I never really expected to see it in my lifetime (or at the very least, the lifetime of George Lucas), but George Lucas has sold Lucasfilm to Walt Disney Studios, and they will be releasing Star Wars: Episode 7 (Episode VII) in 2015 – it will be the beginning of a new trilogy of films – based on a treatment by Lucas.
There’s no word on talent yet. No director or cast is locked and no writer has been announced, but it must be quite far into development if it’s being released in 2015. Might we see the return of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher in the film which is taking place post-Return of the Jedi? I really do hope so.
Disney paid $4.05 billion and stock for the studio and its subsidiaries (including ILM), and now Star Wars and Indiana Jones will be joining Marvel under the Mouse House banner. Lucasfilm Co-Chair, Katheleen Kennedy will oversee the company, and report to Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn. She will also produce the new movies.
Here’s what George Lucas had to say:
“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.”
The plan is now for Disney to release a new Star Wars film every 2-3 years, building on the existing franchise. However, 20th Century Fox will still own the distribution rights for these films, when this expires is anyone’s guess.
What does it all mean?
Well, more Star Wars – much more. I also wouldn’t be surprised if we now get the long in development Star Wars television series and a new Indiana Jones film, possibly a reboot (although some of the rights to that character are tied up with Paramount). There will also be a lot of toys, games and theme park rides.
We might also get to see the original cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy. Maybe.
I’ll have more on this later, most out there are a little excited by this news, but I’m a little sad.