As many know, Disney is rolling out a new streaming service similar to Netflix that is making waves in the entertainment industry. Following that pattern, Disney has surprised Hollywood once again by assigning Ricky Strauss creative oversight of programming as President of Content and Marketing for Disney’s streaming service.
Rising through the ranks at Disney, Strauss now has the authority to develop the service’s strategic content vision and greenlight new TV shows and movies. Strauss, President of Marketing for Walt Disney Studios for the last 6 years, has a strong background in promotions with past advertising experience at TriStar Pictures and Columbia Pictures.
During his time at Disney, Strauss has helped develop films into box office smashes such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Black Panther, Beauty and the Beast, and Inside Out.
The surprise comes as a result of his past production history — which has also overseen box office misses like Go and Fair Game —especially since the streaming service is deemed a make-or-break plan to solve Disney’s television viewership problems.
Although most of Hollywood is shocked by the decision, Kevin Feige has endorsed Strauss as “hugely supportive of storytellers” and displaying “creative instincts and expertise.” Strauss will be responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in production and have to navigate original content in addition to Disney mainstays Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar.
For instance, Strauss will oversee the upcoming live-action Star Wars series directed by John Favreau. The streaming service-specific show will cost roughly $100 million for 10 episodes, raising the stakes for Strauss and the service’s performance. Other original content includes Timmy Failure, a best-selling book series-inspired boy detective movie. Directed by Oscar-winning Tom McCarthy, this film has a budget of $45 million.
So far, Strauss has recruited top directors and producers for the service’s original content at a time when Apple, Amazon and Netflix are stealing the best talent from traditional TV. However, he will also need to ensure the service’s programs appeal to a wide audience and position it as an entertainment leader in an increasingly crowded market.
Source/Image: New York Times