Disney preps Star entertainment streaming service, sets date for WandaVision

Marvel Studios eagerly anticipated Disney+ debut WandaVision, lands on the streaming service January 15, 2021. Featuring Avengers Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), the series promises to be both a homage to the classic American sitcom – even to the point where it’s filmed in front of a live studio audience – and part of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.

We join the two super-powered characters living idealised suburban lives, but begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems (shades of The Truman Show?). The series is directed by Matt Shakman, with Jac Schaeffer head writer. 

Comprising six hour long episodes, WandaVision is part of a larger connected tapestry of Marvel stories, and is expected to lead into Spider-Man 3, which will further introduce the multiverse concept (allowing multiple iterations of the same characters to appear together), before leading into Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, in which Wanda is said to play a pivotal role. 

Comprising six hour long episodes, WandaVision is part of a larger connected tapestry of Marvel stories…

Disney+ says it has signed up 73.7 million subscribers as of October, a rise from 60 million in August. 

With the closure of theatres over the summer, a number of feature releases had been redirected straight to streaming, including a premium VOD experiment with Mulan.

Rival Netflix has around 195 million subscribers worldwide.

During its fourth-quarter earning report, the Mouse House also confirmed an international roll-out for a new OTT general entertainment offering, to be called Star, in 2021. This ‘grown-up’ streaming service would allow the organisation to take advantage of content from 20th Century Studios, ABC, FX, Freeform and Searchlight. 

Disney acquired the Indian media and entertainment conglomerate Star India and its streaming service HotStar in 2019, as part of its Fox takeover.  

The new Star will run on the Disney Plus platform. More information is expected on the Disney investor day, to be held December 10.

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