Star Wars spin-offs and the Kardashians: how Disney plans to take on Netflix

The company has announced a slate of new films and series as part of ambitious plans to expand its streaming offering

The Mandalorian (Perdo Pascual) in Lucasfilm's The Mandalorian. Photo by Francois Duhamel. Copyright: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Disney has unveiled ambitious plans to bolster its international streaming offering, as it ratchets up efforts to rival Netflix.

In an investor presentation on Thursday, Disney announced that it would be launching a slate of new shows, as it adds more grown-up programming to its traditionally child-friendly library.

The company already has drawn almost 87 million subscribers to its namesake app, but is looking to significantly boost these numbers with new Marvel and Star Wars series, as well as programming from the Kardashians, who this year announced they were ending their long-running reality show on NBC Universal's E! network.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14:  (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian , Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner and Kourtney Kardashian attend Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Developers at Apple Store Soho on September 14, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***  al16se-holly-kardashians.jpg

There will be 10 new TV series in both the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, including two spin-offs of The Mandalorian, a Star Wars series featuring the character popularly known as Baby Yoda. Two further spin-offs, The Rangers of the New Republic and Ahsoka, are also in the works.

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We have a vast and expansive timeline in the <em>Star Wars </em>mythology, spanning over 25,000 years of history

"We have a vast and expansive timeline in the Star Wars mythology, spanning over 25,000 years of history in the galaxy, with each era being a rich resource for storytelling," said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. "Now with Disney+ we can explore limitless story possibilities like never before and fulfill the promise that there is truly a Star Wars story for everyone."

In total, customers should expect about 100 or more titles from Disney every year, executives said in the presentation.

The company's roster is heavy on remakes and spinoffs, with plans for new Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, including a Beauty and the Beast prequel series, a Moana animated series, a Three Men and a Baby reboot with Zac Efron and a Swiss Family Robinson series.

FILE PHOTO: A Baby Yoda toy is pictured during a "Star Wars" advance product showcase in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 20, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

While Disney also announced that it would be releasing its Pinocchio and Peter Pan & Wendy films straight to streaming, it has not forsaken the big screen altogether. It is keeping its biggest films, including Marvel's Black Widow, Pixar's Luca and a Lion King prequel, on course for theatrical release.

During the presentation, Lucasfilm also announced that Patty Jenkins will direct the next Star Wars film, Rogue Squadron, with a release date penned for Christmas 2023.

This will make Jenkins the first woman to direct a Star Wars film. In a video, she said the film, about starship fighters, will satisfy a long-held dream of hers as the daughter of an Air Force captain.

“When he lost his life in service of this country, it ignited a desire in me to turn all of that tragedy and thrill into one day making the greatest fighter pilot movie of all time,” said Jenkins in a video message.

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