Netflix Is Losing One Of Its Biggest Creatives To Disney

Ryan Murphy, creator of Monster and The Watcher for Netflix, is leaving for Disney.

By Sckylar Gibby-Brown | Updated

ryan murphy dahmer
Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story created by Ryan Murphy

Ryan Murphy, the renowned producer behind the viral Netflix show Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, has come to the end of his five-year, nine-figure deal with the streaming platform and is bidding the company adieu, according to Bloomberg. He is now set to make a new creative home at Disney.

Ryan Murphy once said that he would be buried on the Fox lot, but that was before Netflix offered him $300 million to leave the studio and come work for the streamer. As it turns out, money isn’t everything, and after five years with the company, Murphy is ready to leave. Only now, there is no Fox lot to go back to as Disney acquired the company a year after Murphy left, in 2019.

It seems that Ryan Murphy is going to become a part of the Disney family now, and with several old coworkers now working within the House of Mouse, it seems like this is as close as Murphy can get to going back to his old job.

This move will reunite Ryan Murphy with Dana Walden, a close friend, and confidant who previously worked with him when she headed what was then 20th Century Fox TV. Walden, currently the co-chairman of Disney Entertainment, played a pivotal role in bringing Murphy on board.

Additionally, the new deal, which is still in progress and is set to be completed soon, will bring Murphy back to work with FX’s John Landgraf, with whom he also shares a long-standing creative relationship.

When Ryan Murphy left Fox in 2018, it was a pretty big deal to Netflix and the entertainment industry as a whole—as is the producer’s current move to Disney. For the last five years, Murphy has been one of Netflix’s biggest producers, a peer among the likes of Shonda Rhimes and other famous creators.

The Watcher

When Ryan Murphy first arrived at Netflix, it was seen as a major coup for the platform and its chief content officer, Ted Sarandos. However, Murphy’s initial years at Netflix faced some challenges, with projects like Hollywood, Halston, and the feature film The Prom failing to make a substantial impact. It was only in the past year that his collaboration with Netflix bore any fruit, with Monster and The Watcher becoming extremely successful breakout hits.

Despite leaving 20th Century Fox for Netflix, Ryan Murphy continued to produce for the Hollywood studio, keeping his name attached to popular shows like American Horror Story, 911, and Feud. This unorthodox arrangement often puzzled industry insiders, especially when Murphy’s Netflix projects struggled to gain the same traction as his work for 20th Century TV.

In fact, the announcement in the summer of 2021 that Murphy would produce American Sports Story and American Love Story for Disney entities caused some tension with Sarandos.

Now that Ryan Murphy is leaving Netflix, it seems as though nothing will be changing as the producer will continue working on the next installments of Monster and The Watcher for Netflix, though his office will be on Disney property. The specific details of the new deal remain confidential, though it is worth noting that the overall deal market has cooled considerably over the past five years. This means Murphy’s contract with Disney likely won’t be as sweet as the one he locked in with Netflix five years ago.

As Ryan Murphy begins this new chapter with Disney, fans eagerly anticipate the exciting projects emerging from this collaboration while the industry continues to watch the ever-changing dynamics between the major players in the streaming space.