Disney is buying Lucasfilm for a reported $4.05 Billion. Disney gets Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound. George Lucas, who owns Lucasfilm privately, gets payment in Disney shares and in cash.
George Lucas in a statement said of the transaction, “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.”
Disney has been licensing the Star Wars brand successfully in its theme parks for quite a while now. It seems like a good fit.
A new Star Wars movie, Star Wars Episode 7, is now planned for a 2015 release. There will also be a Star Wars Episode 8 and Episode 9 plus there are long term plans for Star Wars movies every 2 years or so into the furure.
The deal follows Disney’s acquisition Marvel comics for $4.2bn in 2009.
“Our valuation of Lucasfilm is roughly comparable to the value we placed on Marvel when we announced that acquisition in 2009,” Disney said, adding that the valuation was almost entirely driven by the Star Wars franchise.
So Disney saw Star Wars as valuable as the whole Marvel line? Is Star Wars worth that much? I’d have thought Marvel’s stable of characters would be worth more, but then I’m a comic geek.
Also, will we see the Star Wars comic come back to Marvel? Spider-Man, X-Men and the Fantastic Four are made by other movie studios, why can’t Star Wars be published by another comic book company?
Dark Horse CEO Mike Richardson came out with this statement “Dark Horse and Lucasfilm have a strong partnership which spans over 20 years, and has produced multiple characters and story lines which are now part of the Star Wars lore,” he said. “Star Wars will be with us for the near future. Obviously, this deal changes the landscape, so we’ll all have to see what it means for the future.”
This is kind of exciting and disappointing at the same time. I mean I love the resources available to Disney and I know they will do Star Wars right but on the other hand do we really want to be heading towards one company owning all out pop culture properties.
If I was a keen reporter I’d be camped out across from Time Warner (owners of DC Comics), I’d be looking for Disney execs.