Disney Plus is designed to be the one-stop streaming shop for all things Disney, but Disney Plus will have some holes: Some popular titles, including a large number of Marvel movies, won't be available at launch, and others will have to leave the service for periods of time.
Speaking Tuesday at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, Disney CEO Bob Iger suggested that you would be able to keep any program from the service if you download it and watch it offline. But Disney has since clarified that shows or movies that leave the service will also leave your device.
Disney Plus, which launches Nov. 12, priced at $7 a month, is perhaps the highest-profile example of traditional Hollywood reorienting to compete in streaming video against the likes of Netflix, Amazon and, soon, Apple. With tech giants pouring money into their own TV shows and movies and luring consumers away from traditional pay TV, Disney is aiming to pull all its content off other services and consolidate it with original programs on its own service.
But because of licensing deals struck before Disney crystalized its streaming plan, Disney Plus will lose titles for periods of time. The company hasn't detailed these library gaps, but at least one of them will move popular movies from 2016 through 2018 off Disney Plus back onto Netflix in about six years.
"But by and large, almost all of it is there," Iger said about the Disney catalog. "And if you're a subscriber, you can download it and put it on a device, and it will stay on the device as long as you continue to subscribe."
"If you wanted to download 10 classic Disney films that may not have all been available at once before, you can do that, basically fill all of your hard drive on one of your devices, and you or your child can watch wherever they are," he said.
Jon Favreau, the actor and director of several Disney blockbusters, joined Iger on stage to discuss The Mandalorian, a Star Wars TV show that'll premiere on Disney Plus at launch. He described a new technology developed for shooting The Mandalorian that allowed the show to shoot scenes in what appears to be expansive desert landscapes without having to heft an entire production to a remote location in Abu Dhabi.
Rather than shooting in front of green screens, The Mandalorian production built a stage with gigantic high-definition video walls that could display photo-real backgrounds as backdrops. The tech allowed the production to re-create the expansive feel of the original Star Wars series without having to take on the expense and delay of shooting on location around the world.
Disney also showed a brief, unseen clip from The Mandalorian, which showed star Pedro Pascal landing a ship in a craggy remote landscape and being attacked by an alien animal that looked like a mix between a hippo and a piranha before an unrecognizable Nick Nolte saves him with some taser darts.
Originally published Oct. 22.
Update Oct. 24 To add a clarification from Disney on offline downloads.