Tuesday 30 October 2012

Breaking: Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Star Wars, Indiana Jones for $4.05 Billion

The Walt Disney Co. CEO and Chairman Bob Iger with former Lucasfilm owner George Lucas.

Yes, you did read that right: The Walt Disney Company just announced that they've acquired Lucasfilm for $4 billion! Included in that acquisition are the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, special effects house ILM (who debuted their feature animation efforts with last year's Rango) and Skywalker Sound, all for $4.05 billion. Sufficed to say, Twitter practically exploded.

Lucasfilm is was 100% owned by George Lucas, so the Star Wars creator just became $4 billion richer. This new deal makes current Lucasfilm co-chairman, producer Kathleen Kennedy (E.T., Jurassic Park), the President of Lucasfilm - working underneath Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.  Lucas offered up his thoughts on the transaction:

"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 new direction with Star Wars will have near-immediate effect, as the Mouse House announced that they will release Star Wars: Episode 7 in 2015! Yes, seriously. Two subsequent films will then follow, with more preliminarily planned for after that; Kathleen Kennedy will executive produce the films, with George Lucas acting as creative consultant.

To put this into perspective, Disney got all of the above for just over half of what they bought Pixar for. Steve Jobs bought Pixar from Lucasfilm in 1986, Disney bought Pixar in 2006, and now Disney are buying Lucasfilm in 2012: circle of life. Also, this now means that Pixar, Marvel, The Muppets, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and all of Disney's original content are under one roof. If ever a company could take over the world...

Bob Iger commented:

"We're clearly excited about this move forward. We believe we can do great things with these amazing assets….we have a proven track record of maximizing the value of our strategic acquisitions…. and we're poised to do the same with this one."

Just think what this means though. Since Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, we recently heard that Walt Disney Animation Studios are making an animated adaptation of one of Marvel's (lesser known) properties, Big Hero 6. Just imagine how non-sucky a Disney animated Star Wars films could be! That fan made Indiana Jones: The Animated Adventures could become a reality! Same with those Cars/Star Wars die castsAvengers meets Indiana Jones meets The Muppets even... Too far? The point is: this is damn exciting.

Check out the full press release here. Wow.

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