Disney+ is the hotly anticipated streaming service coming presumably some time this year. We already know there is a ton of exclusive content coming to the service, from Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm. We are getting TV shows such as The Mandalorian and a Cassian Andor series. But could we get Star Wars movies on the service?
Disney President Bob Iger was pretty clear on that, when he talked to Barrons.
“We wouldn’t make a Star Wars movie for this platform. When everybody goes out on the weekend and you have a movie that opens up to $200 million, there’s a buzz that creates that enhances value. We like that. And eventually the movies we’re making are going to [end up on] the service.”
So, they want to keep the big movies as theatrical releases, but they will wind up on the service eventually, they just won’t be made exclusively for the service.
Disney+ will have exclusive movies on the app – like a live action remake of Lady and The Tramp, but nothing with a huge budget – those are reserved for the theater.
“Our studio makes between eight and 10 movies a year, and they’re big budget, hopefully big box-office films, that really belong, we believe, on the big screen. We’re not looking to take one of those and put it on this platform. When we made the announcement, we said we’re going to make original movies for the platform. A number of ideas were pitched. Other than one, which was being contemplated for the big screen but wasn’t a big movie, none of them were in development as big-screen movies. One of them that we’re making for the platform is a remake of Lady and the Tramp. There was not one discussion about whether we should make that for the big screen. Everybody said this is a great story, would love to make it again, let’s make it for what we call ‘the service’ internally.”
I feel like this could change though. In a post-Skywalker Saga world, after the popularity of the app is determined, there might be a desire to make a low-budget Star Wars movie. The app will have exclusive movies, just not Star Wars ones. I believe Iger is sincere right now. But I also feel this has the potential to change in the future. It would open up a ton of possibilities for stories that maybe aren’t long enough to be a TV show, but aren’t big enough to spend 100 million dollars on it either.
This probably comes as bad news for those of you who were hoping that Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi movies weren’t really scrapped. There had been some hope that those films would still get made, but simply at a lower budget and for the network. Guess not! At least not for now.
But for now, you’ll have to go to the theater if you want to see the premiere of a Star Wars movie. If anything deserves to be seen on the big screen, it is the franchise that pushed the entire film industry to the next level.
Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters December 20.
The Mandalorian will debut exclusively on Disney + this year.