The Walt Disney Company has completed the acquisition of filmmaker George Lucas’ Lucasfilm company. The deal was for $2.21 billion in cash and just under 37.1 million in Disney shares. Disney has free reign over their new multi-billion dollar franchise. With the closing price for Disney stock at $50 per share on December 21st, the transaction has a total value of $4.06 billion, which is slightly less than the $4 billion Disney shelled out for Marvel Entertainment in 2009, and substantially less than the $7.4 billion it cost them for Pixar in 2006.
So what did Disney get in the deal? Beyond the Star Wars franchise, Friday’s purchase also includes operating businesses in live action film production, as well as a substantial portfolio of entertainment technologies, Disney said Friday. Operational brands include Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound. Disney CEO Bob Iger had this to say.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Lucasfilm to the Disney family. Star Wars is one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time and this transaction combines that world-class content with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses and markets, which we believe will generate growth as well as significant long-term value.”
Lucas released a video discussing the future films, saying that he has story treatments for not only three new “Star Wars” films, but also “a bunch of other movies.”
Kathleen Kennedy, co-chairman of Lucasfilm, had this to say in a video release.
“We are absolutely going to make ‘Star Wars’ movies, and we are in the midst of the really fun part of the process, which is we’re sitting down with a couple of writers and we’re starting to discuss ideas.”
The as of yet untitled “Star Wars: Episode VII” film is expected to open in theaters in May of 2015. Academy Award winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (“Little Miss Sunshine”) is penning the script. No director has been hired at this time.
Source: Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post