It wasn’t especially surprising news when in November last year Disney announced it was planning to launch its own streaming service in 2019,, but it was a big deal. The studio has such a wealth of content that it made sense that it would want to monetize the streaming potential of properties such as Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and its classic animated catalogue. It was however less clear what content would be available on the service, and what would remain on platforms such as Netflix and Hulu.
A report in Deadline has now revealed some more details as to what subscribers can expect when it launches. The platform is currently untitled and the subscription cost is unknown, but it will launch initially in the US only, before a later expansion overseas. The service will remain family-friendly, which means no R-rated content; R-rated movies and shows will instead end up on Hulu, in which Disney holds a stake.
Superhero fans wondering what will happen to the raft of Marvel shows produced by Netflix may be relieved to learn that they are to stay put. It is unclear if this means that Netflix will continue to produce new Marvel shows, or whether the existing ones will simply remain on the service.
The broader aim is for Disney to start producing its own movie and TV content. Deadline states that the plan in the first year is to make “four to five original movies, and five TV series.” Each show will cost Disney $25 million-$35 million for 10 episodes, but the site notes that “exceptionally ambitious” projects could be budgeted as high as $100 million.
Obviously one these more expensive series could be the Star Wars TV show, which we know the studio is planning. Earlier this week, Disney boss Bob Iger revealed that it was in fact working on several shows in the franchise. “We are developing not just one, but a few Star Wars series specifically for the Disney direct to consumer app,” he said. “We’ve mentioned that and we are close to being able to reveal at least one of the entities that is developing that for us. Because the deal isn’t completely closed, we can’t be specific about that, [but] I think you’ll find the level of talent on the television front will be rather significant as well.”