plus Has Been A Gigantic Success
Even for the biggest entertainment company on the planet, launching a standalone network is a risk. When Disney went live with Disney Plus, people worried that we might be at saturation point with Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Max, and all the other streaming services already. The model of delivering entertainment through streaming is one that’s been copied across from online slots websites, and anyone who works in that industry will tell you about the dangers of saturation. There are now so many websites offering UKSlotGames that only the very best survive, and those that make it do so by offering products and features that their rivals can’t. If Disney has learned anything from online slots (other than the fact it’s banned any that feature its characters), it’s that sometimes you have to take a gamble. They hoped for around sixty million subscribers to their service by the end of 2023. They actually have eighty-six million. Perhaps that’s why they’re putting their prices up by a dollar as of March next year – they’re striking while the iron is hot.
In total, there are 10 “Star Wars” TV shows, 10 Marvel TV shows, 15 new Disney movies, 15 new Disney live-action series, and ten new Pixar films currently in development, all with anticipated release dates within the next two years. It’s a quite staggering amount of content – and it’s no wonder that the company’s investors are so excited. Anyone who thinks that Disney has already taken over the world hasn’t seen anything yet. The first twelve months of Disney Plus appear to have been little more than a gentle trial run. Now they’ve got their feet under the table, they’re expanding at a rapid rate – and it’s only a matter of time until Amazon Prime and Netflix begin to feel the pressure of that expansion.