As the third trailer for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens released last week so to did the first tickets for the film available for pre-order, an event that set viewing records while simultaneously breaking the websites of most theater chains and major movie ticket retailers.
Fans want to know when and where they can watch Star Wars 7 and they want to know now. With that in mind there are already headlines being made on the in-home release plans of the film, specifically relating to the Netflix streaming service.
Even though Star Wars 7 comes out at the tail end of 2015, the film will be available on Netflix in 2016… but only in Canada. At least for now. Variety reports that Canada is the only region Netflix has been able to secure The Force Awakens rights and it all has to do with timing of contracts. At the moment and until the end of 2015 in the U.S., Starz has the exclusive with Disney so Netflix’s partnership with Disney in the U.S. will not begin until next year. What that means is because Star Wars 7 releases in December 2015, Starz is the pay-TV channel for the film in the U.S.. In Canada however, the Disney-Netflix agreement began in 2015, hence the force is strongest in that country.
Canada may not be able to buy some Marvel home video releases but we're the only country get Star Wars 7 on Netflix next year :)— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) October 24, 2015
Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos tells Variety that Star Wars 7 on Netflix in most countries might be a long ways away but there are talks for the other Star Wars films which could eventually make their way to the platform:
“It’s up to Disney how they want to manage access to those assets before, during or after the release of ‘Star Wars VII.’ So it’s certainly an ongoing discussion.”
Disney and Netflix are strong partners having signed deals for a large set of Marvel TV programming, headlined by their most popular original show Daredevil, and earlier this year reports indicated they may have similarly partnered for several live-action Star Wars TV series. Nothing official has come out on that front but Netflix is the home to Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie and six-season TV series.
The film is directed by J.J. Abrams and stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew and Max Von Sydow. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan & J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.