London, Oct. 31: Hollywood film giant Walt Disney has agreed to pay veteran film maker George Lucas 4.05 billion dollars to acquire the company behind the Star Wars franchise and make the seventh film in the series.
Lucasfilm Ltd., which is one of the most successful independent successful companies in the world, would now join Disney’s portfolio of brands from ESPN to Pixar and Marvel.
“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas. This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity,” the Telegraph quoted Disney’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Robert Iger, as saying.
According to the paper, about half the price will be paid in stock and Disney plans to issue about 40 million shares to cover the deal.
Lucas said that he was passing on the Star Wars franchise to a new generation of filmmakers.
“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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,” he said.
The purchase also brings ‘Industrial Light and Magic’ into the Disney fold, the pioneering special effects group that has been at the cutting edge of film making since its work on Star Wars in the 1970s, the paper said. (ANI)