Taking to the stars and playing in a galaxy far far away is a pricey affair on the big screen and it won’t be any different once Star Wars makes the live-action jump to smaller screens.
In a story featuring Disney’s Ricky Strauss, the man given the power behind the studio’s upcoming streaming platform charged with developing a “strategic content vision,” The New York Time reported that the first season of Jon Favreau’s in development live-action Star Wars series will cost $100 million dollars, spread across ten episodes. That’s still less than the cost of developing and marketing any of the features films in the franchise, but it still is a hefty amount of money for a television series.
That sort of dough rivals the amount that HBO spends now for Game of Thrones, an amount that took them several seasons to be willing to shell out as they watched the show’s growth. Star Wars is a far easier sell for a studio like Disney to give Favreau whatever amount he needs to create because so far since picking up the franchise from George Lucas in 2012 for $4 billion, Disney has basically been just printing out money with all the billions made back.
It’s also the kind of money needed to put up content that can pretty much instantly try to go head to head with the likes of Netflix and juggernauts like Stranger Things, as Disney has to work hard to quickly establish themselves in the ever-growing streaming platform arena. No longer can any streaming platform get by on just presenting a library of older content from themselves or another studio, now it’s all about the original fresh new content.
In just the next year both Warner Bros. and Disney will launch their own platform that will go up against other newer platforms like CBS All Access and the veterans like Hulu (which Disney will own a majority stake in after the Fox deal), Amazon, and Netflix.
“‘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,” Favreau told NYT. Not much is known about Favreau’s series other than it will reside in the mostly unexplored gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens, taking place a few years after the conclusion of that original trilogy.
Currently, there is no pricing plan, release date or even name attached to the new Disney platform but its clear that Lucasfilm’s Star Wars is going to play a large part in the content, alongside stuff from Marvel & Pixar & Disney itself, with the hefty price tag attached to the Favreau show along with the news that Star Wars: The Clone Wars will get a proper conclusion season that will air exclusively on the platform. That’s why there was the recent report of Disney trying to convince Turner Broadcasting to allow them to purchase back the Cable/TV rights to the Star Wars films so that they can begin airing those on the platform.