George Lucas Sells Franchise to Disney – Austin Visuals Reports

A decade after George Lucas said “Star Wars” was finished on the big screen, a new trilogy is destined for theaters. The Walt Disney Co. announced the blockbuster agreement to buy Lucasfilm Ltd. for $4.05 billion in cash and stock Tuesday. Austin Visuals 3D Animation Studio presents this latest YouTube Video Released over the subject here:

The deal includes Lucasfilm’s prized high-tech production companies, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, as well as rights to the “Indiana Jones” franchise.  Lucas said he sold the franchise to help insure its longevity. “I’m doing this so that the films will have a longer life, so that more fans and people can enjoy them in the future,” he said. “It’s a very big universe I’ve created and there’s a lot of stories in there.”

Lucas, 68, was fed up by the time he released “Red Tails,” a movie depicting the valor of African-American pilots during World War II, earlier this year. He told the Times he was ready to retire from the business of making blockbusters and return to his roots as a student at USC’s film school, where he once made a movie about clouds moving in a desert. Kathleen Kennedy, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, will become the division’s president and report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. She will serve as executive producer for the new movies. George Lucas has sold the rights to Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and Skywalker Sound to Disney. Disney CEO Bob Iger said Lucusfilm had already developed an extensive story line on the next trilogy, and Episode 7 was in early-stage development.

What does this mean for Star Wars?

Several years ago, George Lucas swore that he would not make another Star Wars movie after the prequel trilogy was complete, and he has stuck to his word. However, Disney has already stated that it will now be making the sequel trilogy, starting with Episode VII as early as 2015.
Immediately, rumors and speculation came up about what the storylines would be for the new trilogy — will it be Luke, Leia, and Han, or will it be a new lead cast with those three characters appearing in the background or not in the movie at all? Will it take place immediately after the end of The Return of the Jedi (thereby ruling out Luke, Leia, and Han unless those roles are recast with younger actors) or 25 -30 years later producing a similar gap as between the first two trilogies and allowing for Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford to reprise their roles either as leads or cameos? Disney won’t say. Disney has revealed that the storylines will be all-new content; there will be nothing from the existing Expanded Universe books or comics.

This also means George Lucas is guaranteed to be a “creative consultant” on at least Episode VII (and, as Star Trek fans will remember, Gene Roddenberry was given a similar role on the Original Series movies after the debacle of Star Trek: The Motion Picture), but he will have no authority on the making of that film. Instead, the current co-chairman of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, will be executive producer on the new movies from her new role as the president of this new Disney division. No writers or directors have signed on at this time.

In a statement, Iger said the acquisition is a great fit and will help preserve and grow the “Star Wars” franchise.

What about ILM and Skywalker Sound?

ILM has been winning technical awards for over 35 years. Skywalker Sound produces some amazing work and has won numerous technical awards as well. Teaming those two effects powerhouses up with the company that owns Pixar can only be good for the advancement of moviemaking technology.

The deal brings Lucasfilm under the Disney banner with other brands including Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and ABC, all companies that Disney has acquired over the years. A former weatherman who rose through the ranks of ABC, Iger has orchestrated some of the company’s biggest acquisitions, including the $7.4 billion purchase of animated movie studio Pixar in 2006 and the $4.2 billion acquisition of comic book giant Marvel in 2009.


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