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The Disney/ LucasFilm Deal – The Facts (And Some Speculation)

I’ve got a very bad feeling that all you’re going to hear about on The Hollywood News this week is going to be in some way related to the Disney takeover of Lucasfilm, but hey, personally I’m excited by it all. There’s a lot of rumours flying around out there, so I’m going to add a ton of fuel to the fire and start to blow shit up.

Here’s a little tidbit for you concerning one of Lucasfilm’s other properties, HOWARD THE DUCK. Now, I love the film, but probably only for nostalgia reasons. It was a pretty shit film right? This isn’t any reflection of any plans as we’re into the very early days of the big takeover, but it seems that there was a legal minefield in terms of remaking or continuing HOWARD THE DUCK as the film is based on a Marvel character.  Now, Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Disney, and of course, Disney own Marvel, so could this pave the way for a new HOWARD THE DUCK movie? Of course, I adding two and two together and coming up with five here, but its a possibility. Right?

OK, on to the facts. George Lucas will have a say on what goes down in Star Wars Episode 7, but will only act as a consultant, and will neither write or get anywhere near directing the film. Hooray! Meetings have already taken place with writers for the next three films with Lucas providing loose treatments for the next steps in the franchise.

Kathleen Kennedy will remain as the head of Lucasfilm, as  President, but she will report to Disney. Kennedy has produced a shed-load of movies over the years, and indeed most of Steven Spielberg’s output. She’s close with the director. Could Spielberg finally get involved with the STAR WARS universe? Do we want him to? Wouldn’t he have done so already if he was going to?

Episode 8 will debut in 2017, and Episode 9 in 2019.

Fox now have nothing to do with distributing the STAR WARS movies. No more fanfares.

The live action STAR WARS TV show will go ahead and will air on ABC (also owned by Disney), and the animated series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS will move to The Disney Channel (DisneyXD), once the current season ends on The Cartoon Network.

Pointing out the obvious, and they’ve kind of already said that this will happen, but Lucasfilm will also have a bigger presence at the big Disney theme parks around the globe. More STAR TOURS-like attractions etc. Never been. Would like to. STAR WARS toys will start to show up in all of the parks, and the many Disney stores across the globe very soon.

For the record, Disney now also own these Lucasfilm properties: AMERICAN GRAFFITI, LABYRINTH, THE LAND BEFORE TIME, RADIOLAND MURDERS, RED TAILS, WILLOW and many more.

As part of the deal, Disney now own Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Skywalker Sound, and LucasArts (gaming). All will continue to operate as they do now.

Disney plan to expand the STAR WARS games channels, but will concentrate on games made for social networks and mobile phones (apps for iPad/ iPhone) rather than going the full video game console route.

In terms of financials, Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion,  paying about half it in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares. The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction.

George Lucas could have shown a little more enthusiasm at earning $4 billion though. Here he is talking about the future of the franchise.

So, they’re the key factoids. What do we all think?

Source: Various

Paul has been writing for film websites for over ten years. The Hollywood News was born out of love for film and his frustration at not being a very good filmmaker himself. Those who cannot do, write about – or so they say. Aside from the site, Paul has directed a music video (badly), has one credit to his name on the IMDb, enjoys running, driving (now that he has finally passed his test at the age of 33), and of course going to the movies.
  • http://johnpannozzi.blogspot.com John Pannozzi

    Correction: The Jim Henson Company owns Labyrinth and Universal (and possibly Amblin) owns the Land Before Time.

  • Rob Burch

    I have similar hopes for Howard.
    a mo-capped Peter Dinklage in the lead?