Disney+ starts in a week and with it comes the first ever live-action Star Wars series in the form of The Mandalorian. However, future proposed projects from Lucasfilm (or anyone else) are not guaranteed a home on Disney+ and must go before a programming team to be green-lit.
Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm might end up making millions for The Walt Disney Company each year but even then, their content isn’t guaranteed to be a go at the House of Mouse’s latest product offering. Over the past 16 months or so, the Disney+ content team has been hard at work ordering original content so that when the direct-to-consumer offering launches next week, it has a group of fresh offerings for excited customers. That’s the same team the likes Kevin Feige and Kathleen Kennedy have to rub elbows with when pitching new ideas for their respective studios.
While some might expect new offerings rooted in Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe might automatically get a certain number of spots per year on the service, each project still has to be run by, and subsequently has to receive a stamp of approval, from that programming team, led by Disney+ president of content and marketing Ricky Strauss and SVP of content Agnes Chu.
“A dedicated Disney+ programming team decides what shows and movies are greenlit for Disney+,” a Disney+ spokesperson tells ComicBook.com. “But eventually, for the most part, everything that falls under the Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic brands will stream on the Disney+ service.”
Prior to being named the content and marketing head at Disney+, Strauss served as the marketing boss for Walt Disney Studios, a role that was soon filled by Twitter fan-favorite Asad Ayaz. Chu, on the other hand, joins Disney’s SVOD platform after serving as a Story and Franchise Development exec at Walt Disney Imagineering.
In a previous piece by Vanity Fair, Chu admitted she and Strauss wanted to lean heavily into nostalgia when helping get Disney+ off the ground. “We’re leaning into the nostalgia. We’re leaning into the fact that many of our subscribers will be fans who love titles we have created in the past [and love] seeing new extensions or reimaginings or reboots of them,” she said.
Together, Strauss and Chu are tasked with taking on a content giant like Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer responsible for spending upwards of $15 billion on new content in 2019 alone. At launch, Disney+ will feature at least eight original films and television shows, including Lady and the Tramp, Encore!, Forky Asks A Question, Marvel’s Hero Project, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, The Imagineering Story, and The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
The first episode of The Mandalorian will air on Disney+ on November 12th in the USA. If you live in the US you can subscribe now. For everyone else, we are waiting patiently.