Disney buys Lucasfilm for $4B
Disney today announced that it has bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion, trumping the $3.9 billion on the table when Disney purchased Marvel in 2009.
“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.”
Just like Marvel, Disney views the franchise as an active investment. 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.”
According to Iger, the deal came with an extensive treatment for the next three Star Wars films. Episode VII is already in the works for 2015, and, according to him, ” our long term plan is to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.”
What brought this on? Is Iger the ultimate fanboy who wants to genuinely see more Star Wars films hit theaters? Or is he viewing Lucasfilm as a fat sack of money? Disney seemed to have done a good job with Marvel, especially with the Avengers as well as the previous two Iron Man films in my opinion. As well as film rights, this also gives Disney control over Lucas Arts, so only time will tell if the new Lucasfilm ownership affects them for worse. Instead of simply working for Lucas, the company now has to please a board of directors.