Streaming services have been a lifeline for countless people across the world during the pandemic. To those who love watching everything that streaming has to offer regarding your favourite actors and franchises, it is hard not to want access to everything.
Even before the pandemic, it was clear that streaming services would begin to take off in the war for streamed content in 2020.
Yet in Malta, we only really have access to Netflix and Amazon Prime – whilst juggernauts like Disney+ and HBO Max have not yet reached the island.
Though by no means does Netflix leave its users starved for content – and Amazon Prime has amazing hits like The Boys – Malta does still lack two huge streaming services that would offer more, highly popular content – including everything Star Wars, Marvel, DC-related, among others.
Disney+ has been rolled out in all Western and Central European countries and territories except for Andorra, Liechtenstein, San Marina, Gibraltar, The Vatican City and of course Malta. HBO Max is currently only available in the US.
Whilst both streaming services do plan for further expansions throughout 2021, there is currently nothing to indicate a likelihood for Malta to be getting either Disney+ or HBO Max any time soon – and this is a huge, missed opportunity.
Both streaming services have amazing content in their libraries already – and have so many more amazing series to view in the coming months.
Here’s just a taste of what one can expect from the two services in 2021, and what we hope will motivate you to help get these great services to Malta as well.
1. WandaVision (Disney+)
Release Date: 15th January 2021
The return of the MCU to our screens is definitely something that is hotly anticipated things of 2021. Yet, whilst we will be (hopefully) seeing the return of the MCU juggernaut on the big screen, Disney+ is getting a slew of fresh content involving some of the most popular MCU characters.
Kicking off these streaming shows is WandaVision, revolving around the Wanda Maximoff (aka Scarlet Witch) and Vision. The series will be taking the style of American sitcoms throughout the decades with a slight horror twist.
WandaVision will introduce both new themes that the MCU will play with (with the horror aspects) as well as offering a new mode of storytelling. In this new method, a Disney+ MCU series will lead into the next movie (or set of movies), further linking everything MCU-related.
2. The Suicide Squad (HBO Max)
Release Date: 6th August 2021
Originally, The Suicide Squad was to be launched on the big screen yet has become a victim of the pandemic since then. Warner Bros. made the startling announcement in December when it was stated that the entire slate of Warner Bros. movies for 2021 would be moved to stream on HBO Max and in cinemas (where open).
Directed by Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, The Suicide Squad will act as a soft reboot and sequel to 2016’s Suicide Squad. It will also bring back beloved characters such as Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn and Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller – whilst also introducing Idris Elba, Peter Capaldi and Sylvester Stallone in new roles.
Though the first film was not perfect, Gunn does offer the opportunity for this sequel to offer a fresh and fun spin to the Suicide Squad franchise – which has always been the place to experiment and have fun with DC’s villains and anti-heroes.
3. Loki (Disney+)
Release Date: May 2021
The whimsical God of Tricks and Mischief, Loki, has dazzled our screens and caught out hearts as the beloved villain-turned anti-hero.
Gaining his new Disney+ series, it will follow an alternate version of Loki (seen in Avengers: Endgame) as he travels through time causing all sorts of mayhem throughout history. Caught by the Time Variance Authority, Loki will follow a crime thriller style throughout the six-episode first season.
Already, Disney+ has also promised a second season that’s been greenlit even before Loki is officially out yet. If the trailer doesn’t make you confident about how good the series will be? Consider a greenlit second season pre-debut of the first season as a big thumbs up.
4. Dune (HBO Max)
Release Date: 1st October 2021
Another victim of the pandemic, sci-fi film Dune was originally meant to be released in November 2020. Yet, it has instead been pushed back to October 2021 as the entire slate of movies from Warner Bros. was shifted and moved around.
From the novel by Frank Herbert, Dune will follow Paul Atreidas (Timothée Chalamet) as his family become stewards of the dangerous desert planet of Arrakis. Arrakis is the only source of the universe’s most valuable substance: the spice.
Dune promises to bring a stellar, intergalactic adventure to our screens this autumn to finally give a justified and modern live-action spin to the beloved novel.
5. Raya and the Last Dragon
Release Date: 5th March 2021
It has been a long time since we last saw an original Disney Princess debut. Most recently, the Disney Princesses to grace our screens have been Anna, Elsa, and Moana. Each film they have featured in have become instant successes around the world.
Now, from the creators of both Frozen and Moana, comes Raya. Raya and the Last Dragon promises to deliver a different type of Disney Princess – one who is older, and more action-packed than what we have seen so far from such movies.
Despite Frozen 2 having action-packed scenes throughout the movie, the teaser trailer that has been released of the film highlights that Raya is first and foremost an excellent fighter that will fight to save her people from disappearing for good.
It will also introduce the first South-East Asian influences in a Disney animated movie with Raya’s world, Kumandra, noted to have a mixture of Indonesian, Cambodian, and Malaysian influences, among others.
6. Zack Snyder’s Justice League (HBO Max)
Release Date: March 2021
2017’s Justice League brought a large amount of controversy regarding changes that were made to the movie. So much so that a huge campaign ensued to have Zack Snyder’s original cut of the film to be released – aptly named ‘The Snyder Cut’.
The campaign finally has come to fruition with the announcement that Zack Snyder’s Justice League shall be an HBO Max series with countless hours of content released from both his original version of the film alongside extra scenes filmed.
If you have enjoyed Zack Snyder’s DCEU and the more dark, gritty pathway that the DC films have taken then you will not want to miss this series. More so when it could be the last time that we see some beloved actors playing these DC Heroes – namely Henry Cavill’s Superman and Ben Affleck’s Batman.
These six are just a taste of what HBO Max and Disney+ have to offer. Together, they both have hundreds of films and thousands of episodes of various series on their platforms – which will only increase in the coming months.
For those who are huge fans of either a specific actor or franchise on these streaming services, you are bound to want to ensure the success of both the streaming service and the project.
Yet, as things stand in Malta you can only really rely on pirating or a VPN to be able to watch any of these.
As we look ahead to 2021, perhaps it is time to push to get HBO Max and Disney+ to release in Malta – especially when the countries around us already have or will be getting them soon.
What streaming service do you want to see in Malta? Let us know!