Disney won't make big-budget movies like 'Star Wars' for its Netflix competitor

LucasFilms‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’
  • Disney won’t make big-budget original movies exclusively for its upcoming streaming service, Disney+, Bob Iger told Barron’s on Friday.
  • Iger said that movies that exceed budgets of $US100 million will be made for the big screen and eventually make their way to Disney+, which will launch later this year.
  • That means a “Star Wars” movie won’t be made for Disney+, Iger said.
  • Original movies being developed for the service include a live-action “Lady and the Tramp” remake and a comedy called “Noelle” starring Anna Kendrick.

Don’t expect Disney’s upcoming Netflix competitor, Disney+, to include original movies with enormous budgets made exclusively for the service. Those will be saved for the theatres (but eventually make their way to Disney+), according to Disney CEO Bob Iger.

In an interview with Barron’s, Iger said that original movies exceeding budgets of $US100 million won’t be made for the streaming service, which is expected to arrive late this year. Movies like a live-action “Lady and the Tramp” remake will be made exclusively for Disney+, which apparently won’t require an extravagant budget.

READ MORE: Disney revealed new details about its Netflix competitor, Disney+, including ‘Star Wars’ and Marvel TV shows

“Our studio makes between eight and 10 movies a year, and they’re big budget, hopefully big box-office films, that really belong, we believe, on the big screen,” Iger told Barron’s. “We’re not looking to take one of those and put it on this platform. When we made the announcement, we said we’re going to make original movies for the platform. A number of ideas were pitched. Other than one, which was being contemplated for the big screen but wasn’t a big movie, none of them were in development as big-screen movies. One of them that we’re making for the platform is a remake of Lady and the Tramp. There was not one discussion about whether we should make that for the big screen. Everybody said this is a great story, would love to make it again, let’s make it for what we call ‘the service’ internally.”

That means that new “Star Wars” movies will be made for the big screen, as opposed to exclusively for Disney+. Disney is, however, developing “Star Wars” live-action shows such as “The Mandalorian” and a “Rogue One” prequel. A Marvel series starring Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is also in development.

“Almost every movie the studio makes is a $US100 million-plus movie, and we’re not looking to make movies at that level for the service,” Iger continued. “We’re looking to invest significantly in television series on a per-episode business, and we’re looking to make movies that are higher budget, but nothing like that. We wouldn’t make a ‘Star Wars’ movie for this platform. When everybody goes out on the weekend and you have a movie that opens up to $US200 million, there’s a buzz that creates that enhances value. We like that. And eventually the movies we’re making are going to [end up on] the service.”

Other movies in development for Disney+ include “Noelle,” a fantasy comedy starring Anna Kendrick; “Togo,” a historical movie about sled dogs starring Willem Dafoe; and “3 Men and a Baby” and “Sword and the Stone” remakes, according to Deadline.

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