Disney said on Tuesday that it has acquired Lucasfilm Ltd, owned by innovative American filmmaker George Lucas, for $US4.05 billion, giving the giant U.S. movie studio rights to all film titles and technology that were chiefly responsible for generating billions of revenues worldwide.
The Star Wars saga continues, thanks largely to Disney and if future plans roll out just fine global viewers will be regaled by Episode 7 on 2015, capping the multi-billion dollar deal that would extend the Star Wars franchise for new generations to see.
Apart from the six Star Wars full length movies, Mr Lucas will handover ownership of another popular movie series from his catalogue of works - the Indiana Jones. It was unclear though if Disney would tinker with the franchise and resurrect the character that catapulted Hollywood actor Harrison Ford to global superstardom.
What definitely would come out from the mega deal is Mr Lucas would emerge ever richer as the arrangement with Disney will leave him collecting half of the agreed amount in cash and the other 50 per cent in stocks.
The famed filmmaker will end up with 2.2 per cent interests in Disney, according to Reuters, and is set to act as creative consultant in every project that would bring back into life movie characters he first introduced to the world in the mid-1970s.
Mr Lucas expressed excitement that he would have a more relaxed role in the future outings of his movie opus, saying in an interview broadcasted via YouTube: "I get to be a fan now ... I sort of look forward to it. It's a lot more fun actually, than actually having to go out into the mud and snow."
He also seemed to acknowledge that the move was a surprise one following his earlier pronouncement that Star Wars will never be stretched beyond the six installments he had already helmed.
"I'm doing this so that the films will have a longer life," Mr Lucas was quoted by Reuters as saying in an apparent attempt to explain his turnaround.
In a separate statement, he declared: "It's now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers."
According to Disney chief executive Bob Iger, he had negotiated the deal for more than a year but arrangements only started shaping up when Mr Lucas had determined it was time for him get out of the filmmaking business, at least in a larger role.
In a statement, Mr Iger noted that the last Star Wars movie was issued in 2005 and he was sure movie fans would want to seen a fresh take on the franchise a decade after.
"The last Star Wars movie release was 2005's 'Revenge of the Sith' - and we believe there's substantial pent-up demand," the Disney chief was reported by The Associated Press (AP) as saying.
He hinted too that global fans can expect another set of Star Wars trilogy and beyond.
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