Today, the Walt Disney Co. announced the acquisition of George Lucas' Lucasfilm, as well as a new Star Wars feature in a whopping $4.05 billion deal.
Disney chief Bob Iger says Lucas' company 'fits perfectly with Disney's strategic priorities' in an internal memo to Disney employees.
Read the full email below:
Dear Fellow Employee,
I am very pleased to announce The Walt Disney
Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. and its world-class portfolio of
creative content —
the legendary Star Wars franchise — along with all of its operating businesses,
including Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound.
Star Wars is clearly one of the greatest family
entertainment franchises of all time, with hundreds of millions of fans around
the globe. Its universe of more than 17,000 characters inhabiting several
thousand planets spanning 20,000 years offers infinite inspiration and
opportunities to continue the epic Star Wars saga.
A new feature film, Star Wars Episode 7,
is expected to open in theaters worldwide in 2015. Kathleen Kennedy, the
filmmaker George Lucas handpicked as his successor, will be the executive
producer with George serving as creative consultant. Kathy will also join
Disney as President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman
Alan Horn and leading us forward on all things Star Wars.
George Lucas is a visionary, an innovator and
an epic storyteller, and we are deeply honored that he has entrusted the future
of his extraordinary creative legacy to Disney. We have a great
relationship with George and his Lucasfilm team that goes back a long way — with Star Wars-
and Indiana Jones-themed attractions in our parks in Anaheim, Orlando,
Paris and Tokyo. We see great potential for these franchises across our
entire company —
consumer products, television, games, theme parks and beyond.
Lucasfilm fits perfectly with Disney’s
strategic priorities. It’s a great source of branded, high-quality content
with true global appeal that is well suited for new business models, especially
digital platforms, and will benefit a number of our businesses. Adding
Lucasfilm to our powerful portfolio of content brands — along with Disney,
Pixar, Marvel, ESPN and ABC — gives us even more
ways to serve consumers with incredible entertainment experiences and to create
long-term value for our shareholders.
We’re obviously very excited about this
acquisition. We believe we can do great things with these amazing assets, and
we can’t wait to get started. Please join me in welcoming Lucasfilm to the