Adult content – not that kind – is front and centre of Disney+’s new expansion ‘brand’, Star. It’s launching in the UK, Europe and other corners of the globe where Disney+ exists in the near future (although not the US, where Hulu already has that side of things covered).
So what to expect? Firstly, a new Star tile to pop up on your Disney+ homepage, from which you can access a promised ‘thousands’ of hours of films and TV series from ABC, FX, Freeform, Searchlight and the old 20th Century Fox (now going by 20th Century Studios).
Also, a steady stream of new (and old) content to land over the months ahead. In the pipeline are new series of What We Do in the Shadows and American Horror Story, as well as new shows like Love, Victor, a spinoff of much-loved queer teen flick Love, Simon, comic-book adaptation Y: The Last Man, and the small-screen Alien series from Fargo’s Noah Hawley.
Here’s everything you need to know about the newest streaming channel on the block:
When does it launch? It’s coming to the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Canada on February 23. In Eastern Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea, expect it to launch later this year. If you’re in Latin America, look out for something called ‘Star Plus’ in June 2021 which will include ESPN sports content too. If you’re in India, you’re well ahead of the curve: Hotstar has been running there since 2019.
What does it cost? If you already have Disney+, nothing in the short term. Disney+ subscriptions are going up on February 23 (in the UK, for instance, the monthly rate is increasing from £5.99 to £7.99 and the annual rate from £59 to £79), but existing subscribers will keep their current rate until August 23. In other words, if the launch of Star spurs you into subscribing, do it before the end of February and you’ll save a few bucks.
What’s showing? The full launch line-up has yet to be announced but the list of TV shows so far includes 24, The X-Files, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Prison Break, Black-ish and Atlanta. There’s some crossover with other streaming sites – for instance, Prison Break is on Netflix in multiple territories and you can find The X-Files on Amazon Prime in the UK, Canada and New Zealand and Foxtel in Australia – but expect that to last
What’s not showing? Unlike Hulu, Disney’s adult-focused streaming service in the US, Star won’t host films from other studios. And don’t necessarily expect a wealth of old Touchstone and 20th Century Fox movies either. Beyond the occasional Avatar and Home Alone, Disney+ isn’t exactly awash with Fox movies, and the studio hasn’t been falling over itself to share classic 20th Century Fox films either with either repertory cinemas or online. We do know that it will have all the Die Hard movies available on launch.
So how do I stop my kids learning how to say ‘Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker’? Don’t panic, because while Star will sit next to the other, more family-friend Disney+ stuff, it will have a PIN system and other parental controls. You will not have to worry about finding your six-year-old engrossed in Alien.
Star launches on Disney+ on Feb 23. Head here to subscribe to Disney+.
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