Disney’s streaming service is (not) called “Disney Play”

In Variety’s cover story on Hollywood, Netflix and the other direct-to-consumer platforms being developed, Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals that the company’s streaming service will be called “Disney Play.” THR has since gone back and changed the quote to be “a Disney play” – so it’s likely not the service’s name after all. Back to Disneyflix!

Iger says the service is the company’s “biggest priority” for 2019, and the article explores the costs, stakes and other business concerns for not just Disney, but all the other companies in the game.

One estimate says Disney would need 40 million subscribers to break even if they went with a price of $6 a month. (No pricing has been officially announced yet, but Iger has previously said that the Disney service will be cheaper than Netflix, which runs $8-14.)

The Disney service, expected to launch in 2019, will be home to a new chunk of The Clone Wars and at least one brand-new live-action Star Wars show from Jon Favreau. Older episodes of TCW (currently on Netflix) are probably a good bet, and I have no doubt that Rebels (which has never streamed outside the Disney ecosystem) and the upcoming Resistance will be found there as well. One thing the new service won’t have is the older Star Wars films – and it might only get new ones like Episode IX for a limited time (ala Rogue One and The Last Jedi on Netflix), as there’s a broadcast deal with Turner that runs through 2024.

Live-action Star Wars series has a $100M budget, 10 episodes

The New York Times takes a look at Disney’s upcoming streaming service and executive Ricky Strauss, who has oversight of the programming. But for our immediate purposes, there is one new nugget here: Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars series has a rough budget of “$100 million for 10 episodes.”

“‘Star Wars’ is a big world, and Disney’s new streaming service affords a wonderful opportunity to tell stories that stretch out over multiple chapters,” Mr. Favreau said in an email. He added of Mr. Strauss: “Marketing is about telling a story, and his background in that area allows us to collaborate and create new content.”

Information on the Favreau series is thin on the ground, but we do know he’s writing the whole season, it will feature brand-new characters, and it’s set three years after Return of the Jedi.

$10M an episode is roughly equivalent to the episode budget for past episodes of Game of Thrones. The final season of that show is now up to $15M an episode, per Variety last year. High-end TV episodes generally come out to about $5 million-$7 million an hour. The $10M price tag also puts this in the range of The Crown, which is one of Netflix’s most expensive shows.

We also get a timeline for when Disney’s new movies will stop rolling out to Netflix: March’s Captain Marvel will be the first to go to the new service, which means we can expect Solo on Netflix.

Star Wars and Marvel headed to Disney’s streaming service after all

After a brief period where it was unclear, it looks like Star Wars and Marvel will be going to Disney’s streaming service after all. Presumably this won’t apply to Marvel’s series that were co-produced with Netflix before Disney decided to create their own service, but future projects will likely debut there.

Disney’s streaming service is expected to debut in 2019. New releases through 2018 (which include The Last Jedi and the upcoming Han Solo standalone) will probably still debut on Netflix due to Disney’s shortened contract.

It’s time for Disney’s new-release deal with Netflix to end (apparently)

Disney is ending their deal with Netflix – the same one that put Rogue One on the streaming service last monthin order to launch their own streaming service in 2019.

The deal will end with the 2019 releases, so December 2017’s The Last Jedi and 2018’s Han Solo spinoff may still appear on Netflix. Still, this means our long wait for the rest of Star Wars is probably in vain. (And yes, those of you not in the U.S. may see Star Wars leave your Netflixes as well – assuming the Disney service goes international.)

I find this all a bit perplexing (except for the ESPN bit, because sports are their own thing.) Hardcore Disney fans may pay for a Disney-only streaming service, but everyone else? As a consumer, I’d rather not. \

UPDATE: Iger told reporters that the status of Marvel and Star Wars in this deal hasn’t been determined yet, and they may still license out both franchises. Marvel notably already has produced several series with Netflix, cumulating in the upcoming The Defenders. Those shows will stay on Netflix, Iger told CNBC.

The Clone Wars to leave Netflix streaming next month?

If you’ve been meaning to watch (or rewatch) The Clone Wars cartoon on Netflix, looks like it’s time to stop procrastinating. Per one eagle-eyed fan, the series will only be streaming on the service through March 3. The good news is, as of this post, you have just under a month to watch all 121 episodes.

The series has been streaming since March 7, 2014, when Netflix debuted the show’s final season. It’s been the only official Star Wars content on the streaming service in the U.S. (Rogue One – at least – will be coming later this year, under Disney’s current deal.)

Blu-rays of the show are still fairly easy to get hold of – including a 2013 box set of the first 5 seasons. But I’ve seen some speculation (nothing solid) that this could mean a new box set is coming. After all, we do have that 40th anniversary coming up…

UPDATE: Looks like The Clone Wars is staying put… For now.

Disney movies are coming to Netflix in September (but not The Force Awakens)

jungle-book-2016

Netflix announced today that come September, they will be “the exclusive U.S. pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.” The date is new, but the deal itself is old news, as is one key fact: The Force Awakens is the last film under Disney’s former deal with Starz, which means it’ll first run on the traditional pay cable channel in the U.S.

Unless you’re in Canada, Rogue One will be the first Star Wars to have first-run on Netflix, alongside Disney’s other 2016 releases, like The Jungle Book (above,) Zootopia, and Captain America: Civil War.