Disney has agreed to buy Lucasfilm Ltd for $4.05 billion from George Lucas, and the companies have targeted a 2015 release for a seventh movie in the Star Wars franchise. Two more movies (presumably Episodes VIII and IX) will follow, with further Star Wars movies and possible live action TV series also planned.
In a statement announcing the deal, Lucas said, “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.” Lucas will be creative consultant to the new films, which are initially to be based around his outlines for Episodes VII-IX. Development work with writers is already underway. “[We] have a pretty extensive treatment of the next three [Star Wars] movies,” said Disney chairman and CEO during a conference call announcing the deal. Disney are also planning a major increase in the presence of Star Wars within Disney theme parks worldwide.
“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,” Lucas added. ”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.”
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” Walt Disney chairman and Robert A Iger stated. “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.”
The full release can be read here.
George Lucas discusses the implications of the deal for Star Wars: