Disney Film Chief Alan Horn recently spoke with the Hollywood Reporter about Disney’s movie business and discussed the upcoming streaming platform, Disney+.
How does Disney’s push into streaming, with Disney+ coming this year, change your job?
The service will accommodate both film and television product, so each of the entities that is under my umbrella is charged with the challenge or responsibility of coming up with programming that can go directly to the service. I say to Sean Bailey, “I have good news. You can now make a McFarland, U.S.A.again.” That was an example of a wonderful movie that lost money. But this is the perfect vehicle for that kind of movie. Kathy Kennedy and Lucasfilm came up with the idea — it wasn’t mine — of an episodic Star Wars series called The Mandalorian, done by Jon Favreau. And the people at Disney Animation and Pixar are saying, “What can we do?” Everyone wears an additional hat now. Bob has said the service is now his No. 1 priority. Netflix and companies like Amazon represent the great disruption in our business and a seismic shift in consumer offerings and viewing patterns. The interesting thing, which is not resolved yet, is how big is the consumer appetite for these incremental services? I like our chances.
How many movies will the various labels make each year for the service?
The quality of the idea and the piece itself will drive whether we can make it or not. Sean may have three or four a year that he can contribute, and Marvel has a few things — we’re doing [a series] with Tom Hiddleston playing the Loki character.
My Take: During the interview, he talks briefly about how they can’t release movies like Bohemian Rhapsody under the Disney banner due to it featuring non-family friendly content like smoking and they can’t directly do any “actionable direction” with Fox until the deal is finalised. One key aspect of this interview is how Disney want to create different, lower budget movies for Disney+, that wouldn’t work as well at the box office.
Are you excited for Disney+