Video After The Jump
Disney chairman Robert Iger announced Tuesday that his company is buying Lucasfilm, home of the Star Wars franchise, for $4.05 billion. Half will be paid in cash. The other half will be paid in the form of 40 million Disney shares.
"Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas," said Iger in a press release. "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."
By acquiring Lucasfilm, Disney will now oversee one of the most popular movie franchises in history. Star Wars has flourished for 35 years. The franchise has grossed $4.49 billion at the box office. It has also led to comic books, computer and video games and books.
The Star Wars universe has more than 17,000 characters living on thousands of planets and, according to the press release, spans 20,000 years
The plan is for Star Wars: Episode 7 to hit the big screen in 2015.
"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 in a press release. "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."
Disney CEO Robert Iger
In a video announcing the acquisition, which also includes Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, Iger said fans can look forward to more movies as well as consumer products, television projects, games and theme park attractions.
"George Lucas is a true visionary and an innovative, epic storyteller who has defined modern filmmaking with unforgettable characters and amazing stories," said Iger.
Lucas believes the franchise can last another 100 years.
"We have a large group of ideas and characters and books and all kinds of things," Lucas said. "We could go on making 'Star Wars' for the next 100 years."
Are you looking forward to the next Star Wars?
Disney CEO Robert Iger announces acquisition of Lucasfilm
George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discuss the future of Star Wars movies.