In a blockbuster entertainment deal, Disney has purchased Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion. The production company is famous for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Founded by George Lucas in 1971, Lucasfilm has been a pioneer in special effects. Lucas is of course famous for writing and directing the original Star Wars trilogy. In a statement on the merger, he said it was time for him to pass on the Star Wars franchise to a future generation of film makers.
Disney also announced that they plan to start a new trilogy of Star Wars films. They are aiming for a 2015 release date for Episode 7. New films would then be released every two or three years. Lucas has previously stated that he has material for several more Star Wars movies.
This is the second major purchase for Disney in the past few years. Back in 2009 they purchased Marvel, the nation’s most popular comic book publisher, for $4 billion. While the comic book industry has been fading, Marvel has been highly successful by transitioning its properties on to the big screen. Together, they scored a massive hit earlier this year with “The Avengers”. The company also owns and publishes characters such as Spider-Man, the X-Men, Daredevil, and many more.
Disney also acquired Pixar back in 2006 for roughly $7 billion in an all stock deal. The two companies had already been working together, but the merger gave Disney rights to successful properties like Toy Story, and Cars. With these three successful studios now in house, Disney is set to dominant the movie industry for years to come.