The creators and show runners of HBO’s wildly successful Game of Thrones have been awarded a series of “Star Wars” films from Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS). There’s a lot to like about this if you are a DIS stock shareholder and it speaks to some very important strategic plans at Disney.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have done a masterful job bringing Game of Thrones to HBO. It’s easy to dismiss it all because they have enormous budgets, but the key to has been their adept storytelling.
For such a sprawling series, the duo have managed to keep the show on the rails, creating terrific and memorable characters, while also demonstrating their knack for spectacle and storylines with innumerable twists.
The show has been deft with characters developing and changing over time, teasing out our allegiances to certain people only to pull the rug out and reveal that maybe certain people aren’t so awful, after all.
Which is why they are perfect for Star Wars, which has had all of these elements in previous films. It also suggests that the films may get nudged more into mythological territory than the last two films have been, and perhaps develop more layered themes.
That’s not to say the recent entries were superficial, although some feel that was the case. I do feel they had both merits and problems. However, these two storytellers have shown the ability to take things deeper.
I actually have more concerns about the trilogy to be headed by Rian Johnson. He’s a superb director, but his scripts and film structures have historically been a mess. You can see that in The Last Jedi, which is all over the place.
This all speaks more, however, to what is developing as a long-term strategy for DIS stock revenues. Beyond the original 9 films, we have two separate new film series, as well as one-offs like Rogue One and Solo. There are also plans for TV shows.
It’s taken awhile for Disney to show DIS stock shareholders what direction it would go in with the property. I imagine they wanted to make certain audiences would respond to the new films.
It also seems like they are going to take a quasi-Marvel Studios approach here. Create multiple series and characters with the possibility of mixing and matching the way the Marvel comics did, and the way the films now are as well.
By first building a slate across a horizontal platform, they establish a foundation. Then each of these foundational films can be built vertically, with each tree branching on to connect with another and another. That results in decades of content, and along with it, plenty of revenue for DIS stock through many ancillary streams.
Bottom Line for DIS Stock
I expect we will see this strategy start to play out over time with Indiana Jones. The trick here is they have to retire Harrison Ford and go back in time and replace him with another actor. There are tons of great choices out there.
I think this will take time, though. The last film was horrible and the next one is having trouble coming together. Once they figure it out, it will be yet another franchise destined to be good news for DIS stock owners.
Lawrence Meyers is the CEO of PDL Capital, a specialty lender focusing on consumer finance and is the Manager of The Liberty Portfolio at www.thelibertyportfolio.com. He does not own any stock mentioned. He has 23 years’ experience in the stock market, and has written more than 2,000 articles on investing. Lawrence Meyers can be reached at TheLibertyPortfolio@gmail.com.