Not too long ago, Disney purchased Marvel for several billion dollars, adding to their massive catalog of franchises and characters. Did you think they were done? Well, apparently not.
Disney is about to become even BIGGER. The company just announced today that it is in the process of purchasing Lucasfilm Ltd., for a whopping $4.05 billion in a cash and stock deal. So who is all of this money going to? George Lucas, who currently owns 100% of the company. Given that sources say George is already worth $3 billion, I honestly have no idea what he is going to buy with all that money but I’m sure hookers and cocaine are somewhere in the picture.
Now of course, this now means Disney will own the rights to both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, PLUS other properties like Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. The big kicker of this though is that, according to the the press release, Disney plans on putting out Star Wars: Episode 7 in 2015 and has a “long term plan to release a new Star Wars feature film every two to three years.“
So is this a good thing or a bad thing? Well, I’m a little split. See, unlike the rest of the internet, I don’t particularly care for Star Wars other than The Empire Strikes Back (yes, this means I don’t care much for A New Hope). I find a lot of it to be predictable, harmless and overall, not very engaging. I shouldn’t even have to mention the prequels, as you all know.
But I have always felt that the main problem was with George Lucas’ strangehold on the property. Back in the day, George was a visionary filmmaker, audacious and hungry. Then he got a taste of giant success and turned his vision into a business model. I feel that all of his decisions for the past two decades have been more about merchandising first and story/characters later. If Disney can make these movies without George’s input, I feel that they have a chance at making some great films, especially if they get the right talent involved.
If they follow the lead of Marvel, they can get some hungry and visionary writers and directors involved and make something big out of it. Personally, I want to see Star Wars enter a darker realm. We already have enough Star Wars material for the kids. I would love to make an adult-minded Star Wars film full of action, anti-heroes, and all that good stuff. The universe is in incredibly rich and deep; you could really make any type of film with this property.
All in all, we will find out sooner or later. It could be the next Avengers…or it could be the next Pirates of the Caribbean.