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Author Topic: Disney buying ‘Star Wars’ maker Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion from George Lucas  (Read 2518 times)

Offline Shogunn2517

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AP - Disney is paying $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm Ltd., the production company behind “Star Wars,” from its chairman and founder, George Lucas. It’s also making a seventh movie in the “Star Wars” series.

By Associated Press,

Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 4:37 PM



 LOS ANGELES — Disney is paying $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm Ltd., the production company behind “Star Wars,” from its chairman and founder, George Lucas. It’s also making a seventh movie in the “Star Wars” series called “Episode 7,” set for release in 2015, with plans to follow it with Episodes 8 and 9 and then one new movie every two or three years.

The Walt Disney Co. announced the blockbuster agreement to make the purchase in cash and stock Tuesday. The deal includes Lucasfilm’s prized high-tech production companies, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, as well as rights to the “Indiana Jones” franchise.

Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement that the acquisition is a great fit and will help preserve and grow the “Star Wars” franchise.

 “The last ‘Star Wars’ movie release was 2005’s ‘Revenge of the Sith’ — and we believe there’s substantial pent-up demand,” Iger said.

Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become the division’s president and report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Lucas will be creative consultant on new “Star Wars” films.

Lucas said in a statement, “It’s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

The deal brings Lucasfilm under the Disney banner with other brands including Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and ABC, all companies that Disney has acquired over the years. A former weatherman who rose through the ranks of ABC, Iger has orchestrated some of the company’s biggest acquisitions, including the $7.4 billion purchase of animated movie studio Pixar in 2006 and the $4.2 billion acquisition of comic book giant Marvel in 2009.

Disney shares were not trading with stock markets closed due to the impact of Superstorm Sandy in New York.

This is not a drill...
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 09:05:08 PM by Shogunn2517 »

Offline Shogunn2517

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Updated from Wikipedia...

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Revival
 
On October 30th, 2012 Disney and Lucasfilm announced that Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion with the annoucement of a an Untitled Star Wars Project aiming for a 2015 release date. [34]
 
The original press release follows:
 
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.
 
“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 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.
 
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 technology 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.

Offline catwhowalksbyhimself

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I had to do some checking just to make sure it is not a prank.  It appears to be legit.  Not just the acquisition, but the announcements of a new Star Wars trilogy starting in 2015, with more films after that trilogy to follow.

I am not particularly hopeful, but if they get a good producer/director in charge who's a real fanboy and not interested in what the suits think, it might turn out well.
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Offline Shogunn2517

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Nope, no joke.  Not even about Episode VII, which was the part I didn't take to be serious, but apparently they are.

To be honest, Lucas as drugged his feet on a lot of what he wanted to do.  Not only that, but he's been pretty obsessive about doing HIS vision and his alone, which has not always made the best product.  Now Disney has the ability to get quality filmmakers, with passion and vision beyond just the vision of one.

Not only that, but be a bit more prolific with a profitable license.

Offline catwhowalksbyhimself

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How many years has he been talking about a tv series?  If Disney wants a series now, it will happen, BOOM!  No more lolligaging.  One the one hand, at least more stuff will be happening with Star Wars.  On the other hand, Disney likes to milk things for all their worth, then get another pail and milk some more.

EDIT:  Lucas talks about his decision to sell his company and the Star Wars property.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YyqlTi7lkhY
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 11:53:19 PM by catwhowalksbyhimself »
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Wow I'm totally shocked at this. Very interested to see what happens next. I wonder what might happen to Clone Wars, Lucas Books, and the Darkhorse comics?
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Offline catwhowalksbyhimself

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Wow I'm totally shocked at this. Very interested to see what happens next. I wonder what might happen to Clone Wars, Lucas Books, and the Darkhorse comics?

In all of those cases, any contracts have to be honored.  Besides that, I'd imagine the books would be okay, the comics would be transfered to Marvel, and the cartoon would either stay where it is, or be transfered to Disney's cartoon channel or possibly the actual Disney channel.

Clone Wars in particular is already produced by LucasFilms, so only the distribution would change, if even that.
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Offline thalaw2

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Amazing!  I would have taken the money too.  In fact, I wouldn't have stayed on as a creative consultant...I think that's a made up role for us fanboys. 
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Offline catwhowalksbyhimself

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No, he stated in the video that he had story outlines for the next three movies and a bunch of other stuff in the Star Wars world, which they will now be using.  That's enough to make him a creative consultant right there, even if he does nothing else.

Personally, I think that's idea if they can get the right people in charge of the movies/other stuff.  He comes up with the basic story, someone else writes and directs the film.  Apparently they are already writings film 7.
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In all of those cases, any contracts have to be honored.

Well I'm really thinking about the long term future. I wouldn't expect much immediate changes.
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Offline catwhowalksbyhimself

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Well, as I said, Marvel will almost certain take over any comics, and since Clone Wars is done by LucasFilms, they merely change the distributor to one of Disney's channels, assuming the contract allows for that.
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Offline GogglesPizanno

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While everyone is talking about Star Wars and what it means, I'm more concerned about what plans they have for the Indiana Jones property (specifically films). Unlike Star Wars which is a universe of stuff to play with, Indy has been and always will be Harrison Ford -- end of story. I have friends that think they could do Indy like James Bond and i completely disagree. I'm really hoping they just leave that series (on film anyway) alone and let it be.

I would be ok with more printed media (books, comics etc..)

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While everyone is talking about Star Wars and what it means, I'm more concerned about what plans they have for the Indiana Jones property (specifically films).

What I've read is that it 'doesn't factor into the deal' but I'm not really sure what that means.
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Offline Talavar

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I read this story and immediately thought - is it April 1 already?  Crazy, crazy news.  But I for one welcome our new mouse-eared overlords - I can't imagine they could make worse Star Wars movies than the prequels.

Offline BentonGrey

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Heh...well, I figure they can't do much worse to the franchise than Lucas already did.  Let's face it, Clone Wars is already the show that Disney would have made.
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Offline Reepicheep

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I heard the news and immediately came here to check if it was true.

I dunno what to think. I actually have my doubts that Disney could get it more wrong than Lucas did for 1, 2 and 3. But I also doubt that anything could meet the high standard that the original series has.

I'm pretty convinced that they'll do something completely different to whats already appeared in Star Wars Extended Universe. The cast is too old to pull off any of the Legacy plots.

Personally, I would hope they do the Kyle Katarn stories. That would be fun.

Offline Shogunn2517

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Speaking of, I don't know if anyone noticed what Lucas said in the interview, but HE stated that he has "story treatments for seven, eight and nine and a bunch of other movies" and he also said "hundreds of books and comics" and he said he'd give it to Kathy (Kennedy) to take and "make great movies."

That tells me that perhaps they are making an Epsisode VII, VIII and IX, but I'm not convinced these will be stories we haven't already seen.  Even if they are, from what they said, I'm almost positive we will see stories from the Expanded Universe see big(or small) screen adaptations.  Maybe an X-Wing series.  Maybe a Dark Empire mini-series.  There is so much out there, so many characters out there and unlike George, they really don't have to follow the main Skywalker storyline.  Maybe we get a series about Boba Fett or Carnor Jax or Dash Rendar, Galen Marek, Kyle Katarn, or even Exar Kun and Nomi Sunrider.  To be honest, with Disney, it's many properties and media and with as many stories that can be told, I think the possibilities are sightly below endless... and IMO, it's about time.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2012, 01:51:38 PM by Shogunn2517 »

Offline BentonGrey

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Well, Lucas already squandered the opportunity to make the live action sequels when he chose to waste years with his terrible prequels, but I would love to see an animated adaptation of the Thrawn trilogy with the original cast voicing their characters.  It won't happen, but it would be awesome.
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Offline detourne_me

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Shogunn, when you put it that way.... wow 4 Billion dollars for an entire universe is quite a steal.  I thinks thats roughly how much they paid for Marvel.  and I think it's on it's way to paying off already.

Offline Talavar

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Looking at this deal and the announced Episode 7 to 9 trilogy, I have this warning: those of you who enjoy the Star Wars Extended Universe, prepare to be disappointed.  Disney has no reason to try and follow it, and lots of reasons not to (the aged cast, the dramatically varied quality of the work, the numerous different creators involved, and more).

Offline bearded

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lucas has always been forgiving of fan creations. i think disney will be less so.

Offline GogglesPizanno

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Offline detourne_me

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right....because disney came down so hard on marvel mods <_<

Offline Reepicheep

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Fan involvement and creations helped keep Star Wars active and breathing, maybe even from the brink of death from the prequels. Whether the Disney suits are money-sucking vampires or Crazy Star Wars Fanboys, they'll see the diversely profitable side of allowing fan creativity.

Talavar has a good point, though. Given how much Lucas liked to ignore the extensions fans made on his own universe, I find it difficult to believe that Disney will - whether out of ignorance or creative supremacy - remain loyal.

Offline BWPS

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This is going to be really really great. I'm already anticipating this as much as my HORRIBLE HORRIBLE GROWN-UP AND NON-STAR WARS-CENTERED BRAIN will allow. Lucas is absolutely a Saint for giving up his babies to a company that will be able to do what's best for them and for us. I'm really of the belief that we should have a whole mess of movies set in the Star Wars Universe, not just following Anakin/Luke and friends. After all, there is probably more history of the extended star wars universe online and in books than there is history of real life.

I do agree Indy should be left alone on the big screen if Harrison Ford isn't game. But maybe we can get some sweet comic books or video games or something.
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Offline Talavar

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Confirmation that the Extended Universe is (probably) dead: http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2012/10/31/star-wars-episode-7-will-be-original-story-report-says/

I'm okay with it.  Others?

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I'll be disappointed if the Expanded Universe comes to an end, but I totally understand not wanting to follow it in making newer movies. It's the choice I would make (that or adapt stuff like Thrawn and Legacy of the Force).

An original movie doesn't necessarily mean the end of the Expanded Universe. It could continue in books, comics etc. We'd just have two universes.
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Offline BentonGrey

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Like I said, I expected it, but unless they can produce some Avengers level brilliance, I don't have a whole lot of interest in seeing a story that isn't the Thrawn Trilogy brought to the screen.  I don't have faith they'll produce anything better.
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Offline Kommando

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I worked out the other day that in 2015 when the next Star Wars movie comes out, Mark Hamill will be the same age Alec Guiness was when the original movie was released.

Offline deano_ue

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You guys need to look at the bigger picture its not just Star Wars, it's lucasfilm, ILM, sky walker sound. Everything all property's they each owned the heap

It should be fine I mean its not like its fresh water for Disney, they have had a huge hand in Star Wars for a while now, rides, stage shows at parks and entire exclusive line of the toys.