Disney plots Star Wars series for 'Netflix killer'

Both shows will be exclusive to the new streaming service Disney is preparing to launch, putting them in competition with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and others. Thankfully, according to CEO Bob Iger, fans won't need to break the bank to take part in the viewing experience.

Perhaps more importantly, Iger said Disney's planned streaming service would be "substantially" cheaper than Netflix. "That is in part reflective of the fact it'll have less volume".

While Iger declined to comment on the speculation on Thursday, analysts said a deal could help Disney expand its content library as it prepares to launch the streaming service.

The Walt Disney Co. has galactic plans for its Star Wars franchise, and those are coming with a big bill.

Disney's streaming service is scheduled to arrive in 2019.

News emerged this week that Disney had held talks about buying the entertainment wing of United States media rival 21 Century Fox. Disney is also planning to create original films, TV shows, short-form content and more for the service.

Sadly, what we don't yet know is whether or not this service will be offered to cord cutters or those with existing cable packages. For an idea of what this looks like, the Disney Now app features a "Disney Junior Only" mode.

Having also made a decision to pull Marvel and Lucasfilm movies off Netflix, the moves signal that Disney is not afraid to draw upon its vast well of intellectual property to lure in new subscribers.

During the call, Iger also revealed plans to develop TV spin-offs for Pixar classic Monsters Inc and High School Musical, as well as more shows within the Marvel Universe. For reference, the cost of a Netflix subscription now ranges from $8 to $14 a month. The just-ended fiscal year's movie slate, while strong, didn't quite stack up to the preceding year, in which Disney had mega-hits including "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", "Zootopia" and "Finding Dory".

Disney's movie studio was hurt by the underperformance of "Cars 3" and a write-off of almost $98 million on the animated movie "Gigantic", which was previously scheduled for 2020 but was cancelled. Netflix has five shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher) and the Defenders miniseries. I can't get specific with you yet, because we haven't determined it yet.

The service will launch in the US.

  • Kyle Peterson