Disney to Acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4 billion+

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http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20121030006384/en/Disney-Acquire-Lucasfilm-Ltd

BURBANK, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next”
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.

Wow. That's pretty major.
 

Captain Canuck

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swordinthestone_shock.gif







woah...
 

ProjectX2

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This is huge. I am excited.
 

DIrishB

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This is big news. Most especially due to Disney moving forward with another Star Wars film. It could actually turn out great, if they do the smart thing and allow some of the Pixar geniuses to develop and work on it. And they're already aiming for 2015? Wow. So a completely unexpected new Star Wars film in only a little over 2 years. I'm excited, most especially after my disappointment with the Prequel trilogy. Can't wait to see what approach they'll take.
 

SSJmole

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+ New star wars film
- It's going to further destroy the EU

I'm mixed between happy and angry
 

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From Bleeding Cool:

"The new Disney deal with Lucasfilm doesn’t include the distribution rights to the pre-existing Star Wars films, all of which will remain with Fox. I assume that includes the Star Wars Holiday Special. In fact, Lucas’ deal with Fox doesn’t look to change in any way, so don’t go getting your hopes up for pristine Blu-ray editions of the original trilogy in their original versions – it’s really not likely to happen at all. The Lucas-Fox pact will have Han shooting second at least until… well, at least until somebody other than George Lucas is making the big decisions. Not to get morbid, but I remember what it took for Stanley Kubrick‘s Clockwork Orange to get “unbanned” in the UK, and that was Kubrick passing away.

Distribution rights to the upcoming films will sit entirely with Disney. This means that any future complete edition boxset will require some kind of deal making by both studios, though that “full set” concept seems to have lost a lot of currency tonight with the promise of new Star Wars every couple-few years for generations to come."
 

Friday

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Well. I thought we'd have to wait for Lucas to die before we got the possibility of Star Wars movies that don't suck.
 

ProjectX2

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I wonder if Joe Johnston will get to make his Boba Fett movie now.
 

Captain Canuck

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Does this mean they can make new Indiana Jones movies too if they want? They'll probably do something ridiculous like put that guy from Even Stevens in it.
 

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Well. I thought we'd have to wait for Lucas to die before we got the possibility of Star Wars movies that don't suck.

I wonder if he put stipulations on what the movies can be about or have in them. On one hand I wouldn't think he'd care any more, but on the other hand I think he cares a lot about this franchise and what goes into it. He's always said he'd never do a Yoda backstory, for example...I wonder if that will ever be a possibility now.

I really think I'd like to see a remake of the movies now. It worked for Star Trek and I think with better storytellers there's a lot of really great things that can be done with a little reinterpretation.
 

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Bleeding Cool says that Lucas met with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher this past summer...

http://bcool.bz/UiQYbg

Mark Hamill: "He asked Carrie and I to have lunch with him and we did. I thought he was going to talk about either his retirement or the Star Wars TV series that I’ve heard about – which I don’t think we were going to be involved in anyway, because that takes place between the prequels and the ones we were in and, if Luke were in them, he’d be anywhere from a toddler to a teenager so they’d get an age-appropriate actor—or the 3-D releases. So when he said, “We decided we’re going to do Episodes VII, VIII, and IX,” I was just gobsmacked. “What? Are you nuts?!”

I can see both sides of it. Because in a way, there was a beginning, a middle, and an end and we all lived happily ever after and that’s the way it should be—and it’s great that people have fond memories, if they do have fond memories. But on the other hand, there’s this ravenous desire on the part of the true believers to have more and more and more material."
 

DIrishB

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It'd be great if they had Mark, Carrie, and Harrison in at least small or cameo roles. It'd go a long way towards tying this new trilogy to the much more beloved original trilogy as opposed to the disappointing prequels. More important of course are fun, interesting stories and characters portrayed by charismatic actors, backed up by special effects and CGI that work with that story and enhance the sense of wonder, as opposed to acting as a crutch for lack of a good story/characterization (again, prequels, I'm looking at you).

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing what Disney does with it. It's weird, but it wasn't until I watched the prequels that I realized just how integral a part of the original films that the Millenium Falcon was. I'm hoping that comes back.
 

ProjectX2

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This announcement has put me in a Star Wars mood so I watched the first movie in its original, unaltered version for the first time since watching it on VHS as a kid. It's so refreshing to watch after getting used to the special editions and it's only confirmed how pointless and unnecessary all of the changes and updates are.

I'm going to watch the original versions of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi today and maybe the prequel trilogy tomorrow. I'm also interested in reading the Thrawn Trilogy since a lot of people think the new movies may be based on those books.

Star Wars is the best and I'm excited to see the universe grow and continue once more.
 

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I tried reading the Thrawn trilogy books and couldn't really get into them. I later read the comic adaptations and thought it was pretty good.

I'm interested to see if its the Thrawn trilogy as well, and if so, how Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher (and Harrison Ford) fit into it, since they are so old and fat now and the books take place shortly after Return of the Jedi.
 

ProjectX2

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I'm guessing the new movies will take place 15-20 years later at the least and the original actors will only be in them for a couple of scenes. I think the new movies will have to focus on their children.

Or they just recast everyone with 20 somethings and go from there.
 
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Ice

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The search for the director is on!

[video=youtube;r_aGi5eYjDU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_aGi5eYjDU&list=PLE196726F02565118&index=2&feature=plcp[/video]
 

Captain Canuck

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So Leia is a Disney princess now.



I would LOVE for them to adapt the Thrawn Trilogy and recast Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie, Lando, (and I think Wedge is in it too). Anthony Daniels & Kenny Baker can reprise their roles

(I was going to say Peter Mayhew can reprise Chewie too, but he'll be 71 by the time Episode VII comes out... So maybe not)
 

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