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Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion, announces ‘Star Wars: Episode 7’ for 2015, followed by Episodes 8 & 9

in Disney, Entertainment, Featured, Movies

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger announced today The Walt Disney Company is acquiring Lucasfilm, the company founded by George Lucas and home to the mega “Star Wars’ franchise. Included in the $4.05 billion purchase are the rights to its franchises, stories, and businesses, including Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound.

And if that isn’t big enough of a story, it has also been announced that a seventh “Star Wars” film is in development for release in 2015: STAR WARS: EPISODE 7. The announcement states there will be “more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga” in the future. In a conference call, Iger revealed Star Wars Episode 8 and Episode 9 will follow, expecting a new film “every 2-3 years.” Iger also noted Episode 7 is in “early stage development right now.”

In addition, Star Wars shows are being developed for TV, with Iger noting the Disney XD channel would be a good place for them to end up on.

Also included in the agreement is the Indiana Jones franchise.

Here is audio of the full conference call (minus Q&A) that followed the announcement, featuring Bob Iger and Disney CFO Jay Rasulo:

Disney has also released a video featuring Bob Iger and George Lucas discussing the announcement:

The agreement was signed earlier this morning, though had been discussed between Lucas and Iger for about a year and a half – roughly when Disney grand opened the new version of Star Tours at Walt Disney World.

According to Iger, Lucas made the firm decision to sell “pretty recently” and will continue to act as a consultant.

Disney is confident they can easily turn a profit on the purchase of Lucasfilm, with Iger noting that Disney will “maximize the value” of Lucasfilm “above and beyond the purchase price.” He further noted, “Disney respects and understands … the importance of iconic characters and what it takes to protect and leverage them effectively.”

Briefly mentioned in the press release (included below) is the link between Lucasfilm and Disney’s worldwide theme parks in Orlando, Anaheim, Paris, Tokyo, and beyond, but no further specific plans to integrate the two are stated. Iger said there are “ample opportunities” to include and/or expand “the presence of this franchise in our parks,” specifically noting Hong Kong Disneyland and the upcoming Shanghai Disneyland. There have long-standing rumors of a “Star Wars Land” to be built in one of Disney’s parks and this acquisition will certainly add gallons of fuel to that fire.

19 Comments

  1. Roddy Barros

    So Mickey can now play with Spidey, Han Solo AND Indy?!? Screw Avatar-land, give us Star Wars World! FIfth gate! Possibilities are endless and already, as the kids say, “full of the win”.

    1. Ricky, what is the possible chance of a fifth gate or Star Wars-Land, maybe in place of Ligths, Motors, Action?

    2. John

      I actually really really hope they keep their Avatar Land plans; I’ve been looking forward to it. Besides; I feel like Avatar is a pretty good fit in Animal Kingdom where the expansion is planned, while Star Wars wouldn’t be. Star Wars Land would definitely need to go into Hollywood Studios

  2. JEANY SANCHEZ

    awesome!

  3. Wild Ol' Dan

    Howdy Pards,

    Well…there is great wisdom in this. George Lucas has always been a fan of Disney…and Disney, all of Hollywood for that matter, has always admired the creative energy, technical knowhow, and light and magic found in the world of George Lucas.

    Amazing possibilities are just a dream away…

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol’ Dan

  4. Peter.

    This is huge.

  5. Kevin Linn

    Only with Disney prosper shall we.

    I am now praying that within the year they announce Star Wars Land for Hollywood Studios!

  6. Craig

    Scratch the Cars land at HS, can’t wait for Star Wars World !
    May the Mouse be with you !

  7. Mitchell

    I hope this means that The Muppet Show season four will come out quicker..I think Lucas was holding that back.

  8. Brian

    I can already see the Death Star overlay on Spaceship Earth… 🙂 x 100

    1. Carrie

      WHat a funny comment!!It will never happen but it would sure be cool

  9. OT

    Cut Epcot in 2. More attractions in World Showcase and a seperat gate.
    Epcot will be rethemed into Marvel/Star Wars world, the fifth gate.

  10. Dan Z

    I could not be more thrilled by this!! The potential is limitless!!

  11. John

    I’m really ecstatic to hear this news. I’m a big Star Wars fan and see it as a great fit at Disney, much better fit than Marvel in my eyes, which I was also okay with. I just hope Disney continues with their plans for Avatar Land in Animal Kingdom, I think it’s a great opportunity there. Especially by the time the expansion would be completed the next Avatar films would be out or coming out and I think it will be a much bigger franchise than it is now. So I say continue that project. Also I’d love for them to make a Star Wars Land in Hollywood Studios. I would be okay with them bulldozing the entire area by the Backlot Tour, The Car Show, and so on and make it there. A lot of comments i’ve read on the internet have been saying ditch the Avatar for a Star Wars plan; I say why choose between them, keep both and build lands for both and have two possible mega-park attractions to completely overwhelm Universal. Hope it happens, and can’t wait to see the new Star Wars films with the Disney logo at the beginning 🙂

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