Disney surprised much of Hollywood Monday afternoon when it announced a massive corporate restructuring effort that's set to unify all facets of its entertainment business under one roof. As Disney chief Bob Chapek suggested, it's all in an effort to place an increased focus on the company's streaming platforms as uncertainty continues to spread throughout the theater industry in a post-COVID world.
With such an increased focus on streaming, we've got to ask the question — is this a move that will see movies from the Mouse's two largest properties go to Disney+ as originals? Mind you, we're not talking about removing existing theatrical releases and switching them to streaming, we're talking about movies developed by Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm for the express purpose of use on Disney+.
It's been confirmed some time ago but studios would be developing shows and we've seen that in the likes of The Mandalorian and WandaVision. But we've yet to get any confirmation either outfit would dedicate Disney+ Originals in a movie format with a shorter form of storytelling.
Perhaps this restructuring is what will allow both studios to produce smaller-budget films that have a 90-minute to two-hour runtime for the service. While true blockbusters and tentpole features would still be reserved for theaters, should they eventually reopen, smaller feature films could head straight to the service in a move that'd help beef up the Marvel and Star Wars universes even further.
Maybe on the Marvel side, these features could be reserved for those characters Kevin Feige and company have always wanted to include and something but they have never been able to find a slot. It would be a chance for them to use it and with a smaller budget, it'd be something less risky to usher straight to Disney+.
The flipside is that Disney+ will be reserved strictly for shows and longer-form storytelling from both outfits as features remain strictly in theaters, although Chapek's comments seem to suggest other Disney-owned studios will ramp up content either way.
“Given the incredible success of Disney+ and our plans to accelerate our direct-to-consumer business, we are strategically positioning our Company to more effectively support our growth strategy and increase shareholder value,” Chapek said. “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it.”
The next thing up from either universe is The Mandalorian Season Two, due out October 30th.
What characters would you like to see in a two-hour (or less) Marvel or Star Wars movie on Disney+? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!