A live-action “Star Wars” series coming to the platform from Jon Favreau, the director of films like “Iron Man” and “The Jungle Book,” is expected to cost roughly $100 million for 10 episodes. “‘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,” Mr. Favreau said in an email. He added of Mr. Strauss: “Marketing is about telling a story, and his background in that area allows us to collaborate and create new content.”
Original movies will include “Timmy Failure,” which has a $45 million budget and is based on the best-selling books about a comically self-confident boy detective. Tom McCarthy, the Oscar-winning “Spotlight” filmmaker, is directing the adaptation..
Mr. Strauss will need to court other top filmmakers, writers and stars to make content for the service — at a time when Apple, Amazon and Netflix are going after talent with wheelbarrows full of money.
“There’s a big, big opportunity for storytellers inside and outside of Disney to help us,” Mr. Strauss said when asked what he wanted to communicate to Hollywood’s creative community.
“I do believe that this is the future, which is one reason I wanted the job,” he added.
Now that Disney has secured approval from shareholders and the Department of Justice for its $71.3 billion purchase of 21st Century Fox assets, there is no project more important to Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, than the streaming service. Aimed at families (there will be no R-rated movies), the offering will join ESPN+, Disney’s new sports streaming app, and Hulu, which will come to Disney as part of the Fox deal and focus on older audiences.
“This as an extremely important, very, very significant strategic shift for us,” Mr. Iger said when he announced the Disney-branded streaming service last year.
The urgency has only grown.
The number of cord-cutters — adults who have canceled cable or satellite hookups and continue without it — will hit 33 million this year, a 32.8 percent increase from 2017, according to a new report by the research firm eMarketer. The annual increase in cord-cutters had been projected at 22 percent. Most of those people are subscribing to streaming services instead.