The Walt Disney Co. confirmed this afternoon that it has bought George Lucas‘ Lucasfilm company, which includes the rights to the 'Star Wars' franchise, reports Deadline.com.
Disney and Lucasfilm have planned a 2015 release for "Star Wars: Episode 7.'
Episode 8 and Episode 9 will follow, with a new Star Wars film being released every two or three years.
The sale [stock and cash] is worth an estimated $4.05 billion. George Lucas is the sole Lucasfilm shareholder.
Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy would be executive producer on 'Star Wars Episode 7,' while Lucas would be a creative consultant. Kennedy would also become president of Lucasfilm.
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Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement: “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.”
Lucas said in a statement: “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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.”