Walt Disney has agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas’s Lucasfilm production company and the “Star Wars” movie franchise for $4.05 billion (€3.12bn) in cash and stock – a deal that adds one of the most beloved franchises in entertainment history to Disney’s line-up.
Disney said there would be a new series of “Star Wars” feature films as part of the deal, with the first movie expected in 2015.
Lucas, a Hollywood icon, will remain as a creative consultant. “It`s now time for me to pass ‘Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers,” he said in a statement. Lucas will become the second-largest individual holder of Disney shares, with a 2.2 per cent stake.
This deal marks the third time in less than seven years that Disney has signed a massive deal to take over a beloved studio or character portfolio, part of its strategy to acquire brands that can be stretched across TV, movies, theme parks and online. In early 2006, Disney struck a deal to acquire ‘Toy Story’ creator Pixar, and in the summer of 2009 it bought the comic book powerhouse Marvel.