Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disney Buys Lucasfilm with ILM for $4.05 Billion

Tuesday it was announced that Disney has bought Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4.05 billion. Lucasfilm's main properties that matter a great deal to Disney are Star Wars, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound (sound effects, mixing for most movies). ILM is the company that did all the visual effects for all three Transformers films and invented most of the effects we see in movies for the last 30+ years. It is assumed they are doing Transformers 4's effects but now that ILM is part of Paramount's movie studio competition, who knows if they will keep such an important summer tent pole picture there. Disney has posted several videos about the acquistion (below) making surprising use of the internet to get info about this purchase across. Normally something like this would be handled with a press release and maybe a quick press conference. Companies should pay attention to this approach.

- A new Star Wars Trilogy was announced with Episodes 7 (for 2015), 8 (for 2017), and 9 (2019). Treatments already exist for this.
- George Lucas will be a consultant on the film. He will not be writing or directing them. No details on who will be.
- Fox will not distribute the third Star Wars trilogy but retain the rights to distribute Star Wars Episode 1-6.
- Disney are interested in more Star Wars cartoons for DisneyXD. No mention of the live action Star Wars TV series that Lucas had quietly been working on for years.
- No plans for Indiana Jones as Paramount has the rights. With this legal wrinkle, chances of a new movies are probably toast (but both Spielberg and Lucas were not interested in doing more anyway).
- Dark Horse Comics will keep the Star Wars license "for the near future." More then likely the 20+ year relationship will come to an end whenever the contact expires that Disney inherited. After their Marvel buy, the Disney comics were taken from other comic publishers as soon as legally allowed.


  1. According to an article posted by Variety ( ILM will continue to work for other studios. The big transformers related VFX question in my mind is will Digital Domain work on the upcoming movie or will Bay bring in one or more new VFX houses to replace them? I know DD was sold last month but I haven't read anyhting about their upcoming projects.

  2. I believe that Disney will let ILM to continue with Transformers . It's all about money and TFS have the potential always with tons and tons of money , Disney is not stupid :)

  3. Reximus Prime11/01/2012 6:49 PM

    Yeah, I agree... ILM will continue to work as an impartial studio, doing work for many studios, as they have been doing.

    On a sidenote, I'll bet they continue the Star Wars films as 20th Century Fox films, also. As long as Disney gets a bigger piece than Fox, I'm sure they'll figure it out.


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