Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4 Billion; STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 Will Kick Off New Trilogy in 2015
(Posted first by Minnja and complete)
Press Release: 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.
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.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy Talk the Future of STAR WARS
In concert with the acquisition news of LucasFilm by Disney, George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy released a video online explaining why the decision was made to sell the company to Disney and what this means for Star Wars going forward. Lucas begins by explaining why he decided to step away from the company and why Disney is the perfect fit for Lucasfilm:
“Obviously I’ve been talking about retiring for several years now. I wanted to get into sort of another stage of life where I’m not in the film business anymore, where I don’t have to run a corporation. It occurred to me one day that the perfect person to run the company was Kathy [Kennedy]. It’s just such a perfect fit, and I felt that I really wanted to put the company somewhere in a larger entity that would protect it. Disney is a huge corporation; they have all kinds of capabilities and faciliites. There’s a lot of strength to be gained by this.”
“I always said I wasn’t going to do anymore, and that’s true, I’m not going to do anymore. But that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to turn it over to Kathy [Kennedy] to do more. I have story treatments of 7, 8, and 9, and a bunch of other movies and obviously we have hundreds of books and comics and everything you could possibly imagine. So I sort of moved that treasure trove of stories and various things to Kathy, and I have complete confidence that she’s gonna take them and make great movies.”
Kennedy revealed that they’ve already started talking to writers about penning the screenplay for Episode 7:
“We are absolutely going to make Star Wars movies and we’re in the midst of the really fun part of the process which is we’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas and we’re starting to talk about what those stories might be.”
Bryan Singer Confirmed to Direct X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
It was recently reported that Matthew Vaughn, director of X-Men: First Class, was stepping down from heading up the sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. On the shortlist of replacement directors was one Bryan Singer, who was already acting in a producing capacity for the sequel. Singer has now been confirmed as the director for X-Men: Days of Future Past. There is still no explanation as to why Vaughn stepped aside, but he is in the process of inking a deal to stay on with the project as a producer. (He did turn in the film’s screen treatment after all.)
Deadline reports that Fox made quick work of replacing their vacant director’s chair and will likely be able to keep their July 18th, 2014 release date as a result. Fans should be familiar with Singer’s work as he wrote and directed both 2000′s X-Men and 2003′s follow-up, X2. He also turned in the script for Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class along with an ensemble of other writers, including Vaughn.
The film follows the 1980s’ comic storyline written by Chris Claremont that alternates between a present day battle against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline where an assassination of a government official has led to Sentinels roaming the land and mutants held prisoner in internment camps. The cast from the original film is expected to return, including Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy.
New Poster for HITCHCOC|K Starring Anthony Hopkins
A new poster for Hitchcoc|k has been released. Starring Anthony Hopkins as the Alfred Hitchcoc|k, the film is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century and his wife and partner Alma Reville. The film takes place during the making of Hitchcoc|k’s seminal movie PSYCHO. Also starring Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Danny Huston and Toni Collette, Hitchcoc|k opens on November 23rd. Click HERE to see the trailer.
*** MOVIE NEWS AND NOTES ***
Daily updates on movie news and trailers.
"I'm actually pleased about Disney buying Star Wars. Eps 7-9 by 3 new directors is an exciting prospect. I read as a kid 9 were planned. The last word on my Star Wars optimism: Imagine the next three movies directed by JJ Abrams, Duncan Jones & Brad Bird. THEN complain "
"Everybody's all "But teh Star Wars!" Yeah, okay, but ... INDIANA JONES, man!"
"The 1997 me who had no inkling of Episodes I, II, and III is beyond excited at the thought of a new Star Wars movie!"
"That thing I just RT'd..where Disney acquires STAR WARS..that's one of them "Holy sh*t!" moments."
"There is going to be a Star Wars 7, finally all your prayers to the force have been answered."
"Every awesome creative person in Hollywood would love to work on something new Star Wars so this could be a great thing."
30 Oct 12 ReplyRetweetFavorite
"If @danharmon writes the new Star Wars and Jon Faverau directs, I’m there. Otherwise, I’ll have to take a wait-and-see approach."
Top Conservative Cat
"I'm sad to hear Disney bought Lucasfilm. I had hoped Bain Capital would buy it and let Michael Bay direct Star Wars VII."
Jake WJ Lester
"Disney XD will be getting more Marvel Cartoons as well as Star Wars cartoons"
"Have the Pixar making a Marvel vs Star Wars animated feature started yet?"
"thank you George Lucas for creating STAR WARS. But a bigger thank you for letting it go."
"IT'S A TRAP!"
"My twitter feed: 38% : "You should write the new Star Wars!" 47% : "Don't fucking touch the new Star Wars!" 15% : Undecided."