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Report: Jon Favreau’s Disney streaming Star Wars show to cost $10 million per episode

Contributed by
Aug 6, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story may have been the most expensive Star Wars film ever made, a fact that glares even more brightly in light of the box office’s tepid response. But Solo’s underperformance in theaters evidently doesn’t mean the production budgets for Disney’s future Star Wars projects, whether on the big or small screen, are all gonna be any thinner. 

In a far-ranging story featuring Ricky Strauss, Disney’s go-to programming boss for its forthcoming streaming service, The New York Times revealed that Jon Favreau’s live action Star Wars series is going to carry a bounty that would probably make Jabba the Hut blush.

The first season of the still-untitled series from the Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Jungle Book director reportedly will cost an estimated $100 million, spread over a 10-episode run, according to NYT

Even though spending $10 million for an hour of Star Wars pales in comparison to the $250 million it takes to make and market a full-length movie like The Force Awakens, it’s still a Game of Thrones-worthy amount of TV money. And unlike GoT, which took HBO six seasons to finally justify such a spaced-out price tag, it’s money Disney’s banking toward its TV version of Star Wars right out of the gate. 

It's the kind of commitment that shows Disney’s serious about equipping Favreau with whatever’s needed to help create a subscription-driving tentpole experience for a platform aimed squarely at Netflix’s market share (Netflix, for comparison, spent a reported $8 million on the nine episodes that make up Stranger Things’ second season.)

Favreau told NYT he’s excited to explore the Star Wars universe at an episodic pace, saying George Lucas’ galaxy is “a big world, and Disney’s new streaming service affords a wonderful opportunity to tell stories that stretch out over multiple chapters.” Little about the new series’ plot is known, but Favreau told Nerdist earlier this year that it will unfold only a few years after the events of Return of the Jedi.

Disney’s streaming service still doesn’t have a name, a pricing plan, or a release date, but Star Wars figures to play a major role in attracting an audience (even as Disney waits out WarnerMedia/Turner Broadcasting’s rights to the original Skywalker movies, which doesn’t expire until 2024). In addition to Favreau’s live action project, Disney also is planning an animated revival of The Clone Wars, last seen way back in 2013 on Cartoon Network.