UPDATE 1-Netflix discussing keeping Disney’s Marvel, ‘Star Wars’ films

(Adds share movement, details on film agreement)

By Lisa Richwine

LOS ANGELES, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Netflix Inc is in
“active discussions” with Walt Disney Co about keeping
Marvel and “Star Wars” films after 2019, when new Disney and
Pixar movies will stop appearing on the streaming service, a
senior executive said late on Thursday.

Disney announced on Tuesday that it was pulling new Disney
and Pixar films from Netflix, starting with new releases in
2019. It will start putting the movies on a new Disney-branded
online service that year.

Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger told analysts the
company had not yet decided where it would distribute superhero
films from Marvel Studios and movies from “Star Wars” producer
Lucasfilm, which the company owns, at that time.

Netflix is still in discussions with Disney about retaining
rights to stream Marvel and Lucasfilm releases after 2019, Chief
Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Reuters.

Shares of Netflix were up 1.3 percent at $171.41 in
afternoon trading after falling 5 percent in the two days
following Disney’s announcement.

A Disney spokesman did not immediately respond to a request
for comment. Iger said on Tuesday that the Marvel and Lucasfilm
movies could go to Netflix or another streaming service after
2019, or Disney might retain the rights for itself.

Sarandos said he expected Disney’s service to be
“complementary” to Netflix, which carries other family-friendly
programming such as animated movies from “Despicable Me” creator
Illumination Entertainment and “Shrek” producer Dreamworks
Animation.

Disney’s plan to stream its content directly to consumers is
“a natural evolution” for traditional media companies that
Netflix expected, Sarandos said in an interview at an event to
celebrate Emmy nominations for his company’s drama, “The Crown.”

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“That’s why we got into the originals business five years
ago, anticipating it may be not as easy a conversation with
studios and networks” to license their content, he added.

Disney’s break from Netflix applies only to its film deal in
the United States, where the streaming service runs new Disney
movies shortly after they leave theaters.
(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Muralikumar
Anantharaman and Lisa Von Ahn)

Read the original article on Reuters. Copyright 2017. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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