this is a repost from AintItCoolNews.
In a move that’s sure to spawn a good deal of polite and substantial discourse on these here internets, Disney has announced that it has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and stock. Kathleen Kennedy will be promoted to President of Lucasfilm, and will report to current Disney chair Alan Horn.
And then there’s this: the studio is targeting 2015 for the release of a seventh STAR WARS film.
Here are a few VERY interesting bullet points from the call as I’ve posted on my site…
1) Disney now owns all Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and ILM (the company that once owned Pixar), as well as the trademark for “Android” or “Droid”. Disney will now own all intellectual property rights with some distribution and licensing exceptions based on existing deals, much like how Universal still has the Marvel theme park license for a while yet.
2) Much was made of Disney’s global licensed product and distribution reach making better use of LucasFilm licenses, with all emphasis on the $4.05 billion paid being relative to the value of the Star Wars franchise. For example, this would imply that any Star Wars (and Indiana Jones?) licensed comic books will now go under Marvel once the current Star Wars/Dark Horse contract ends, and video games would go through Disney Interactive.
UPDATE 1:: Bob Iger: “We’re likely to focus more on social and mobile than we are on console. We’ll look opportunistically at console, most likely in licensing rather than publishing, but we think that given the nature of these characters and how well known they are, and the storytelling, that they lend themselves quite nicely, as they’ve already demonstrated to the other platforms”
3) Disney plans to release a new Star Wars movie every 2-3 years starting in 2015. All of them will be in 3D.
4) Star Wars Episodes 7, 8, and 9 will be a trilogy. The treatment is done, is in “early stage development”, and the movies are to be released every other year.
5) ILM will remain a studio-agnostic gun for hire. Disney does not want to change anything about how they operate.
6) Fox retains ownership and distribution of all existing Star Wars movies (until that contract expires…?). All future films will be distributed solely by Disney, unlike Paramount retaining partial distribution rights when Marvel was acquired. No mention was made of who now owns the Star Wars Holiday Special.
Here’s The Beard and Kathleen Kennedy talking about the future of Star Wars, a video just released today: