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BURBANK (CNS) - The Walt Disney Co. announced today it has reached a $4.05 billion deal to purchase producer/director George Lucas' Lucasfilm Ltd. production house, including rights to the ``Star Wars'' film franchise, which will continue with a seventh movie slated for release in 2015.
In announcing the agreement, Disney Chairman/
``Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,'' Iger said.
According to Disney, the company will pay roughly half of the purchase price in cash, and issue about 40 million shares of stock at closing. Disney officials said Lucasfilm employees were expected to retain their jobs in their existing locations.
Kathleen Kennedy, the co-chair of Lucasfilm, will become president of the company and report to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. She will also serve as the brand manager for ``Star Wars'' and will serve as executive producer on upcoming ``Star Wars'' films, with Lucas serving as a creative consultant. The seventh film in the franchise will be released in 2015, according to Disney.
``For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see `Star Wars' passed from one generation to the next,'' Lucas said. ``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.
Read more on the KFI News Blog.