Disney’s new streaming service could soon feature original shows and films from the UK, its head of content has confirmed.
Disney+, which launched in the UK and Ireland on Tuesday, is home to more than 500 films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic.
It also boasts 26 exclusive original movies and series, including Star Wars spin-off The Mandarlorian, and a huge archive of more than 350 TV shows including some 600 episodes of The Simpsons.
The Disney+ platform first launched in the US in November 2019 and is seen as the latest challenger to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+.
Ricky Strauss, president of Disney+ content and marketing, told the PA news agency: “I think the one thing that we are going to be doing in Europe over time is creating original content for the markets, as we see fit and as the audience demands.
“So in the US a lot of our originals plan is a global plan, so anything that we create coming out of the US is going to be on the service everywhere in the world that we’ve launched but there might be shows or films that could come from some of the international territories that will be highlighted in those markets and then may be also available in other markets, depending on the content.
“So what I see is a possibility and an opportunity in Europe is that idea for some original content, partnering with production companies.”
Asked about specific UK original content, he said: “Yes, possibly.
“We have a number of projects in development in some of the markets in Europe including the UK, both in animation and live action, but we just haven’t announced them yet, it’s still early days.”
Mr Strauss said he is also hopeful that the Marvel original shows, which include The Falcon And The Winter Soldier, Loki and WandaVision, and which have had production suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak, will still launch as planned in the autumn.
He said: “Those are all still programmed for the fall of ’20, so hopefully, depending on what happens in the state of our world, when we are able to get back into production, we are hoping to launch those shows in the fall.”
Mr Strauss also discussed the possibility of further live-action or photo-realistic re-tellings of classic animations, after the theatrical success of new versions of The Lion King and and Beauty And The Beast and the streaming service launched with a new version of The Lady And The Tramp.
He said: “For sure, we are developing some ideas and it’s the same team.
“The theatrical live action group that made the movie The Lion King or Beauty And The Beast, or Dumbo or Jungle Book, that same group is developing material for us so it’s just a question of what we all feels makes more sense as a theatrical event and what might make sense exclusively for Disney+.
“But one thing to remember is all the theatrical movies ends up on Disney+ anyway so all the movies that are released theatrically, they all end up on Disney+ and that goes for any original Disney Channel programming at well.”
– Disney+ is available now and costs £5.99 for a monthly subscription, or £59.99 to sign up for a year.