The Walt Disney Company has acquired Lucasfilm.
The deal, which is estimated to be worth over $4 billion, sees Disney acquiring complete control of Lucasfilm Ltd and their intellectual property, which includes both the Indiana Jones series and the studio's most popular franchise, Star Wars.
Disney was quick to capitalize on the acquisition with the announcement that 2015 will see the release of the first in a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, for now simply dubbed Star Wars Episode 7. Although it's probably safe to assume that chronologically this movie will feature events set after Return of the Jedi, there's no word on whether any of the original trilogy's cast will return or what we can expect in terms of plot for this new three-movie series.
George Lucas will step down from his role President of Lucasfilm, with current co-chairman Kathleen Kennedy taking over the role whilst also acting as Brand Manager for the Star Wars franchise. Lucas will remain as a consultant on the new movie trilogy although from his official comment it appears he may well be allowing another screenwriter to take over his vision (our emphasis added below):
“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.”