Disney to buy Lucasfilm for $4 billion

31 Oct

Chief Executive of  Walt Disney Company  Bob Iger

Walt Disney Co agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd and its “Star Wars” franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, a blockbuster deal that includes the surprise promise of a new film in the series in 2015. The deal unites a boutique Northern California film studio that brought special effects into the digital era with a venerable Hollywood powerhouse that has shown a knack for getting the most out of big-name entertainment brands.

Disney plans to release at least three more films in the Star Wars sci-fi saga that ranks among the biggest movie franchises of all time, Chief Executive Bob Iger told analysts on 30 October. The last “Star Wars” picture was “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005. Although Lucas has in the past denied plans for any new “Star Wars” movies, he said in a video interview released on Starwars.com that he had already created story treatments outlining three more films as well as many other Star Wars story lines.Lucas, an icon in the industry known for exercising control over the most minute details of the fictional universe he created, will remain a creative consultant on the new films, although in the video interview he cast the sale as part of a long-held personal desire to exit the mainstream film industry. Lucas said: “It’s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers.” He will become the second-largest individual holder of Disney shares, with a 2.2 percent stake.

(Reuters report)

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