One of the major criticisms of Disney Plus ever since it first launched has been directed at the relative dearth of exciting original content. Only The Mandalorian, Hamilton and Mulan have gained any sort of major headlines or sustained success, and in the case of the latter it was locked behind a $30 paywall before generating the wrong sort of publicity in the long run.
There’s no denying that the platform has an impressive and extensive library, though, as you’d expect from a company that boasts the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Pixar, The Simpsons, National Geographic and many of the greatest animated movies ever made, as well as their respective live-action remakes, among a stacked back catalogue that’s only getting bigger.
However, with the theatrical industry still on its knees eight months after first being hit by the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, it can’t be a coincidence that Disney have signalled their intent to make original streaming content the number one priority. Black Widow has already been linked with a Premier Access debut following a leaked promo, and insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming that Marvel Studios are set to fully focus their efforts on the small screen for the time being.
“Marvel is now shifting focus from movies to shows since the future of cinema isn’t so bright,” he says.
Of course, the MCU already has eight films set for release on the big screen between May 2021 and July 2022, not to mention the nine TV series in the works, ranging from WandaVision‘s debut in January to Samuel L. Jackson’s recently announced Nick Fury show. The longer the uncertainty surrounding the state of cinema continues, though, the more likely the biggest studios and franchises will remain streaming exclusives, which is good news for subscribers of the various services on offer but very bad, possibly even fatal news for the theatrical experience.