Événement : Disney se paie LucasFilm et un nouveau STAR WARS + MàJ Vidéo : Lucas et Kennedy parlent du futur de STAR WARS

30-10-2012 - 21:36 - Par

Ce sera donc probablement le rachat de l’année. Impliquant une coquette somme…


MISE A JOUR : Dans la vidéo ci-dessous, George Lucas et Kathleen Kennedy commentent la nouvelle et parlent du futur de la saga STAR WARS. Lucas assure avoir un traitement pour les épisodes 7, 8 et 9, et rappelle qu’il existe une flopée de romans et comics se déroulant dans l’univers de la franchise. Kennedy, elle, déclare en être à la partie « fun du processus », à savoir « rencontrer des scénaristes et parler d’histoires éventuelles ». Autant dire que le développement de STAR WARS 7 et de la nouvelle trilogie a bel et bien débuté. À vrai dire, le responsable du blog officiel Star Wars (hébergé sur le site officiel starwars.com), écrit qu’il savait que LucasFilm préparait des volets 7, 8 et 9 depuis… le mois de juin dernier, quelques semaines après l’engagement de Kennedy. On imagine donc que Lucas a embauché la productrice de Spielberg dans cette intention, et dans l’objectif de revendre LucasFilm. Reste à savoir qui se chargera des nouveaux épisodes. Mais avec Kennedy à la barre, on ne peut qu’être intrigués. Car il y a là la possibilité de s’arroger les talents les plus assurés de notre temps. Une chose est sûre : en sortant STAR WARS 7 et AVENGERS 2 en 2015, Disney va connaître une sacrée année…


Plus de six ans après avoir acheté Pixar pour 7,4 milliards de dollars et un peu plus de trois ans après avoir acquis Marvel pour 4 milliards de dollars, Disney rachète LucasFilm Ltd, boîte mythique de George Lucas, pour approximativement la même somme, soit 4,05 milliards de dollars. C’est l’info-choc de la soirée, relayée par le Hollywood Reporter ainsi que Deadline et confirmée par un communiqué de presse. En juin dernier, Kathleen Kennedy, productrice légendaire de Steven Spielberg, était devenue coprésidente de LucasFilm. Elle devient officiellement manager de la marque Star Wars et présidente de Lucas Films, avec pour seul patron, Alan Horn, président de Walt Disney Studios. L’une des grandes informations inhérentes à cet incroyable rachat est que Disney et LucasFilm ont décidé de sortir un STAR WARS dès 2015 : STAR WARS ÉPISODE 7, sur lequel George Lucas sera consultant créatif. Mais ils ne s’arrêteront pas là : d’autres longs-métrages suivront probablement dans le futur. George Lucas l’affirme dans le communiqué de presse que vous nous mettons en anglais en fin de post : « Il est temps pour moi de passer STAR WARS à une nouvelle génération de cinéastes. J’ai toujours pensé que STAR WARS me survivrait et je pense qu’il était important que la transition ait lieu de mon vivant. Je pense qu’avec LucasFilm sous le leadership de Kathleen Kennedy et hébergé chez Disney, STAR WARS va continuer à vivre et à s’épanouir pour des générations encore. L’expérience de Disney donne à LucasFilm l’opportunité de se frayer de nouvelles voies au cinéma, à la télévision, dans les médias interactifs, les parcs d’attraction, le spectacle vivant et le merchandising ». En s’offrant LucasFilm, Disney se paie aussi, évidemment, LucasArts, ILM, et Skywalker Sound.




Continuing its strategy of delivering exceptional creative content to audiences around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. in a stock and cash transaction. Lucasfilm is 100% owned by Lucasfilm Chairman and Founder, George Lucas.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney stock on October 26, 2012, the transaction value is $4.05 billion, with Disney paying approximately half of the consideration in cash and issuing approximately 40 million shares at closing. The final consideration will be subject to customary post-closing balance sheet adjustments.

“Lucasfilm reflects the extraordinary passion, vision, and storytelling of its founder, George Lucas,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.”

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience give Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Lucasfilm, a leader in entertainment, innovation and technology, including its massively popular and “evergreen” Star Wars franchise and its operating businesses in live action film production, consumer products, animation, visual effects, and audio post production. Disney will also acquire the substantial portfolio of cutting-edge entertainment technologies that have kept audiences enthralled for many years. Lucasfilm, headquartered in San Francisco, operates under the names Lucasfilm Ltd., LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic, and Skywalker Sound, and the present intent is for Lucasfilm employees to remain in their current locations.

Kathleen Kennedy, current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will become President of Lucasfilm, reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn. Additionally she will serve as the brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will serve as executive producer on new Star Wars feature films, with George Lucas serving as creative consultant. Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future.

The acquisition combines two highly compatible family entertainment brands, and strengthens the long-standing beneficial relationship between them that already includes successful integration of Star Wars content into Disney theme parks in Anaheim, Orlando, Paris and Tokyo.

Driven by a tremendously talented creative team, Lucasfilm’s legendary Star Wars franchise has flourished for more than 35 years, and offers a virtually limitless universe of characters and stories to drive continued feature film releases and franchise growth over the long term. Star Wars resonates with consumers around the world and creates extensive opportunities for Disney to deliver the content across its diverse portfolio of businesses including movies, television, consumer products, games and theme parks. Star Wars feature films have earned a total of $4.4 billion in global box to date, and continued global demand has made Star Wars one of the world’s top product brands, and Lucasfilm a leading product licensor in the United States in 2011. The franchise provides a sustainable source of high quality, branded content with global appeal and is well suited for new business models including digital platforms, putting the acquisition in strong alignment with Disney’s strategic priorities for continued long-term growth.

The Lucasfilm acquisition follows Disney’s very successful acquisitions of Pixar and Marvel, which demonstrated the company’s unique ability to fully develop and expand the financial potential of high quality creative content with compelling characters and storytelling through the application of innovative technology and multiplatform distribution on a truly global basis to create maximum value. Adding Lucasfilm to Disney’s portfolio of world class brands significantly enhances the company’s ability to serve consumers with a broad variety of the world’s highest-quality content and to create additional long-term value for our shareholders.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, and other customary closing conditions. The agreement has been approved by the sole shareholder of Lucasfilm.

Note: Additional information and comments from Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, and Jay Rasulo, senior executive vice president and CFO, The Walt Disney Company, regarding Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, are attached.




 
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