Disney is planning to launch an in-house streaming service by the end of 2019, and while we knew it was going to come with a catalogue of their film titles (sorry, Netflix), the studio isn’t just content to stream their most famous titles, they’re creating some buzzy new series to go with them.
During the company’s quarterly earnings call, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger announced that they’re developing a number of TV series to air on the streaming service, based on some major IP. The big mic drop? A live-action Star Wars series; something that has been in demand and in the works for decades but never quite came together before. Of course, Star Wars has a thriving foothold in animated serialized storytelling with Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but the live-action market has yet to be tapped all these years later. Until now.
No details are available on the series at this point, whether it will tie in with the Skywalker saga (which seems unlikely), or venture out to new corners of the galaxy. With the standalone Star Wars Stories exploring Skywalker-adjacent narratives like Rogue One and Solo, the serialized TV landscape seems like the perfect venue to take the franchise in bolder, unique directions. Serialized storytelling has become home to some of the most interesting ideas in cinema over the last decade and I’d love to see something fearless, like Legion for the Star Wars universe. Of course, Lucasfilm is pretty darn particular about that Star Wars brand, so that might not be in the cards. All we know for now is that a live-action TV series is finally in development.
Iger also announced that Disney is working on TV adaptations of Pixar’s Monsters Inc. and Disney Channel’s High School Musical, as well as an original series from Marvel. With Marvel airing accross networks and mediums right now on FOX (The Gifted), FX (Legion), ABC (Agents of SHIELD), Hulu (Runaways), and Netflix (The Defenders-verse), I’ll be interested to see how Disney approaches the material and what heroes they bring to the screen. Iger also mentioned the studio is considering licensing programming from third parties and that ABC Studios could end up producing for the new service. Pricing hasn’t been decided yet, but Iger noted they intended to make it less than Netflix, which currently charges $10.99 a month for their two-device streaming plan.
In other Star Wars news, Disney also announced a new trilogy of films created by The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson. You can get the full details on that here.