Disney is gradually pulling together its plans for its new streaming service, and Marvel and Star Wars will unsurprisingly be part of the line-up.
There has been much discussion about how the House of Mouse will structure its new VOD push, as the Hollywood giant tries to muscle in on the kind of over-the-top territory that has been dominated by Netflix for several years. Now, as Netflix and Disney prepare to part ways, Netflix is stepping up its family-friendly original content, while Disney is consolidating its own brand and position.
The latter includes, of course, its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which will give it a whole heap of new IPs and franchises to attract subscribers and build out its library. There is no word yet on how Fox’s assets will fit in with the service, which launches in 2019, but with Fox also owning Hulu, Disney has now answered the question of what role Hulu will play: Deadline, which has been privy to some of Disney’s talks with creatives in Hollywood, reports that Hulu will be home to any R-rated content, which will leave the Disney platform to house content more in keeping with its brand.
That includes four to five original movies, plus five new TV series. The budget for the TV series will be between $25 million and $35 million for 10-episode runs, although Deadline says that more ambitious projects could go as high as $100 million per series. That is the bracket you can expect, perhaps, for Disney’s new Marvel live-action series, and its Star Wars-branded show. They will be joined by a High School Musical series and an animated Monsters, Inc. programme.
The movie slate, meanwhile, includes Don Quixote, penned by Billy Ray, Lady and the Tramp, The Paper Magician, Stargirl, directed by Julia Hart, and Togo, directed by Ericson Core, plus 3 Men and a Baby, Sword and the Stone, and Timmy Failure, with Spotlight director Tom McCarthy attached. Others already in post-production include Magic Camp and Noelle, directed by Mark Lawrence and starring Anna Kendrick.
The site is being steered by OTT programming chief Agnes Chu, who has worked on ABC’s digital platforms and was involved in the relaunch of the Star Wars franchise. Her team includes Sean Bailey, who is expected to be chief of live-action family films, Tendo Nagendo, Sam Dickerman and Louie Provost. The service will launch initially in the USA before expanding overseas.
And what of Marvel’s Netflix series? As Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has previously said, those shows will remain where they are.