Last week, Disney CEO Bob Chapek made the move we all felt was coming, that their live-action adaptation of Mulan would be debuting on Disney+. However, the film will not be free to the service like Artemis Fowl, Magic Camp, or The One and Only Ivan. Mulan will be on Disney+ with “Premier Access” for an additional fee of 29.99. Chapek has called this move “a one-off.”
What is Premier Access? And how does it work? Here is how Disney+ is describing:
Starting September 4, with Premier Access, you can watch Mulan before it’s available to all Disney+ subscribers. Disney+ will offer Premier Access to Mulan for $29.99 on disneyplus.com and select platforms. Once you have Premier Access to Mulan, you can watch as many times as you want on any platform where Disney+ is available. Your access to Mulan will continue as long as you are an active Disney+ subscriber.
Despite Chapek calling premier access a one-time thing specifically for Mulan. Our friends at Murphy’s Multiverse did some investigating and have found out that might not be the case.
The site spoke with multiple Disney+ live agents and a couple of the insiders slipped up and teased that Mulan isn’t the only film coming to the service. One agent went on to say “FOR NOW WE have Mulan, but when time goes by, the premier access WILL BE MORE UPDATED and more movies to watch.” As they investigated more, a second Disney+ agent had this to say “guarantee…that Disney+ will offer more amazing movies” in regards to the Premier Access itself.
It should be noted that the Walt Disney Company has yet to respond to this report and confirm this; however, it is beginning to look more like premier access will become a reality. With theaters remaining closed across the U.S. and those that will open soon, will open with strict health and safety measures limiting the number of people that can purchase and be in theaters. As Disney+ continues to grow, it’s service is more likely to succeed. Not to mention, you don’t code all these new features on your platform for a one-off film.
If Premier Access indeed continues after Mulan, what films could make the move? There are two that quickly come to my mind. The first film is Pixar’s Soul. Onward proved to be a success on Disney+, which is continuing to be one of the most-watched films on the service. Soul could provide that kind of power, an original animated film from Pixar would drive families in droves. The second film that comes to mind is Disney’s prequel, which is the re-telling of 101 Dalmatians, Cruella. Not only is Cruella got a great cast, they would be drawn to the service, such as Emma Stone (La La Land) and Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks). The film is aimed at fans of the Maleficent franchise; however, Disney has yet to market this film for a theatrical release. In Addison, Cruella could really be a nice marquee film for Disney+, as content will be needed.
I will say films like Black Widow, Eternals, and Jungle Cruise are films I wouldn’t expect on Premier Access; however, these are three films Disney is banking on to become the studios newest blockbuster franchises. They hope Florence Pugh will become the newest Black Widow, Eternals as their newest MCU franchise, and the early word on Jungle Cruise is that this film is expected to become the studios newest Pirates of the Caribbean-type of a franchise.