Disney is getting into the streaming game in a big way, and that platform just added another exclusive and Willem Dafoe to the roster.
Willem Dafoe has signed on to star in Togo, a new film that will be exclusive to Disney's upcoming streaming service. The film will be directed by Ericson Core (Invincible, Point Break) and written by Tom Flynn, with Kim Zubick producing. Jessica Virtue and Louie Provost are overseeing the project (via THR).
Togo revolves around a man named Leonhard Seppala and his dog Balto, who took part in what has been called the Great Race of Mercy. In 1925 dog-sled teams were used to transport diphtheria antitoxin serum to a town over 700 miles away to help quell an epidemic, and the conditions were extremely brutal. Seppala and Balto faced 30 degrees below zero temperatures and gale force winds throughout their journey, but managed to successfully deliver their precious cargo. Dafoe will be playing the role of Seppala.
This isn't the first time this story has been brought to life via film, as in 1995 Amblin Entertainment produced an animated film called Balto, though the film focused more on Balto obviously and not his owner. This film aims to focus on the relationship between the two and how their friendship grew over the course of their perilous journey.
Dafoe has been in a number of recent films, including Murder on the Orient Express, Death Note (as the voice of Ryuk), and What Happened to Monday, and will also star in the upcoming Aquaman film as Nuidis Vulko. He's also well known amongst comic fans for starring as Norman Osborn in Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man film.
As for the Disney streaming service, they have some practical goals in place for movies and TV. They plan to generate four to five original movies and five TV series to the service in the first year. On the television side, 10 episodes are expected to cost from $25 million to $35 million, but Disney seems open to more expensive series, which could be in the $100 million range for a 10 episode season.
Don't expect R-rated fare like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead to show up anytime soon though. Disney also revealed that the R-Rated projects will go to Hulu, while the Marvel titles like Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and the like will stay on Netflix.
Disney's new streaming service is certainly ambitious, and it will be interesting to watch it all fall into place as it readies for its Fall 2019 debut.