Federal antitrust regulators have cleared Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, the Associated Press reports today. No formal closing date has been announced yet.
Directors. Hollywood Life talks to Star Trek’s J.J. Abrams and Iron Man’s Jon Favreau about Episode VII. “I am looking forward more then anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer,” Abrams said.
“I am just giddy, first and foremost as a fan, to see what happens with it. I think there is a lot of question marks of how they are going to do it, and who they are going to do it with, and what the story is going to be about; but to say that I am not excited about it is definitely an understatement. We’ll see,” Favreau said. (Lest we forget, Favreau voiced a character on The Clone Wars back in 2010.)
On the other side of the spectrum, Quentin Tarantino said the other day that he couldn’t care less about Star Wars and isn’t interested in the job. But then, did anyone actually expect he would be?
History. Huffpo’s Mike Ryan takes a look at the Making of books and interviews to document Harrison Ford’s history with Han Solo, and all the comments he’s made about the character over the years.
Release date. ComicBook.com’s Scott Johnson and his sources theorize that Disney could make Episode VII the first Star Wars movie not come out in May, since Avengers 2 is currently slated for May 1, 2015. I am beyond skeptical.
On a lark… Entertainment Weekly takes inspiration from other franchises.
Clone Wars heavy-hitters Dave Filoni and Ashley Eckstein both have blog entries about Disney and Star Wars on the official site today.
Filoni writes about his history with Disney – he worked on Kim Possible, among others – Star WArs Weekends, and
When Revenge of the Sith was over, I found myself in the incredible position of carrying the torch forward. Now I can see the incredibly bright light that is the future of Star Wars. For those of you who are fans of The Clone Wars, do not worry. We have many stories left to tell, and every one of them came directly from George himself. Right down to the last one, where that thing with Ahsoka happens…
As the daughter of a Disney “cast member,” Ashley Eckstein has never made a secret of her Disney love, and she writes at length about the effects of “being immersed in the Disney culture at such a young age.”
I wanted to work for Disney SO badly that I turned in my application on my 16th birthday. After several auditions, I finally got my big break and I was cast as a cheerleader in the Hercules Parade. I got to dance down Hollywood Blvd. Thanks to Disney, I was able to perform in front of thousands of people on the weekends and it made my dream, again, feel tangible.
Anti-trust lawyers must be wringing their hands with glee at this one: MTV Geek is saying that after acquiring Lucasfilm (pending approval) Disney will be turning to Hasbro. Or rather, that they’re having “discussions.”
Buying Hasbro would give Disney the rights to Transformers, G.I. Joe, Dungeons and Dragons, and My Little Pony, among others. And by folding in the toys, they’d be getting a bigger share of the Star Wars pie as well.
Stop compiling those exhaustive lists of your favorite Star Wars books: A Lucasfilm source tells EOnline’s Leslie Gornstein that Episode 7 will be “an original story.” Gornstein goes on to say that “Episode 7 will literally be nothing you’ve ever seen or read before from the Star Wars universe.” Not surprised. Not surprised in the least…
I’m not going to be the first person to say this, and I certainly won’t be the last: Don’t expect the sequel trilogy to follow the existing Expanded Universe. We know that George Lucas has done story treatments for these films that he’s handing over to Kathleen Kennedy and Disney’s LFL, and Lucas’s take on the EU has been, for most of its existence, that they’re an alternate universe. He has been a distant and uncaring god, at least as far as post-Return of the Jedi is concerned. He has used things from the EU occasionally, but I wouldn’t expect straight adaptations of any of the existing books or comics – at least not as actual episodes.
Last night I joined Brian and Nanci for an emergency episode of Tosche Station Radio to discuss the buyout, and the episode is now live! Behold as we revel in the WTF!
Now that the dust is settled a little from yesterday’s bombshell, we can all take a deep breath and… Continue to freak out about how there are going to be more Star Wars movies. Um.
A good place to start would be Slashfilm’s roundup of yesterday’s conference call with Russ Fischer. It addresses and expands (and yes, in some cases, speculates) on some of those lingering questions you may have on Indiana Jones, Episode VII, Industrial Light & Magic and more.
One thing I haven’t seen widely reported – though I may very well have missed it in the conference call – is Bleeding Cool’s report that Fox retains the distribution rights to the existing films.
One take I found rather interesting – if a bit paranoid – is from The Daily Intel’s Kevin Roose. He speculates that the deal is a financial dud and that Disney is getting Lucasfilm “for a steal.” I doubt this is the last we’ll hear on the financial side of this – and it’s clearly written from the perspective of a Star Wars cynic – but it’s something to keep in mind, at least. In another corner of New York Magazine, Vulture’s Kyle Buchanan and Margaret Lyons have 7 questions about Episode VII.
But overall, I think the reaction has been fairly positive, as Disney is able and – apparently – willing to let fresh eyes take on the franchise
Of course, there’s speculation on the new trilogy everywhere. ThinkProgress’ Alyssa Rosenberg weighs in on how Disney could make Episode VII awesome with 5 ideas plucked from the pages of the Expanded Universe, while Forbes’ Alex Knapp has three options and AMOG’s Keith Veronese has five. (IGN even pulled one up from their archives.) I’m sure we’re going to be seeing everyone and their vat-grown clone throw their favorite book/comic/Boba fetish into the hat for the foreseeable future. We talked a bit about this on Tosche Station last night, but you’ll just have to wait on that one!
Outside of the news sites, we’re seeing lots from the fans – and pros! – on this as well. Author Jason Fry took to Tumblr, as did Bria and Jay. Fansite proprietors at Geek My Life, NJOE and Knights Archive. And, of course, SF/F godfather John Scalzi had some thoughts as well.
Yes, it’s official and it is 100% for real: Disney has acquired Lucasfilm. (Here it is on StarWars.com.) We’ll know more details in a few minutes but some of the points from the press release and conference call:
- George Lucas to be “creative consultant” on franchise; Kathleen Kennedy will continue to lead company under Disney.
- Offer is for 4.05 billion dollars – half in cash, half in Disney stock.
- Star Wars: Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015 with more films in the future – “every 2 to 3 years.” New movies are in “early stage development.”
- Parks, games and television ARE on the menu. Disney “really likes” the franchise’s potential on TV. Speculation: Live action series on ABC? Star Wars folks on Once Upon A Time? Eek!
- Lucasfilm’s value is almost all on the Star Wars franchise. Shocking!
- Indiana Jones has “encumbrances” due to Paramount, so I wouldn’t expect to hear anything solid quickly.
Here’s a video where George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy talk about the future of the movies:
Per the release employees will be remaining at their currently locations, so hopefully this is all great news for our friends at Lucasfilm. On the official blog, Pablo Hidalgo writes a bit about the winds of change; Steve Sansweet has weighed in as well, and J.W. Rinzler looks at the ‘history’ of Episodes VII-IX.