George Lucas is $4.05 billion richer after selling his100% owned, Lucasfilm to Disney who has promised to make a 7th Star Wars for release in 2015.
Lucas semi-retired in January 2012, wanting to focus on smaller, independently budgeted films. He said, “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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.”
Lucasfilm was started by George in 1971 and made its name with the ‘Star Wars’ films with little oddities along the way, like, Twice Upon a Time, Latino, Radioland Murders and unfortuntaly, Howard the Duck. I wonder if Disney will try and reboot that irritating gem.
From the sound of the news release, Disney plan to exploit Lucasfilm’s back catalogue to the hilt, “creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content (back catalogue) across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. 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.”
Lucasfilm will now find itself back in the stable with Pixar the company it created in 1979, gobbled up by Steve Jobs in 1986 and sold to Disney in 2006 for $7.4 billion, a transaction which made Jobs Disney’s largest shareholder. George didn’t foretell the future so well there.
Kathleen Kennedy, (a familar name on Spielberg movies) will move up to President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. The present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.