Disney has shuffled its movie release calendar around, once again. This has resulted in a couple of big movies, namely Cruella and Pixar's Luca, heading to Disney+. The move comes as theaters, slowly, come back to life around the world. Studios are adjusting in anticipation of a (hopefully) better summer at the box office. But Disney isn't abandoning streaming yet. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, they seem to be doubling down on it heading into the summer moviegoing season.
First up, Cruella, the upcoming origin story of Cruella De Vil, is now going to arrive both in theaters and on Disney+ the same day. Its release date is now set for Friday, May 28. The movie, which stars Oscar winner Emma Stone in the lead role, will be part of the Premier Access program. Like Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon, Disney+ subscribers will have the option to pay an additional $29.99 to watch Cruella. They will then be able to stream it for as long as they are subscribed to the service.
As for Luca, it will be going the same route as Pixar's Soul. The upcoming animated fantasy flick will arrive on Disney+ on June 18. It will not be part of the Premier Access program. Instead, subscribers will be able to watch the movie at no additional charge. Per a press release, Disney said that the release is intended as "a special offering to kick-off the summer season." The movie will still be released in certain international markets where Disney+ is not yet available.
Cruella is directed by Craig Gillespie of I, Tonya fame, working from a screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamarawhich. The movie is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution. It centers on a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief. Together, they manage to make a life for themselves on the streets of London. One day, Estella's flair for fashion catches the eye of fashion legend Baroness von Hellman (Emma Thompson). Their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.
Luca, which recently revealed its first teaser trailer, is directed by Academy Award nominee Enrico Casarosa. It is set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera. It is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. The boy shares these adventures with his newfound best friend. However, all of the fun is threatened by a deeply-held secret: they are sea monsters from another world just below the water's surface.
Disney also decided to release Marvel's Black Widow both in theaters and through Premier Access on Disney+. The long-awaited MCU flick will arrive in July. All of these movies will be available on the Disney+ streaming app.