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Disney buys LucasFilm for $4B, STAR WARS: EPISODE 7, 8, 9 Planned

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Disney buys LucasFilm, Star Wars: Episode 7, 8, 9 planned. The Walt Disney Company has purchased LucasFilm for $4.05 Billion dollars and has immediately set the release date for a new Star Wars movie currently titled Star Wars: Episode 7 for sometime in 2015. New Star Wars films are to follow the release of Episode 7 (George Lucas will be a consultent) as well as a new TV series on Disney XD, and a stronger presence of LucasFilm properties in amusement parks. The live-action Star Wars TV series might also see the light of day as well, cost being its main prohibator. With the S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series being made and its probable success, they can use that momentum to get a Star Wars TV series made.

The official press release on The Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of LucasFilm:

Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 – Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

On Star Wars: Episode 7, 8, and 9:

  • Star Wars: Episode 7 will be the beginning of a new trilogy that has been mapped out.
  • The treatment for Episode 7 is already completed, on which Lucas consulted.
  • Episodes 8 and 9 will be released approximately every other year following 2015, so expect the sequels in 2017 and 2019.
  • 20th Century Fox will not be involved with these future releases.
  • Fox still retain all rights to the pre-existing StarWars films.
  • Disney “really likes” the potential of expanding Star Wars into television on their Disney XD channel, so expect more than a few new animated series.
  • The studio’s concentration is on the Star Wars franchise, so as of now there are no plans for Indiana Jones. Legal problems with Paramount, who distributed the films have caused this. Indiana Jones was not part of the valuation of Lucasfilm when Disney was eyeing the acquisition.
  • Disney plans to leave Lucasfilm’s visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) “as it is.”

The Star Wars franchise needed a shot in the arm and it has just received a thunder bolt. This is totally unexpected and great news.

Watch George Lucas and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger discuss The Walt Disney Company LucasFilm purchase and leave your thoughts on it below in the comments section. For more Star Wars news, photos, videos, and information, visit our Star Wars Page, subscribe to us by Email, follow us on Twitter or on Facebook.

Bob Iger talks about the acquisition and Star Wars: Episode 7:

George Lucas discusses “The Future of the Star Wars Movies”

Source: LiveforfilmsColliderHollywoodreporter


About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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