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Disney D23 expo: ‘Indiana Jones 5,' 'Thunderbolts' casting & more

·Senior Reporter
·4 min read

What's old is new again at Disney (DIS).

During Saturday's Lucasfilm, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox presentation at D23 Expo, Disney unveiled key castings, content news, and first-look trailers at the anticipated fan convention in Anaheim, California.

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy introduced the first-ever teaser trailer for the untitled "Indiana Jones" revival, with 80-year-old Harrison Ford reprising his role.

Ford, alongside costar Phoebe Waller-Bridge, surprised fans onstage following the trailer's conclusion. Audience members roared as an emotional Ford held back tears.

"'Indiana Jones' movies are about mystery and adventure, but they're also about heart," Ford told the crowd, insinuating it will likely be his last performance as the title character.

"This is it. I will not fall down to you again," he joked.

The movie will serve as the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones franchise and is set to debut on June 30, 2023.

Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge at Disney's D23 Expo
Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge at Disney's D23 Expo

Lucasfilm also touted upcoming debuts of several Disney+ original shows, including the Warwick Davis-led "Willow" and Star Wars series "Skeleton Crew" and "Andor."

The studio also showcased a new trailer for season 3 of its widely popular series "The Mandalorian."

Kennedy praised Disney+ and the opportunity that the streaming service has provided when it comes to creating new content — something the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has certainly leaned on as well.

Marvel packs on the star power

Marvel President Kevin Feige revealed the much-anticipated cast for the upcoming film "Thunderbolts."

The movie, set to begin filming next year, revolves around the MCU's antihero team and will conclude the studio's Phase 5 release plans. A box office debut is currently slated for July 2024.

The A-list cast includes Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier), David Harbour as Red Guardian, Julia Louis-Dreyfus as La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine, Wyatt Russell as John Walker (U.S. Agent), Olga Kurylenko as Taskmaster and Hannah John-Kamen as Ghost.

"Thunderbolts" cast revealed at Disney's D23 Expo
"Thunderbolts" cast revealed at Disney's D23 Expo

In addition to releasing sneak peeks of soon-to-be blockbusters "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," and "The Marvels," the studio also teased season 2 of "Loki," which adds Marvel newcomer Owen Wilson to the cast.

Feige described "Loki" as one of "the biggest surprises" for the Disney+ platform, which will host a slew of upcoming series over the next several years, including "Echo," "Daredevil: Born Again," "Secret Invasion," "Armor Wars," "Ironheart," and more.

In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Chapek doubled down on the future of Disney+, noting he fully believes the streamer has the potential to launch lucrative franchises, citing the success of "Encanto."

Chapek added that the company will not be pumping the breaks on the content side either, explaining, "I would say we dramatically underestimated the hungry beast [that is Disney+] and how much content it needed to be fed."

That content push will be especially vital today as streaming giants battle a more fickle consumer.

According to data from Antenna cited by The Wall Street Journal, about 19% of subscribers to premium services canceled three or more subscriptions in the two years leading up to June 2022, compared to just 6% in the two years leading up to June 2020.

This increased churn, coupled with stalling growth in domestic markets, contributed to big losses in recent quarters with Netflix shedding 1 million subscribers in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Peacock (CMCSA) subscriptions remained flat.

Conversely, Disney+ subscriber numbers exceeded expectations, with 14.4 million net additions in Q3 versus the estimated 10 million. However, Disney lowered its 2024 subscriber guidance to 215 million to 245 million — down from 230 million to 260 million.

The company revealed it will raise the price of its current Disney+ ad-free streaming plan by 38% to $10.99 a month. That's a $3 increase from the current $7.99 a month. Its upcoming ad-supported tier will launch in the U.S. on December 8 for $7.99 a month.

Alexandra is a Senior Entertainment and Food Reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193 and email her at alexandra.canal@yahoofinance.com

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