The long-awaited United Kingdom and European launch of Disney+ has finally arrived.
The launch will bring tentpole original series “The Mandalorian” and Disney's expansive catalogue of library content to a massive pool of potential new subscribers. Disney will reduce the service's picture quality on the continent due to large increases in internet traffic — a move mimicked by Netflix and YouTube, which recently announced similar measures to reduce strain on the internet.
The app is available in most European countries, though its French launch has been delayed until April 7 per the government's request .
Disney had previously planned to celebrate Disney+'s European launch with a high-profile event on March 5, but the event was scrapped due to the ongoing pandemic.
Disney+ enjoyed a strong launch last November and Bob Iger told investors in February that the service had 26.5 million subscribers. The “Star Wars” spinoff, “The Mandalorian,” immediately became the streaming service's standout title and Season 2, which has already completed filming, is expected to be one of the fall television season's most-discussed shows.
“The Mandalorian” Season 1 enjoyed widespread critical success, with most episodes going viral due to the variety of cheeky shots and antics of Baby Yoda, the series' once-hidden, now standout hero. As for series newcomers, Rosario Dawson “Briarpatch,” “Daredevil” will portray Ahsoka Tano, a fan-favorite former Jedi, in the upcoming season, suggesting that the franchise will begin incorporating more well-known “Star Wars” elements in upcoming installments.
While “The Mandalorian” remains Disney+'s most notable original, the service also boasts an expansive catalogue of old Disney-owned content, including films and television shows from brands ranging from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to “Star Wars,” Pixar, and National Geographic.
Other high-profile shows scheduled to hit Disney+ in the coming months include the Marvel Cinematic Universe's “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” and “WandaVision,” which are slated to premiere in August and December, respectively. That said, like most other Hollywood productions, work on those shows was recently hed, and it is unclear if they will still be released on schedule.
Other Disney+ exclusives that have already premiered include “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Season 7, “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” and a live-action adaption of “Lady and the Tramp.”
We still have a while to wait before the Loki Disney+ series arrives, and perhaps longer than expected depending on how long the current wave of production shutdowns throughout the business continues. But while we wait, we have some new details on the Marvel project from series creator and writer Michael Waldron. While the finer points of the story are being kept under wraps, Waldron has revealed what the show, in vague terms, will be about.
Michael Waldron was brought aboard the series last year. Loki will see Tom Hiddleston return as the trickster god, but what, precisely, we're going to see remains pretty mysterious. During a recent podcast appearance, Waldron explained that we'll see Thor's ne'er-do-well adopted brother going through something of an identity struggle. Here's what Waldron had to say about it.
'I think it's the struggle with identity, who you are, who you want to be. I'm really drawn to characters who are fighting for control. Certainly you see that with Loki over the first 10 years of movies, he's out of control at pivotal parts of his life, he was adopted and everything and that manifests itself through anger and spite towards his family.'
Indeed, Loki, ever since we were first introduced to him in Thor, has had something of a chip on his shoulder that has guided much of his wrongdoing. He tried to conquer Earth in The Avengers because he craved power that he could never have as Thor's brother, for example. Yet, we've seen him, for brief moments, flirt with doing the right thing. It seems we'll see the beloved villain sort through some of this complex emotion in the show.
Joining Tom Hiddleston in the cast will be Richard E. Grant Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Owen Wilson Wedding Crashers, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Motherless Brooklyn and Sophia Di Martino Yesterday. What we know for sure is that Loki met his ultimate fate at the beginning of Infinity War at the hands of Thanos. Yet, he escaped with the Tesseract during the so-called time heist in Avengers: Endgame. So we're likely going to see him hopping around time and space. However, his fate is already sealed. There is a predetermined endpoint to his journey, which could make things interesting.
Some brief footage from the show was featured in a Disney+ teaser that showcased the upcoming Marvel shows that also included WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We saw Loki locked up in an off-world prison threatening to burn the place to the ground. Other live-action shows in the works for the streaming service that will tie in heavily to the wider MCU include She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and Hawkeye. As it stands, Loki is expected to debut in early 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. For more with Michael Waldron, check out his episode of The Writer's Panel podcast.