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Disney buys Lucasfilm and all subsidiaries for $4.05billion, will release Star Wars Episode VII in 2015


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I just heard of the news. Apparently, the deal for stocks and cash is worth an estimated $4B, and it will include rights to the Star Wars franchise. From Disney's own press release:

Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company 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 entertainmenttechnologiesicon1.png 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 technologyicon1.png 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.

Note: Additional information and comments from Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, regarding Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, are attached.


http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=96524

Hmm... first Marvel and now Lucasfilm. Disney is on a roll this year...

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(EDIT: I will reupload it once I've corrected several small errors I noticed).

I'm hoping for Alfonso Cuarón! Mostly for the slight possibility of another Williams/Cuarón collaboration!

Hrmh, really not happy about this, this is the one instance I agreed with Lucas: six films is enough. Hell, they could keep the TV series going for a long time, but now they'll have to recast, unless it's taking place in the far future.

On the other hand, Disney has the Intrada relationship, and they'll want to cash in on this end too, especially with Star Wars.

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It MUST have a score by John Williams - no one else will do...well, John Williams or me. Either is fine.

Not to be a pessimistic ass hole.

But I don't see John making it to the new films.

He's only 80, he might make it to VII. But I see Episode I MK 2 happening again there anyways.

Failing that, maybe Mark Griskey or Michael Giacchino: We've been saying Griskey should score a film, and he did really well with the two TFU games and TOR.

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Hrmh, really not happy about this, this is the one instance I agreed with Lucas: six films is enough. Hell, they could keep the TV series going for a long time, but now they'll have to recast, unless it's taking place in the far future.

On the other hand, Disney has the Intrada relationship, and they'll want to cash in on this end too, especially with Star Wars.

I don't know - it can be the start of a new trilogy because the story line of the others is complete so doesn't need the classic characters. I think the backstory is rich enough that they could do something good if they *understood* what made the original good. Eg: JJ Abrams did not understand Star Trek. He made something decent, but it wasn't Star Trek. I thought some of the games and comics were quite good story wise so I believe there is enough there for something quite good...in the right hands.

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An Episode VII film is going to bring 30 years of EU fiction crashing down like a house of cards. Kiss that industry goodbye.

They can't really film Truce at Bakura, and the best works for a new trilogy -- Zahn's books -- would require the actors to be 30 years younger.

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Yes.

http://www.shacknews.com/article/76439/lucasarts-acquired-by-disney

For all we know, these new Star Wars movies will take the new Disney route: direct to disc animated sequels. That would be ok. The classic actors are too old, tired, and disenchanted with the craziness of the franchise to reprise their roles. Sure, Mark Hamill looks like the Emperor now, but he's dead unless you pick and choose EU stories to film. Disney would just end up giving roles to its current group of old, tired, and washed up actors like Eddie Murphy and The Rock.

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For all we know, these new Star Wars movies will take the new Disney route: direct to disc animated sequels.

Disney's been phasing out that unsightly trend. There's the Tinker Bell franchise, but it hasn't been theatrically released to begin with. (At least not in the U.S..)

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Deadline also mentions that the Disney-Lucasfilm acquisition also includes the Indiana Jones franchise.

http://www.deadline....r-wars-creator/

I think that was fairly obvious, and we already knew Indy 5 was somewhere in the future.

For all we know, these new Star Wars movies will take the new Disney route: direct to disc animated sequels.

Disney's been phasing out that unsightly trend. There's the Tinker Bell franchise, but it hasn't been theatrically released to begin with. (At least not in the U.S..)

They only do this with their own animated movies, and as of late they've been pretty good: for instance, Bambi II was good enough to get cinema viewings outside the US.

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To me an additional film is a "meh" kind of thing. If it ends up sucking to you, just disregard it. The positive potential here is far greater. Lucas said "never" to the original theatrical trilogy getting released again... but that could now be very well changed because of this. That to me is honestly far more exciting than expanded scores right now (I know... I'm awaiting death threats and objects thrown for saying that, but we have good enough edits for the time being, whereas I have never been satisfied with restoration efforts on the original theatrical trilogy films... especially in a HD sense). But as said, with Intrada's new relation with Disney, it feels like expanded scores could really happen now too, even perhaps for Indiana Jones and other things.

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If Disney has the option of taking the score release rights away from Sony, I imagine (without any knowledge in these matters whatsoever) that an Intrada driven re-release of the scores, or at least a release on Disney's own label with involvement of some of the score production insiders, could be a possibility.

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No Intrada releases of any Star Wars scores would be possible until after Sony's exclusive distribution rights to them ends. Lucasfilm could create the new CD masters entirely in-house with no Sony involvement at all, but Sony would still have to be the label to release them. Until their contract is over.

I wonder how many years of rights Concord bought for Indy 1-4? Hopefully only 5 years (ie till the end of 2013)

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So, he actually had the Sequel Trilogy written after Episode III? He must have had a lot of time on his hands. You know, he totally didn't have at least two major movies after Episode III at all to fill the gape before retirement.

I take it Fox will lose the distribution rights, and they'll go to Disney when they do, like Marvel?

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