When Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, we were only at the very beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe phenomenon. Since then, the MCU has blown up on a massive scale, with three phases of films and a handful of TV shows already behind us. Some releases have been more successful than others, but all play a part in the big picture of the Marvel universe.
Now, as Marvel's game-changing Phase 3 comes to an end, and we move into Phase 4 of the studio's grand plan, Disney has finally launched Disney Plus streaming service. Marvel will be a core pillar of what the service has to offer, and now the studio's original TV shows will be closely linked to its movies – unlike the previous Marvel TV offerings on Netflix that were largely of inconsistent quality and lifespan.
- You can sign up to Disney Plus here
It’s pretty clear that Disney has big plans for its Marvel TV shows as well as its movies in the coming years, and Disney Plus will allow you to catch up, and keep up, with the Marvel universe in 4K/HDR.
With Marvel assembling alongside heavy-hitters like Star Wars, Pixar and Disney itself on the streaming service, fans are naturally wondering just how much it will cost them to keep up with the exploits of their favorite heroes. If that’s the case just head to our Disney Plus price guide which has all the information you’ll need.
So, curious about what Marvel treats are actually coming to Disney Plus, and what you can already stream on the service? Here’s everything that’s been announced so far.
Disney Plus Marvel Movies: what's available at launch?
We previously knew of eight movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that were coming to Disney Plus at launch, but later, that number doubled to 16, with the late announcement rolling out in another outrageously long Twitter thread.
Also announced was a special called Expanding the Universe, offering a first look at coming Disney Plus MCU projects.
Here's the list of Marvel movies now streaming on Disney Plus:
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- The Avengers
- Iron Man 3
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Thor: The Dark World
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Captain America: Civil War
- Doctor Strange
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Captain Marvel
- Avengers: Endgame
And these movies are coming to the service later:
- Thor: Ragnarok (December 5, 2019)
- Black Panther (March 4, 2020)
- Avengers: Infinity War (June 25, 2020)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (July 29, 2020)
The hope is that one day Disney Plus will become the comprehensive home for the MCU, but a few factors stand in the way, like the Spider-Man film rights belonging to Sony, or The Incredible Hulk distribution rights being with Universal. That means the library won't be complete unless Disney strikes a deal to bring them over, which is entirely possible, but so far hasn't been discussed in the announcement plans for Disney Plus.
Disney Plus TV shows: what and when?
One of the most exciting things about Disney Plus is the prospect of a deluge of new and exclusive Marvel TV shows that might actually hold up against their cinematic counterparts – and make up for previous misadventures. Given the big names attached to the shows, and reports that each episode of each show could have a budget of as much as $25 million, expectations of quality are high.
Disney has already confirmed a handful of shows that will be coming to the service over the next couple of years and we know that there’ll be a mix of live-action, animation and documentary on offer. But it’ll be a while until the new offerings start, with the first big series starting in 2020.
The first new and exclusive show out the gate will be The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprising their respective roles for the small screen.
After that we know Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will be reunited as Scarlett Witch and Vision in WandaVision; Tom Hiddleston will also be causing havoc as Loki in his very own branch of reality, courtesy of the Tesseract. Like Loki, Hawkeye will be getting his own show, starring Jeremy Renner, although we’re not expecting to see it premiere until 2021.
On the animated side of things, What If…? will explore a whole range of alternative storylines within the Marvel universe, including what might have happened had Peggy Carter taken the soldier serum instead of Steve Rogers. And just because it’s animated doesn’t mean the stars are stepping back – 25 of the biggest Marvel stars have been confirmed to be returning to voice their characters, including Hayley Atwell and Samuel L. Jackson.
Disney will be using its TV shows to introduce new heroes as well as delving deeper into the stories of its existing stars. It was confirmed during D23 that Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk and Moon Knight will be making their debuts on Disney Plus with their own dedicated shows. When those debuts will be, however, is still unknown.
Disney Plus Marvel TV shows: release dates
- Marvel's Hero Project documentary (with launch)
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Late 2020)
- WandaVision (Early 2021)
- Loki (Early 2021)
- What If? (Mid-2021)
- Hawkeye (Late 2021)
- Marvel's 6161 (2020)
- Ms. Marvel (no release date)
- Moon Knight (no release date)
- She-Hulk (no release date)
Disney Plus and Marvel: the next phase
With Marvel movies like Black Widow and The Eternals coming in 2020, Disney has plenty of Marvel content to lean on that isn't just the new TV shows. The hope is, this service will become the home of all MCU content, past and present. We're excited to see that vision unfold.