Over the past decade, pop culture has been defined by two things: superheroes and streaming services. As streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu have become essential, a seemingly endless parade of superhero movies and shows has only added to their limitless viewing library. Now, the two biggest superhero companies in the world each want a piece of the streaming action. In late 2018, DC Entertainment is set to launch a still-unnamed streaming service that will feature new live-action shows and cartoons with DC’s surprisingly deep TV library. Likewise, Disney, Marvel’s parent company, is planning to launch a streaming service in 2019 that will feature new content from Marvel and Star Wars.
Now, CBR is taking a look at where things stand for both upcoming streaming services. In this list, we’ll be counting down the shows that are either confirmed or rumored for Disney and DC’s upcoming streaming services. That means we won’t be diving deep into the rumored streaming comic book library of DC’s “immersive” service that could give its users access to thousands of back issues. While the Disney service will feature Disney-branded shows like Monsters Inc. or a possible Muppets reboot, we’ll be focusing on the service’s Marvel and Star Wars content.
15. CONFIRMED: DC’S TITANS
In 2018, Titans will see DC’s young heroes star in the first original live-action series on DC’s streaming service. While the Titans have had a string of popular animated shows like Teen Titans Go!, this upcoming series will mark the team’s live-action debut. Although it’s still unclear what, if any, connections it will have to DC’s other TV shows, the series will be produced by DC veterans Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti.
Led by Brenton Thwaites’ Robin, Titans will feature a classic familiar lineup that includes Anna Diop’s alien Starfire, Ryan Potter’s shape-shifting Beast Boy and Teagan Croft’s magic-wielding Raven. Although details are still trickling out, casting notices suggest that Triton, Raven’s demonic father, could appear in the show’s 13-episode first season. The show will also feature Lindsey Gort’s Detective Amy Rohrbach, who will help Thwaites’ Dick Grayson as he tries to step out of Batman’s shadow.
14. CONFIRMED: DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION MARVEL SERIES
While Marvel already has shows at Netflix and Hulu, Disney’s streaming service will have at least one original live-action Marvel show. Since the service won’t feature any R-rated content, this series will be considerably lighter than Marvel’s aggressively R-rated Netflix shows, which will reportedly stay on that service.
While there aren’t any details about Disney’s mysterious Marvel show, it could very well be New Warriors. Originally announced in 2017, the half-hour comedy was set to air on Freeform, one of Disney’s younger-skewing cable channels. Led by Milana Vayntrub’s Squirrel Girl, the show will feature a young team that includes Derek Theler’s Mister Immortal, Jeremy Tardy’s Night Thrasher, Calum Worthy’s Speedball, Matthew Moy’s Microbe and Kate Comer’s Debrii. Since Freeform couldn’t fit it on their schedule, the Marvel Cinematic Universe show is looking for a home, and it could be a logical fit for Disney’s streaming service.
13. CONFIRMED: DC’S YOUNG JUSTICE: OUTSIDERS
Starting in 2011, Young Justice earned critical acclaim for its expansive, refreshingly complex take on the younger heroes of the DC Universe. After two seasons on Cartoon Network, the fan-favorite series was canceled, despite a fan campaign to save the animated series. Now, DC’s streaming service is set to give the show another season with Young Justice: Outsiders.
According to producer Greg Weisman, the series will premiere sometime during the “fourth quarter” of 2018. The 26-episode season will feature a mix of new and familiar characters. The show’s core team will feature Static, Kid Flash, Tim Drake’s Robin, Wonder Girl, Spoiler, Blue Beetle, Arrowette, Arsenal, Beast Boy and Thirteen. Series regulars like Nightwing, Artemis, Aqualad and Superboy have also been teased, along with dark new costumes. This season will see the Team deal with meta-human trafficking and the ramifications of a global genetic arms race.
12. RUMORED: DC’S TV ARCHIVE
Right now, Gotham and the CW’s Arrowverse shows are streaming on Netflix as part of multi-year deals. Since that could keep those newer shows off of DC’s streaming service, the platform will probably supplement its original programming with DC’s considerable TV archive. Although Smallville is currently streaming on Hulu, long-running classics like Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and the Adam West-starring Batman aren’t streaming anywhere. Along with lesser-known shows like Swamp Thing, those shows could give the service hundreds of hours of content.
The DC service will also likely feature a deep library of DC cartoons, including the ones that make up the fan-favorite DC Animated Universe. Shows like Justice League Unlimited have been leaving other streaming platforms, and most of DC’s cartoons aren’t streaming anywhere. While some DC cartoons are still streaming elsewhere, those perennial favorites could be a good fit for DC’s streaming service.
11. CONFIRMED: DISNEY’S LIVE-ACTION STAR WARS SHOW
While Marvel programming might draw some subscribers to Disney’s streaming service, the first live-action Star Wars shows will be one of the platform’s biggest selling points. The still-untitled series will be written and executive produced by Jon Favreau and is expected to premiere in 2019, when the Disney service launches. Disney CEO Bob Iger said that there were “a few” Star Wars shows in development for the streaming service, although he didn’t say if those would be live-action or animated shows.
Since upcoming Star Wars films like Solo: A Star Wars Story will still be the core of the franchise, it’s not clear where this live-action Star Wars show might fit into the larger Star Wars universe. Despite the show’s non-existent details, Iger has already praised the “significant” talent involved with the show and insinuated that it would be one of the titles available when the service launches.
10. CONFIRMED: DC’S HARLEY QUINN CARTOON
Although Harley Quinn is a cinematic and comic book megastar today, she debuted on Batman: The Animated Series in 1992. Now, Harley is set to return to her animated roots with Harley Quinn, an upcoming adult-oriented animated series on DC’s Streaming service. Suicide Squad‘s Margot Robbie may reprise her cinematic role as Harley on the show, which will be produced by Justin Halpern, Patrick Schumacker and Dean Lorey.
In the series, Harley Quinn will work with her longtime partner Poison Ivy to try and take over Gotham City’s underworld. According to the show’s Amanda Conner-inspired concept art, Harley will wear her modern comic book costume instead of her original jester’s outfit. The show will feature a mix of famous Batman villains like Killer Croc and Clayface and less illustrious Gotham criminals like Kite-Man and the Condiment King.
9. RUMORED: DC’S CW SEED SHOWS
For the past few years, a few new DC animated series have premiered on the CW Seed, a free-to-watch streaming service owned by DC’s parent company, Warner Brothers. Even though they’re cartoons, Vixen, Freedom Fighters: The Ray and the upcoming series Constantine are all part of the Arrowverse, which is built around live-action shows like The Flash. Since these animated CW Seed shows aren’t streaming anywhere else, they could feasibly show up on DC’s streaming service.
Since those series only run for a collective few hours, it’s also worth noting that the CW Seed is the streaming home of Birds of Prey and Constantine, the live-action series. Both of those one-hour dramas only ran for one season, and they’re the kind of lesser-known and lesser-seen shows that could reach a whole new audience on DC’s streaming service.
8. RUMORED: DISNEY’S MARVEL CARTOON LIBRARY
While Marvel’s Netflix shows will reportedly stay at Netflix, Marvel’s new older-skewing shows could join Runaways on Hulu, which Disney already has a significant stake in. With so many live-action shows off the table, a lot of the Marvel content on Disney’s streaming service could be animated. With decades of animated shows starring Spider-Man, the Avengers, the X-Men and more, Marvel’s cartoons could be a kid-friendly way to attract Marvel fans to the service.
Over the past year and a half, recent series like Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assemble have left Netflix. Likewise, several older fan-favorite Marvel cartoons like X-Men: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series left Hulu in late 2017. Some more recent Marvel cartoons already have a presence on Disney’s UK streaming service, DisneyLife, which could offer a hint of the content of Disney’s upcoming North American streaming service.
7. CONFIRMED: DC’S METROPOLIS
While Krypton is set to give viewers a deep dive into the history of Superman’s homeworld, Metropolis will explore another side of Superman’s pre-history on DC’s streaming service. This live-action series will star a young Lois Lane and Lex Luthor and is set to debut in 2019. The show’s first season will consist of 13 episodes, which will premiere on a weekly basis.
Together, the unlikely pair of Lois and Lex will investigate mysteries involving “fringe science” and uncover the dark secrets of Metropolis. Behind the scenes, the show will be spearheaded by DC prequel veterans John Stephens and Danny Cannon, who are executive producers on Gotham. As of this writing, it’s unclear whether or not Metropolis will have any connections to that Batman prequel, Krypton or any other DC shows.
6. RUMORED: DC’S POWERLESS
When Powerless premiered on NBC in 2017, it wasn’t exactly a smash hit. The live-action comedy followed Vanessa Hudgens’ Emily Locke and her co-workers at Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises dedicated to protecting civilians from superhuman fights. Some of the show’s characters had loose connections to the DC Universe, like Alan Tudyk’s Van Wayne, Bruce Wayne’s cousin, and Ron Funches’ Ron, who was from Atlantis. It also featured appearances from lesser-known DC characters like Crimson Fox and Starro and was filled with other nods to DC’s history.
Powerless was canceled after 12 episodes, and the last three episodes never even aired on TV in the United States. Shortly after Adam West’s death, DC briefly put an unaired episode that West guest-starred in up on YouTube. With that in mind, the show’s remaining episodes could find a home, along with the rest of the series, on DC’s streaming service.
5. RUMORED: DC’S ANIMATED MOVIES
While the highs and lows of DC’s live-action theatrical movies have dominated headlines, DC has assembled a massive library of direct-to-video animated features. Since 2007, there have been over 30 DC Universe Animated Original Movies, along with about 20 more direct-to-video cartoon features. With another four features set to be released in 2018, that’s a massive, still-growing library of titles that could add significant value to DC’s streaming service.
While all of the animated movies have never been streaming in the same place at once, they’ve been disappearing from services like Netflix over the past year. While some are still available on the CW Seed, the vast majority of these movies aren’t streaming anywhere right now. There are also vague rumors that a new DC animated feature could premiere on the streaming service. Even if that doesn’t happen, DC’s animated films would be a natural fit for the streaming service.
4. RUMORED: DISNEY’S STAR WARS: REBELS (AND ITS FOLLOW-UP)
After four seasons, Star Wars: Rebels has come to a close. Starting in 2014, the well-reviewed animated series has filled in the gaps between the Star Wars prequels and the original trilogy with tales of the young Rebel Alliance. While the series is streaming on a few Disney services, it isn’t on any of the major streaming sites and would make a logical addition to the Disney streaming service line-up.
Dave Filoni, one of the show’s creators, has already offered some hints about a new Star Wars series that was in development. Although he didn’t specify if this was another cartoon or the live-action series Filoni said that an announcement was coming “soon.” There have been some rumors that this series could take place in the era of the current Star Wars trilogy that includes Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
3. RUMORED: DC’S HAWK & DOVE
Even though a premiere date for Titans hasn’t been announced yet, a spin-off series starring Hawk and Dove, two lesser-known Titans, may already be in the works. Created by Steve Ditko and Steve Skeates in 1968’s Showcase #75, the original Hank Hall’s Hawk and Don Hall’s Dove were brothers who embraced conflict and pacifism, respectively. After Don’s death, Dawn Granger joined Hawk to form a new duo.
On Titans, Alan Ritchson’s Hawk and Minka Kelly’s Dove will bring the second incarnation of that duo to life. They will portray a couple who moonlight as crime-fighting vigilantes in comic book accurate costumes. While Dove will be a more strategic fighter, Hawk is set to be a more aggressive combatant. If their recurring roles on Titans are well-received, they could reportedly star in their own spin-off series on DC’s service.
2. RUMORED: DC’S DOOM PATROL
Hawk and Dove aren’t the only semi-obscure DC heroes set to appear on DC’s streaming service. The fifth episode of Titans will feature the Doom Patrol. The misfit superhero team was created by Arnold Drake, Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani in 1963’s My Greatest Adventure #80. Although they’ve only appeared irregularly, the Doom Patrol has gone on some of the strangest adventures in the history of the DC Universe.
On Titans, the Doom Patrol will be led by Bruno Bichir’s Chief, a scientific genius. The team will also include April Bowlby’s size-changing Elasti-Girl, Jake Michaels’ Robotman and Dwain Murphy’s Negative Man, who’s made of pure energy. In comics, the team also has a history with Beast Boy, who’ll be a main character in Titans. If their guest-starring role is well-received, there has already been speculation that the Doom Patrol could spin-off into their own series on the streaming service.
1. CONFIRMED: DISNEY’S STAR WARS AND MARVEL MOVIES
While they’re not shows in the strictest sense, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars films revolutionized the media landscape with their episodic nature and serial storytelling. Although a few relatively recent releases are currently streaming on Netflix, the streaming rights to all of the films that make up these respective blockbuster franchises have never been under one roof. That’s going to change with Disney’s streaming service.
Once all of Disney’s current deals with Netflix and other sites expire, every MCU movie and every Star Wars movie will exclusively be available on Disney’s streaming service. While this process could take several years, having all of these films in the same place will highlight how their inter-connected, episodic nature makes these films work like TV shows. With two of film’s biggest franchises in their library, Disney’s streaming service could become an essential service for fans of all ages.
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