In a move that no one saw coming, the Walt Disney Co. announced that they were buying George Lucas’s legendary Lucasfilm Ltd. film company for $4.05 billion. Disney also acquired Lucasfilm’s production comapnies, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, in the new deal. The new deal calls for Disney to pay for half the company in cash and the rest in newly issued stock, giving Lucas about about 40 million shares of Walt Disney Co.
Disney already has big plans for the Lucasfilm brand, with talks of three new Star Wars films already in the works. The new Star Wars trilogy kicks off with Episode 7, the new movie that’s set to be released in 2015. Episode 8 and Episode 9 will be released shortly after. Disney’s Star Wars movies will revisit the story of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia after “Return of the Jedi,” the third film released. George Lucas will serve as a creative consultant for all the new movies.
In an interview posted on YouTube George Lucas, who is sole owner of Lucasfilm, said ”I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life. I get to be a fan now … I sort of look forward to it. It’s a lot more fun actually, than actually having to go out into the mud and snow.” Lucasfilm Ltd. will continue to make San Francisco it’s headquarters, and employees will be able to keep their old jobs and titles. This new deal adds Lucasfilms to Disney’s growing list of brands that include Pixar, the Muppets, Marvel, ESPN and ABC just to name a few.
Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become the division’s president at Disney and report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. She will serve as executive producer for the new movies.
Signed, Isidori Mtabo