In its summer preview of what’s arriving on the service, Netflix dropped a pretty big hint about what’s coming in the fall. In September, Disney is throwing open the vaults in an unprecedented deal that gives Netflix access to the back catalogues of Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. So what does this mean for your queue?
The short answer is you’re likely to see recent hits from Disney on Netflix as well as Disney’s enormous back catalogue of kid-friendly features, and they’ll only be on Netflix. Disney has been exceptionally gung ho on Netflix since they signed a content deal in 2012. The most visible results of this have been Netflix’s hits with Marvel, but Netflix has also been streaming other content from Disney, from picking up the sixth and final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars to streaming some of its ’90s features like Hercules and Mulan. And now it appears they’ll be stepping it up.
So when Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit home video, they’ll likely be coming to Netflix first and staying there. Similarly, you can expect a lot of classics to appear: There have already been hints we’ll see the original Star Wars trilogy on Netflix, for example. That said, don’t expect everything to turn up; Indiana Jones is still under the control of Paramount, so he may not be joining Luke and Leia on Netflix.
The biggest question mark is how far this will go. Rumors have been circulating for years at this point that Disney and Netflix will be launching some sort of Star Wars live action series, something that, as Netflix orders more series from Marvel and as Disney ramps up its plans for Lucasfilm, seems like more and more of a no-brainer. But the Disney deal was likely expensive, so original series might need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis. Still, if an exclusive streaming deal pays off for both Disney and Netflix, don’t expect them to limit it to just what Disney has in the vaults.