Disney CEO Discusses Marvel/Fox, Star Wars, Streaming and More

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The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a great interview with the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger. The discussion touched on quite a few things relevant to the audience here at Nerd Much?, including the integration of Fox’s Marvel characters into the MCU, future Star Wars films, and Disney’s upcoming streaming service.

The future of Disney will revolve greatly around their upcoming streaming platform. Iger stated that it’s important “to be incredibly innovative about how you bring that content to market.” He noted that “there isn’t a better example than Netflix.” And like Netflix, Disney’s platform will “be truly global in nature.”

Iger stated the new platform provides “a direct relationship with customers: the ability to provide more customized, personalized experiences; new ways to monetize; a proximity to a customer that doesn’t have intermediaries.” Disney’s CEO confirmed that the company is “weaning [itself] off licensing revenue from third parties. That kicks in, really, in 2019, when the movie studio output, which was licensed to Netflix, will cease in terms of new films.”

In discussing streaming platforms, Bob Iger says he’s impressed with the offerings of Netflix and Amazon. But he cockily continues by saying “none of them is either Disney or Marvel. Or Pixar. Or Star Wars or National Geographic or FX or Searchlight or Avatar — I could go on.” It’s clear he and the company are quite confident in the library they will be able to roll out within their streaming service.

The Hollywood Reporter then asked how Disney plans to incorporate characters like the X-Men and Deadpool in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Iger confirmed that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige would oversee everything, saying:

“I think it only makes sense. I want to be careful here because of what’s been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn’t be two Marvels.”

Specifically asked whether “Deadpool could become an Avenger”, Iger laughed it off saying “Kevin’s got a lot of ideas. I’m not suggesting that’s one of them. But who knows?”

The conversation then transitioned into Star Wars talk. Here, Iger takes the blame for the franchise’s recent slump, likely due to oversaturation:

“I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to make films. J.J. is busy making 9. We have creative entities, including Benioff and Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven’t been specific about. And we are just at the point where we’re going to start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.’s. But I think we’re going to be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.”

The entire interview was well done and worth the read. You can check it out in full here.

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