Disney will let Netflix stream the much-awaited upcoming Star Wars installment — but only in Canada. The video streaming giant hasn’t been able to secure rights for The Force Awakens stateside and in Europe because of the timing of other contracts, according to Variety. In the US, premium cabler Starz will have the rights to the film as its partnership with Disney runs through the end of 2015.
Netflix Canada will be able to stream The Force Awakens because the content deal up North with Disney began at the start of 2015. A Netflix rep explained that the film will come to the streamer approximately eight months after it leaves theaters. Disney previously had agreements with pay TV’s Corus Entertainment and Bell Canada in the country, but those contracts ran out at the end of 2014.
Netflix US made a similar deal with the media giant, but unluckily for U.S. viewers, the agreement doesn’t go into effect until January 1, 2016 — just after the premire of the film on December 18.
While Star Wars VII isn’t likely to come to Netflix stateside in the near future, the other Star Wars films should be on the way thanks to a deal Netflix made for exclusive rights to all of Disney’s new films at the dawn of 2016, including the studio’s sprawling slate of Star Wars sequels.
The Star Wars series’ rights are, unsurprisingly, some of Disney’s most hotly-contested. The media conglomerate, which bought Lucasfilm in 2012, controls the rights to five out of the six films. (21st Century Fox still owns the rights to the original Star Wars from 1977.) Disney just revealed its own movie, TV show, book and music subscription service called DisneyLife coming to the UK next month — but it won’t include the Star Wars series.
Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18, 2015.
- After Obi-Wan Kenobi: The case for a Darth Vader Star Wars series
- What is Disney Plus: plans, price, and everything else you should know
- What’s next for Star Wars after Obi-Wan Kenobi?
- What’s new on Disney+ in July 2022
- How to buy LG’s Star Wars ultra-limited-edition C2 OLED TV (and how much it costs)