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UPDATE w/VIDEO: 'Stars Wars 7' Set For 2015, Followed By Another 2 Films; Treatments Done

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by Sergio
October 30, 2012 4:36 PM
20 Comments
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UPDATE to the story below... after the initial announcement which follows...

The loud noise you're hearing right now is the sound of everyone around the world groaning, when word came out today that Disney and Lucasfilm Ltd announced that plans are underway for a new Star Wars film, currently titled just Star Wars: Episode 7, set for a 2015 release.

This was on top of another announcement, also today, that Disney has acquired Lucasfilm Ltd, in a stock and cash transaction worth $4.05 billion; Because Lucas just can't make ends meet on the billions he already has...

In a statement just released by Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger: Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas. 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.

One question though - Is there ANYONE dying to see a new Star Wars film - especially after the last three ones?

I'll bet that even the hardcore nerd fanboys, the ones who like to dress up like Stormtroopers at Comic-Con, aren't that excited.

UPDATE follows below: 

More on the story has been revealed, as video of all the key names involved in the deal have been released to the press and both are embedded below.

In short, in addition to the 2015 film, there will be other Star Wars movies. Disney plans 3 new Star Wars films, and that they already have "a pretty extensive treatment" of the next three - Episode 7, Episode 8 and Episode 9, each released "every two to three years" after the 2015 release.

Lucas adds that they have a ton of ideas and could go on making Star Wars films for the "next 100 years."

Disney also plans to exploit the Star Wars brand fully, in their parks, in games and "other initiatives."

Watch both video releases below for the full story:

Press release from The Walt Disney Company below:

DISNEY TO ACQUIRE LUCASFILM LTD.

Global leader in high-quality family entertainment agrees to acquire world-renowned Lucasfilm Ltd, including legendary STAR WARS franchise.

Acquisition continues Disney's strategic focus on creating and monetizing the world's best branded content, innovative technology and global growth to drive long-term shareholder value.

Lucasfilm to join company's global portfolio of world class brands including Disney, ESPN, Pixar, Marvel and ABC.

STAR WARS: EPISODE 7 feature film targeted for release in 2015.

Burbank, CA and San Francisco, CA, October 30, 2012 - 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.

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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20 Comments

  • anonymous | November 6, 2012 5:28 PMReply

    Sergio?

    ok the dialogue went a bit downhill but seriously...

  • ALM | October 31, 2012 2:23 PMReply

    I want to know what's really behind the buy out.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | October 31, 2012 8:28 AMReply

    "Tyler Perry's Star Wars."

  • wildcard | October 31, 2012 6:10 AMReply

    my cast.....our cast.....star wars cast......MARK HAMIL, HARRISON FORD, CARRIE FISHER, ANGELINA JOLIE ( mara jade ), SEAN CONNERY ( mara jade father ), ALY MICHALKA ( mara jade student and hans daughter ), MEGAN FOX ( aly jedi friend ), and whomever yall think...............and dont forget, lando, r2d2, c3po, chewy, and who ever else we can grab form all episodes 1,2,3,4,5 and 6..........( maybe jabba the hutts son ?, Griedos son ? sidious son ? )

  • wildcard | October 31, 2012 5:57 AMReply

    opening scene......music plays.......space.....the three mini paragraphs read..........
    star wars episode VII
    THE FALLEN HERO

    After the death of darth vader and sidious fear
    was put into the empire that most had surrendered
    but some disappeared deep into the galaxy never to
    be heard from again............

    Under the leadership of luke skywalker the new
    jedi order hunted down remaining enemies of the
    republic and peace reigned in the galaxy for thirty
    years.........

    Now in a failed attempt to assasinate princess leia
    the most wanted criminal manno fett who was thought
    to have been dead for decades has alerted the republic
    army and tries to escape the pursuit..............

    and then here is a simple plot........you can fill in the blanks.......

  • wildcard | October 31, 2012 5:28 AMReply

    call it STAR WARS EPISODE 7 THE FALLEN HERO.......it starts in space when a wanted criminal that was thought to have been dead for decades ( bobba fett son ) fails on an attempt to eliminate princes leia and tries to flee being chased by the young squad but not getting to him. So before he gets away, to the movie fan surprise, han and chewy with r2d2 and c3po and a couple of young jedi rookies chase him and capture him......then later, before a legendary space race ends ( tradition to honor the fall of the death star in EP 6 ), han dies saving a city from a toxic bomb by ramming somekind of craft into the evil doings ship ( han is the fallen hero ).......then later, luke fights a sith 2000 years old( lord asp ) that has been secretly waiting to take out this so called chosen one ( he thinks its luke )....then later luke finds out that darth vader had a student ( darth spiden ) waiting for 3 decades building his dark jedi army to fullfill vaders dream to rule the galaxy.....then luke finds out that the army is decendants to some of the children jedi that were taken, but some who were left back died from anakin (EP 3 revenge of the sith ).....then in the end, someone finds out that one of the students soon to be jedi blood has a medoclorian whatever count that is higher than yoda, anakin, luke, and leia combined........but no one knows the name of who because of a mix of many getting lost without names...the first trilogy was about the rise and fall of the first skywalker ( anakin ), the second trilogy was about the rise and stand of the second skywalker ( luke ), the third trilogy is about the rise and love of the chosen one who would bring balance and peace to the galaxy the third skywalker ( han and leia son or daughter )....take your pick, mine would be the younger daughter cause it would bring more of a surprise i think.......( the student of mara jade ).........in my opinion, angelina jolie could play mara jade....in movie world they dont get together because of the jedi way, but they still love each other.......in the movie world of course..what yall think ?

  • Josh | October 30, 2012 11:13 PMReply

    This could work. The expanded universe has good stuff regarding mopping up all of Vaders goons who go for a power grab once they aren't under his boot heel.

  • Tamara | October 30, 2012 8:34 PMReply

    ""The last Star Wars movie release was 2005's Revenge Of The Sith and we believe there's substantial pent-up demand."" ---- from whom? *screw face* I mean, the books filled in a lot of what happened after Annie became a "Darth" and before Luke and Obi hitch-hiked their way through the galaxy on the Millenium Falcon. Yeah, sure this saga could go on for a 100 years........and it has in FICTION, books, fanfiction, but film? *groans* The onliest thing interesting about the post-Old trilogy (after Return of the Jedi) is Grand Admiral Thrawn and his ratched sith self. But those tales are in books. The Star Wars universe is so vast... I just hope they choose carefully the stories they tell and not try to cover EVERYBODY ('coz there's a lot of folk in the book spinoffs worthy of their own stories). Also, a personal "argh" with Revenge of the Sith....the film would've been much mo' betta if it had not stuck with a PG-13 rating---meaning giving the saga leave to go the "Dark Knight" route, because in dealing with Sith, there is some Dahhhhknesss involved and it ain't cute and friendly and alla that. That film could have been much more, but whatever. It's the best of the Prequels and the worst of the last four. They'll probably build up Luke and follow-up with Han and Leia and their chirren....but they should at least (or at most) look to Timothy Zahn's Thrawn character/villain. Probably what they'll do...

  • Tamara | October 31, 2012 7:10 PM

    Midichlorians. Ha! I hear you, Jug. And you do make a good point with Disney's latest live-action efforts.

  • Jug | October 31, 2012 2:40 PM

    There are a number of ways Disney could now go with STAR WARS, but first things first, I think they'd be smart to let Kathleen Kennedy & Lucasfilms handle it. Like Marvel, let 'em do their thing & not get in involved. Disney's live action hasn't been the best run ship of late, ya know LOL Second, I'd tread lightly with following the established storylines (nonsense) from Lucas. Take some of the characters, but build totally new & fresh adventures. His goodwill was burned up with "midichlorians". WTF?! So you just made the one thing, that made everyone in the Universe equal, and turned it into a genetic lottery with the superior beings on top (yeah I went there). Boooo. I agree Tamara, there's a wealth of universe to build from, I'd make the new series a cousin to George's series, but not the immediate family.

  • Destruct | October 30, 2012 6:47 PMReply

    Great, 3+ years that I have to ignore excited ravings about the upcoming Star Wars film with an eternity of bitching about how much it sucked afterwards.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | October 30, 2012 6:25 PMReply

    Studios up, hoes down.

  • Tambay | October 30, 2012 5:39 PMReply

    Just read a quote from Disney head saying: "The last Star Wars movie release was 2005's Revenge Of The Sith and we believe there's substantial pent-up demand." I think people will almost instinctively reject the idea today, but when it's eventually released in 3 years, many will still see it, even if only out of curiosity. I think whomever is hired to direct could excite fans even more - depending on who it is obviously. Also, word is that there may be more, not just this one. So this could be the start of yet another trilogy.

  • Jug | October 30, 2012 6:44 PM

    George should change his name to "Cha-Ching!"

  • AccidentalVisitor | October 30, 2012 6:02 PM

    Like I wrote below there will likely be many films. And Lucas will have the title of "consultant" which means he won't have much say at all. By the way the sale also includes the Indiana Jones' rights although Paramount will at least keep the distribution responsibility for that franchise if (when) any other new movies are made.

  • Sherlock | October 30, 2012 5:08 PMReply

    I'm excited. I've been progressively angrier at Lucas since 1997. A comic on the subject: http://www.cinemabums.com/?p=113

  • AccidentalVisitor | October 30, 2012 4:59 PMReply

    Sergio, try looking at all the money those last three SW films made even though all but possibly one of them weren't any good. Does that answer your question? There will always be an audience for SW. Hell, as long as a good filmmaker takes over the project in place of Lucas even I will be interested in seeing another film. There were supposed to have been nine anyway. :) My gripe is that Lucas has sold his property to despicable Disney. This means that Disney has the rights to do more Star Wars films, right? As many as they want? Good Lord. It was bad enough when Disney got a hold of Marvel, now this. One of the great things SW had in its favor was that its scarcity on the big screen and on television. There had been only six films overall over a period of 35 years, including a gap of 16 years between its two trilogies. As for TV outside of animation (including a former Saturday morning cartoon) there has been practically nothing at all. If Disney has control of SW that will all change and I can imagine getting SW all the time, including the dreaded reboots. Then again rebooting the prequel by redoing it all over again, and this time in a more worthy fashion, could make this all somewhat worth it. But I doubt that.

  • Firebrand | October 30, 2012 4:46 PMReply

    Apparently the fanboys think it will be great because Lucas isn't involved. My ass.

  • Firebrand | October 30, 2012 5:00 PM

    I guess it all boils down to whether or not he's directing or writing. If not, people will likely get excited and the film could stand a chance of being okay, especially if they tap the same people who did the Marvel Phase One movies. At least, that's what some of the fans have been trying to convince me for the past hour or so. Either way, Lucas likely will have a heavy influence.

  • sergio | October 30, 2012 4:52 PM

    No word as yet if Lucas will be involved or not. But let's face it how could he NOT be?

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