“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” Lucas, the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm, said in a press release announcing the acquisition. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”
With the acquisition, Disney adds one of the world’s most enduring — and most profitable — sci-fi franchises to its ever-expanding stable. Disney, which has grown from humble animation company to massive media brand, successfully roped in Pixar in 2006 and bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009 (also for a $4 billion price tag). Buying Lucasfilm, Disney chairman Robert Iger said, was in line with the Marvel acquisition: The move essentially means Disney has cornered the market on superhero and sci-fi/fantasy films.
In a conference call with investors, Iger called Lucas a “true visionary” and applauded him for building a “company at the intersection of entertainment and technology.” As part of the deal, Disney will also take control of Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. But the most lucrative part of the deal has to be the Star Wars brand, and to that end Disney announced it would be releasing a new film from the franchise in 2015, with more to follow.
“We believe we can do great things with these amazing assets,” Iger said.
The company also announced that it is prepping Star Wars: Episode 7 for release in 2015. "Our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years," Iger said.
Star Wars Episodes 8 and 9, Iger said, would follow "probably on a cadence of every other year and then go from there. . . . The (first) film is in early stage development right now." Lucas will serve as a creative consultant but plans to retire.
"I feel a great disturbance in the force…"
As an addicted Star Wars fan since 1977, I personally have no problem with this.
Lucasfilm and especially George Lucas and the Star Wars universe haven't really innovate for years now. What we've been getting was simply more of the old same concept over and over again. For older fans the prequel trilogy was mostly disappointing but then no matter what the anticipation was so high that most would have never appreciated it for what its always been... a sci-fi fantasy for kids.
Look at Marvel, Disney acquiring them was the best thing that could happened to the company. It brought them to a whole higher level. I expect this to happen to the Star Wars franchise.
George Lucas was rich, now he is ridiculously too rich. And seriously, what one does with $4 billion dollars? Especially at his age? New filmmakers will bring "their" visions into the Star Wars universe. Most will probably fail, but just like Lucas did so many times.
And while we are talking about Star Wars, at the Montreal Comic Con, Isaac got this Bespin guard for free!!