Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Disney CFO: 'You Can Substitute the Word Marvel for LucasFilm' (Updated!)

Scroll down to bottom of article for update!

By: Dominic Jones

Disney CFO Jay Rasulo recently spoke at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, where he discussed the future of the Star Wars property.  When asked how Star Wars would be integrated into the Disney empire, Rasulo responded by saying, "You can substitute the word Marvel for LucasFilm," suggesting that the Star Wars franchise would follow the 'Marvel Model'.  He went on to say that Disney was going to "take this treasure trove of content (Star Wars) and deliver it through the Disney eco-system".

Personally, I'm not sure I fully understand what Mr. Rasulo means when he says "You can substitute the word Marvel for LucasFilm".  I have always found the prospect of using the 'Marvel Model' on Star Wars confusing.  To me, the Marvel model is a group of stand alone films that build towards the next major installment (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, etc.).  While that has been wildly successful for Marvel, I don't see how this translates to Star Wars.  Star Wars has always been a series of chapters of one story, rather than elements of a grander plot introduced across various movies culminating in a grand finale (i.e, the Marvel Model).  

With Episodes VII, VIII, and IX expected to be released every other year, with spin-off films in between, how exactly are they going to follow the Marvel Model?  Are the spin off films going to impact the sequel trilogy?  That would be cool, but there are Disney executives on record calling the spin-off films "origin stories" and there are strong rumors that suggest they're about characters we already know and love.  

It could be that Disney is looking way out to the horizon and making plans for films that come after the sequel trilogy.  If between sequel trilogies (meaning between episodes 7,8,9, and 10,11,12) they utilize the spin-off films to introduce a threat that will be the focus of the sequel sequel trilogy, then I say: Bring it on!  But until then, I would love some clarification on what is meant by Lucasfilm following the Marvel Model.

What do you think about Mr. Rasulo's comments about Star Wars following the Marvel model?  Are you excited?  Would you rather they went in a different direction?  Or are you like me and just a bit confused?  Let us know in the comments and/or on Facebook.

Source: The Wrap

UPDATE: ComicBook.com has an extended quote from Mr. Rasulo that goes more in depth what he means by "You can substitute the word Marvel for LucasFilm".  The full quote reads,

"You know obviously when we bought Marvel, and now I think everything I say about Marvel you can take a couple of years down the road and substitute the word Marvel for Lucasfilm,” said Rasulo. “But we really wanted to take this treasure trove of content and deliver it throughout the Disney ecosystem. That was our strategy. Buy this great content, use the existing ecosystem to deliver it all over the world in everything that we do. So of course we started with films.”

Rasulo added, “We wanted to build up to Avengers, have a big hit with Avengers, and then draft off of that and then start the same thing with other groups of characters. So that’s what we were doing on the studio side. You all know that that strategy has been incredibly successful. But then we started to look at television.”

Rasulo explained how they started first with own networks, developing content for both Disney XD and ABC. Then, he continued, “And we started to think more broadly, how can we continue to expand the value of this content in the ecosystem? And an original content deal with Netflix seemed incredibly consistent with their own strategy and very consistent with our strategy. We were ready to look outside of our own networks into a different form of distribution. So we did this deal with Netflix. I think it’s going to lead to great results. It’s a little bit like the Avengers strategy. It does origin series on four different characters who ultimately may well assemble."

It sounds a lot more like Disney will be approaching the marketing and distribution of Star Wars in way similar to what their doing with Marvel properties, rather than following the same storytelling methods (as I had speculated).  It sounds like they will be releasing Star Wars content not just in the theaters and on television, but they'll be exploring on-traditional means of releasing material.  This also seems to line up with the rumor of a Star Wars series heading to Netflix...

Source: ComicBook.com

This article includes the opinion and views of the writer, and not the entire Star Wars Underworld organization.


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