In what comes as no surprise, Deadline is reporting that Disney is discussing moving some big-name projects from a theatrical release and instead making them Disney+ exclusives.
The first film would be Cruella, starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. This move seemed like the most obvious given the low production budget on the pic, with the film still six months out, this would give the studio to begin a marketing strategy targeted towards Disney+.
Next is Peter Pan and Wendy, which is expected to begin filming in March. This should come as no surprise, as we reported a while back that Disney was originally looking to release the project exclusively on Disney+ before the studio reversed that decision and planned it for a theatrical release.
The last film mentioned is the Robert Zemeckis directed Pinocchio, which is expected to begin production next month.
As of now, Disney has yet to make any final decisions and they have a lot of time to think about it as Cruella comes out next May, and both Peter Pan and Wendy and Pinocchio are both expected in 2022. It is also unknown if movies will get a free release like Pixar’s Soul, or go the Premier Access route like Mulan.
Disney’s plans come just after Warner Bros made the announcement that its sequel Wonder Woman 1984 will not wait out the pandemic, but rather will premiere simultaneously on the HBO Max streaming site along with theaters on Christmas Day. Putting a sequel to a smash hit DC title is reflective of a disruptive moment. Sources said that Disney will likely lean heavily into series generated from the Marvel, Lucasfilm, and other silos, but at this point, it is keeping some of its plum titles for release when the theatrical market recovers. The Marvel film Black Widow with Scarlett Johansson is not being contemplated for a Disney+ release according to insiders.