Little has been said about what Disney plans to host on its upcoming SVOD platform, but The New York Times has revealed a few details which may point at the company’s direction and strategy for the service.
Anonymous sources told the publisher that with the upcoming acquisition of Fox assets, programming from National Geographic is likely to be offered on the service while the company is undecided on offering Fox family films such as Home Alone and Ice Age.
Meanwhile, adult animated titles such as The Simpsons are expected to remain on Hulu.
In addition, around nine movies are in production or advanced development, with budgets ranging from US$20 million to US$60 million for the service. This includes a remake of two musicals as live action films: Lady and the Tramp and Sword in the Stone.
Other titles include an Anna Kendrick-starring Christmas movie titled Noelle and period adventure Togo. There may also be a remake of 80s comedy Three Men and a Baby, alongside a new take on Don Quixote from writer and director Billy Ray.
The sources, said to be two producers that work with Disney, also said that most series will cost $25 million to $35 million. They will include episodic spinoffs of Disney franchises like High School Musical and Monsters Inc. The Muppets is also likely to be getting a new series.
Movies from Disney’s library as well as around 5,000 episodes of old Disney-branded television are also likely to anchor the service.
Marvel titles will appear on the service, as evidenced by the live action Star Wars series coming to the platform from Jon Favreau, but interestingly Disney said that it has “no current plans” to remove these types of titles from Netflix. This is despite the fact that it will be removing some content from Netflix.
These details very much fall in line with what Disney chief Bob Iger stated at Disney’s Q1 earning’s call.
“We think there’s some great opportunities for Nat Geo and some of the other Fox properties to be part of the Disney family direct-to-consumer proposition. But that largely is going to be anchored by Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars, so not dependent at all on the assets that we’re buying from Fox,” he said in May.
The publisher also states that Disney exec Ricky Strauss will be responsible for greenlighting new episodic series and developing the service’s “strategic content vision”.