Ever since its launch, Disney+ has thrived within the science fiction genre with the service offering two of the biggest sci-fi franchises ever in Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but today I want to look at some other sci-fi franchises that I feel Disney+ could expand upon.
The Orville Could Be Disney’s Answer To Star Trek:
Disney+ has a large slate of sci-fi franchises, and Seth Macfarlene’s sci-fi comedy-drama series “The Orville” is one of the franchises that could rapidly expand with spinoffs and a continuation. “The Orville” follows Captain Ed Mercer (Macfarlane) and his crew on the SS Orville as they explore space, as well as the galactic conflict between the Union and the Krill. “The Orville” was one of the first general entertainment series added to Disney+ in the US after season three aired on Hulu. “The Orville” is one of the best sci-fi series of the last decade, and Disney would be foolish not to continue this franchise, especially as they need more shows which aren’t tied to Marvel or Star Wars.
Alita Battle Angel Still Has Several Manga Volumes Yet To Adapt:
One of the last films released by 20th Century Fox before the Disney merger, the film “Alita Battle Angel” was based on the first two volumes of the “Battle Angel Alita” manga. which has a total of nine volumes in the original run as well as a follow-up manga series titled “The Last Order”. Whilst director Robert Rodriguez and producer James Cameron recently teased a sequel film, there is potential for Disney to adapt the entire “Alita” story as an anime alongside a live-action film franchise. Disney could also adapt spinoff stories from the “Alita Battle Angel” universe, such as “Ashen Vector” or “Alita Battle Angel Holy Night and Other Stories”.
Avatar Is Having A Resurgence:
Let’s look at another film that James Cameron was involved with. This time, however, he was the director instead of just producing. “Avatar The Way Of The Water” helped Disney take the biggest piece of the box office pie from 2022 when compared to their competitors. “Avatar” is a huge box office draw and is also a costly franchise, so any Disney+ show is either a decade or so away or would have to be animated. The “Avatar” films have collectively earned over $4 billion just from the first two movies, with there being three follow-up films in the works.
A Tron Series Could Introduce The Franchise To A New Audience:
Now let’s look at a more family-friendly sci-fi franchise, “Tron”. Now technically, there was a “Tron” series in development for Disney+, but it was scrapped during the concept phase. “Tron” is an awkward franchise. The first film was a success back in 1982, but the follow-up film “Tron Legacy” only turned a small profit. “Tron” did get an animated series on Disney XD called “Tron Uprising”, and there is supposedly a third film in development, however since it’s been a decade since “Tron Uprising” aired and thirteen years since “Tron Legacy” was released, plus a brand new Tron attraction is opening in Walt Disney World this spring. Disney would be smart to use Disney+ to see if there is still an audience for the “Tron” franchise.
Treasure Planet Bombed When It Released But Has Become A Fan Favourite:
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ take on the 1883 “Treasure Island” novel is arguably one of the more unique versions alongside the one with “The Muppets”. “Treasure Planet” was released in 2002 as Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 43rd feature animated film and the film was not a box office draw. In the era of CG animated films like “Monster’s Inc” and “Shrek”, “Treasure Planet” was a 2D hand-drawn film with CG elements. “Treasure Planet” could benefit from having a straight-to-streaming follow-up series, especially as Walt Disney Animation Studios has shown numerous times now that their animated sci-fi films don’t win big at the box office, (Hello “Strange World”).
John Carter Missed The Mark But Could Make A Massive Comeback:
Back in 2012, Disney released their adaption of “John Carter”, and the film landed with a not-so-gratuitous thud. “John Carter” was one of the most expensive movies ever made and was an obvious box office bomb. If Disney wants to take another crack at the “John Carter” franchise, then logically, the best place for them to do such a series would be as a Disney+ series at the same quality level as “The Mandalorian”.
Zenon Could Be Revived For A New Generation:
Back in the late 90s, Disney released the Disney Channel Original Movie “Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century” and, over the coming years, released two sequels for the film, “Zenon: The Sequel” and “Zenon: Z3”. To me, Zenon is a dormant franchise that is primed for a reboot as a Disney+ original film or series, especially as Disney is mining its vast IP portfolio for more films and series to keep people paying for Disney+.
Planet Of The Apes Would Benefit From A Big Budget TV Series:
Let’s look at another major franchise and one that predates all the other franchises (film-wise) and why it could be Disney’s next golden goose when it comes to sci-fi television. “Planet Of The Apes” released its first film in 1968 and has at the time of writing five original films, a 2001 reboot, and a rebooted trilogy from the 2010s, which has a fourth film in development as well as a made-for-TV cartoon from 1974. “Planet Of The Apes” is a well-known franchise and could benefit from a prequel television series that dives into the history of the experiment which leads to “Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes” and shows something like a smaller chimpanzee revolution which fails or showcasing other drugs that were tested on the apes.
Sci-fi has been a growing genre within entertainment for decades, many will argue with the success of shows based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars that Disney+ doesn’t need another major sci-fi series, but I’d argue otherwise. Variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to sci-fi on Disney+, they could easily offer a larger array of shows based on their own IP than just their two major sci-fi franchises. Personally, of any of these, I feel like series based on “Avatar” and “Planet Of The Apes” are the most likely of any of the ideas on this list, but I feel all of the franchises on this list have a possibility of getting made if there is a large enough demand.
What Do You Think? Should Disney Add To These Sci-fi Franchises?
Ethan is an autistic, type one diabetic, Disney fan who grew up with properties like Iron Man, The Lion King, Aladdin and Toy Story. Ethan wants to someday get his own books/films/TV shows made to inspire those with disabilities to be themselves, but for now, Ethan covers his opinions on Disney, their content and how Disney+ can improve.