Disney gave the green light today to a project that many longtime fans have spent years clamoring for: a live-action Star Wars television series. Information about the new programming is still trickling out, but, taken alongside Disney’s other big reveal — that we’ll be getting an all-new film trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson — it’s safe to say that today’s a good day to be a Star Wars fan.
Disney CEO Bob Iger dropped the first word of the company’s plan for the series in an earnings call earlier today.
As Disney ramps up its content strategy ahead of a launch for its all-new streaming service, a Star Wars tie-in (or three) was perhaps all but inevitable. What distinguishes this announcement is that — unlike animated series Star Wars: Rebels or Star Wars: The Clone Wars — the new, for-pay TV content will feature live action.
Die-hard fans may remember George Lucas’ announcement, way back in 2005, of a live-action series tentatively titled Star Wars: Underworld. The idea stayed alive just long enough to be tantalizing, burning through a succession of script rewrites and artists before Lucas shelved it in 2010. It’s too early to know how much of that idea — if any whatsoever — might make its way onto Disney’s new service.
It’s not clear yet whether each installment in Disney’s television Star Wars world will stand alone or unfold in serial fashion. Iger said the company plans “four to five original movies a year, in addition to the original TV series,” according to Variety, so perhaps we may be getting both.
Iger reportedly said the Disney service will be priced “substantially below” the current Netflix rate, since its introductory content offerings won’t be nearly as abundant.
In addition to the Star Wars series, Disney also has plans to launch live-action programming based on three of its other major properties: Marvel, Monsters, Inc., and High School Musical.
Disney already was expected to go its own way once its Netflix deal ends in 2019, paving a clear path for the popular Marvel content currently offered on Netflix to find a brand-new home on Disney's upcoming streaming service. What do you think, judging from today's news, will you be a subscriber?