Put it this way: if Disney CEO Robert Iger was playing sabacc right now, he just pushed his stack all in with Jon Favreau’s new Star Wars live-action series, coming to Disney’s new streaming service next year, as the pot. His wager? $100 million.
We already knew that the flagship, live-action series for the fledgling streaming service would be helmed by Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and it now appears that Disney just handed him the keys to the castle; the yet-unnamed Star Wars serial show will have a reported $100 million budget for just ten episodes.
In terms of television production dollars, according to comicbookmovie.com, that equates to the sixth season budget allotted to HBO’s Game of Thrones. The fact that the heavily visual effects-laden Game of Thrones was more than well established by only its second season, yet still didn’t warrant that kind of bank roll until four seasons later, makes Favreau’s initial budget for this project staggeringly robust.
Jon Favreau worth the gable.
Disney is taking a big gamble here, seemingly hoping to follow in CBS’s footsteps; the network earned high praise, and subscription capital, thanks to its direct-to-streaming production of Star Trek: Discovery.
The gamble is a calculated one, however. There is no questioning Jon Favreau’s bankability; his 2008 smash hit Iron Man kicked off the multi-billion dollar cash cow that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If Favreau achieves even a fraction of the MCU’s success with the new Star Wars series, Disney’s investment will have been well made.
Of course, everything Disney has done with Star Wars (with perhaps the exception of Solo: A Star Wars Story), has been well calculated. Later this year Star Wars: The Clone Wars returns, the reported subject of which will be the Fall of Mandalore to the Empire. Speculation has turned to suggest that Jon Favreau’s series will pick up on Mandalore where Clone Wars leaves off.
If that’s the case, Disney can start recouping its $100 million investment by taking my subscription fees now.