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Update: THR confirms the report, saying that current LucasFilm co-chair Kathleen Kennedy will become president of LucasFilm, as we?ve more or less known would happen. The bigger news is that THR mentions in passing that a new Star Wars film is planned for 2015.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/30/entertainment-us-disney-lucas-idUSBRE89T1LL20121030

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co said it agreed to buy film maker George Lucas's Lucasfilm Ltd for $4.05 billion.

Disney will pay about half in cash and issue about 40 million shares at closing for the acquisition of the film studio known for the iconic "Star Wars" movies.

This is not a joke. Multiple news outlets are reporting that Disney has bought LucasFilm, and will release Star Wars Episode 7 in 2015. - Kotaku

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Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company 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.

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I'll be interested to see where they go with this, as they pretty much closed off the current Star Wars story with Return Of The Jedi. And it's also nice to know that the films will be in the hands of a company who aren't known for retrospectively changing their films then lying about those changes.

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Yay! A chance for star wars without The Lucas! It might not suck! Meesah excited!

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The Avengers was incredible so i'm looking forward to the next Star Wars movies. I'm sure they won't **** this up .Can't be worse than ep 1-2-3 which IMO were good movies

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Scary. Disney is buying all the movie series and characters lately. But who knows, maybe it'll improve Star Wars.

Disney, improving... on Star Wars ? .... BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

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I'll be interested to see where they go with this, as they pretty much closed off the current Star Wars story with Return Of The Jedi. And it's also nice to know that the films will be in the hands of a company who aren't known for retrospectively changing their films then lying about those changes.

Well there's like, 4000 Star Wars books out there, so I'm sure they'll find a story somewhere. :laugh:

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This is a "holy ****" moment in modern entertainment.

ILM being owned by Disney is just as significant as Lucas finally being removed from the Star Wars franchise.

Star Wars can only improve as Lucas hasn't made a good minute of film since he gained complete control of Star Wars filmmaking (the middle of RETURN OF THE JEDI).

ILM is destined for destruction, as Disney has never been able to manage a VFX house successfully...ever.

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FIRST!!!!

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FIRST!!!!

only a matter of time!

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That awkward moment when your the only one that thought 1-3 were good films XD

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First piece of business, fire George Lucas..... next piece of business, find out who Mickey's real father is

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No need to "fire George". He's clearly handing over the keys to everything. People who know George personally know he would NEVER NEVER NEVER do this unless he was retiring permanently due to age or illness. There is something else going on behind this decision that we don't know yet.

If there are any true journalists left in the US, it's time to do your job and investigate!

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George Lucas is staying on as Creative Consultant

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George Lucas is staying on as Creative Consultant

Which is fine by me, does he not do that with the Clone Wars CG series? That seems to be getting on lovely enough.

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Disney, improving... on Star Wars ? .... BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Let's take a look at The Walt Disney company's $4B acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in August 2009. After the acquisition, Marvel Studios (subsidiary of Marvel Entertainment) released Iron Man 2 (2010), Thor (2011), Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), and The Avengers (2012). All of the movies were quite successful and the last one is the third highest-grossing movie of all time.

So, my question to you is: What's so funny?

This is a "holy ****" moment in modern entertainment.

ILM being owned by Disney is just as significant as Lucas finally being removed from the Star Wars franchise.

Star Wars can only improve as Lucas hasn't made a good minute of film since he gained complete control of Star Wars filmmaking (the middle of RETURN OF THE JEDI).

ILM is destined for destruction, as Disney has never been able to manage a VFX house successfully...ever.

They acquired Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Since that acquisition, Pixar has released seven computer-animated films and all of them have done well at the box office.

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They acquired Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. Since that acquisition, Pixar has released seven computer-animated films and all of them have done well at the box office.

Incorrect. CARS 2. And note that all Pixar movies are 5-10 YEARS in development. All of them predate the Disney deal.

Regardless, Pixar remains wholly autonomous. In fact, their creative head (Lasseter) became the head of Disney's creative for these projects. So, while Disney "owns" Pixar, the truth is that Pixar drives Disney creative in many ways now. If Steve Jobs would have lived, I suspect he'd have become the next Chairman of Disney one day. Note also that Jobs bought the ILM animation group and created Pixar so many years ago, so this is probably the personal/professional bridge between Lucas and Disney that led to this deal.

Similarly, Disney isn't executing any control over the Marvel films. They have their own internal plans for the movies and have been driving that very well. Disney is just distributing/marketing/toys, etc.

HOWEVER, with Lucas stepping back to being a Creative Consultant (not even CEO emeritus, etc.) of the new entity, there has to be another story with George behind the scenes. This is going from 100% to 0% in one turn. And that is not like the George Lucas of the past decades.

The big loser is FOX which owns distribution of all past Star Wars movies, etc. [edit: This is also why Disney is going to want to make new Star Wars films, since Fox still owns distribution of the real Star Wars movies, etc.]

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It's quite intriguing what is not being said in that heavily edited interview. Also, look at everyone's body language. A fascinating turn of events.

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Note that INDIANA JONES films cannot be made without Steven Spielberg's consent, so I'm sure there have been some very interesting conversations between the legendary Amblin/Dreamworks head and Disney recently...

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Wow thats incredible! I can tell Disney is doing this in reaction to Windows 8.

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Well I never would have expected this. I guess I'll wait and see what they do with Star Wars - Pixar and Marvel films have been pretty excellent... hell, can't be any worse than Episode 1 that Lucas churned out.

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Incorrect. CARS 2. And note that all Pixar movies are 5-10 YEARS in development. All of them predate the Disney deal.

Regardless, Pixar remains wholly autonomous. In fact, their creative head (Lasseter) became the head of Disney's creative for these projects. So, while Disney "owns" Pixar, the truth is that Pixar drives Disney creative in many ways now. If Steve Jobs would have lived, I suspect he'd have become the next Chairman of Disney one day. Note also that Jobs bought the ILM animation group and created Pixar so many years ago, so this is probably the personal/professional bridge between Lucas and Disney that led to this deal.

Similarly, Disney isn't executing any control over the Marvel films. They have their own internal plans for the movies and have been driving that very well. Disney is just distributing/marketing/toys, etc.

HOWEVER, with Lucas stepping back to being a Creative Consultant (not even CEO emeritus, etc.) of the new entity, there has to be another story with George behind the scenes. This is going from 100% to 0% in one turn. And that is not like the George Lucas of the past decades.

The big loser is FOX which owns distribution of all past Star Wars movies, etc. [edit: This is also why Disney is going to want to make new Star Wars films, since Fox still owns distribution of the real Star Wars movies, etc.]

Cars 2 didn't make as much money in the US as WALL-E but it ended up making more money worldwide (see here).

As for Pixar and Marvel, it's true that Disney has allowed both companies to remain creatively autonomous. And judging by what they've released in the years since their respective acquisitions, I'd say they're doing well. This is why I think it's great that Disney has announced its plan to acquire Lucasfilm.

George Lucas seems to have a lot of faith in Kathleen Kennedy. Do you think he's going to step up from his role as creative consultant (for the next Star Wars film)?

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