Disney acquires Star Wars from George Lucas…

…for $4 billion dollars. George can finally take a year off and write that novel he’s always wanted to get to. Maybe go fishing.

Also included in the deal is the rights to Indiana Jones, which I’m surprised isn’t getting more play. Dare they reboot the character sans Harrison Ford? Sure. Man, it’s hard to see how they don’t mess that up, though. Spielberg and Lucas themselves didn’t exactly set the world on fire with the last attempt.

There’s some vapors across the web about all this. Really, though, I think Lucas get Disney a favor with the last three Star Wars movies. They are so generally unloved that Disney has a real shot at improving on them for the next trilogy of films they’re planning. And I guess a TV show of some sort.

I wonder if the Pixar guys would like a crack at some of this?

  • kgb_san_diego

    >> I wonder if the Pixar guys would like a crack at some of this?

    That is EXACTLY what I would want… Especially Brad Bird… (fingers crossed)

  • Marty McKee

    Disney believes Indiana Jones hasn’t enough value, thanks to Indy 4, I’m sure, to be worth paying Paramount for the legal rights that studio owns. I don’t think they plan to do much with Indy.

  • Ken_Begg

    Thanks for the clarification, Marty, and good to hear from you! Does this mean Paramount also needs permission from Disney to continue making IJ movies?

  • bgbear_rogerh

    C’mon guys, the real plan is to start a new Princess series to add to the Disney canon. Princess Leia front and center.

  • Seems only good can come from this move, seeing as the best movies are coming from Disney these days. What I want to know is, does this mean we’ll FINALLY have the option of buying the non-special edition versions of the original three films? Or, does Lucas still have a say in that? Should I just continue looking for old laserdiscs?

    Upon hearing the news, though, I did find myself wondering if Disney were going to continue this habit of gobbling up other companies and characters to become a pop culture monopoly. Are they going after 007 next? Godzilla?

  • Ken_Begg

    Hey, if Disney could make a Princess Leia movie as good as the Little Mermaid, I’d be all for it.

  • MarshallDog

    Indy 4 wasn’t great but it still made money. I’m sure there’s a deal to be made there- maybe a joint venture for the next movie?
    As for Star Wars, I’m pretty disappointed Disney is getting the chance to reboot the brand. The modern Disney products have been very bland. A few notable exceptions like WALL-E and Toy Story 3 aren’t exactly Star Wars-ish. The Marvel movies are fun but ultimately blah. I don’t really see this ending well especially if they try and tie the new movies into the expanded universe novels.
    I’ll bet there is somebody out there with a great idea for the new series (crazy idea- it doesn’t have to be a trilogy!) but odds are the best idea doesn’t reside within Disney. I hope they take their time writing the next movie, then maybe start planning the action and SFX sequences. We know what happens when you do the wrong thing first. You get The Phantom Menace.

  • Ken_Begg

    That’s kind of what I was hoping. Lucas’ insane drive to deny the fans good copies of the original films made no sense, and if Disney is anything, it’s business smart. Seems like a no brainer.

    Also, we might finally get that authorized Holiday Special!

    I could see MGM selling Bond, but only if they just give up the ghost. Warners has Godzilla sown up, and unless they screw the pooch, I imagine they’ll want to keep him. And if they DO screw up, for the second time in recent memory, no one will want to make another movie.

  • bgbear_rogerh

    no argument here.

    On Tatooine
    On Tatooine
    Darling it’s dryer
    Everyday a fryer
    Take it from me
    Moisture farms we work all day
    Out in the suns we slave away
    While others are revoltin’
    We are moanin’
    On Tatooine

  • Oooh! I forgot all about the Holiday Special! Yes! Yes! Please!

    The odds are pretty good on the new Godzilla smelling worse than the Smog Monster after a good rain. My hope is, before the film crashes on the tarmac, there’s a flood of giant monster movies hoping to cash in, and that maybe one or two of them might be good. (On the other hand, that’s eaxtcly what didn’t happen when KING KONG hits screens -and Kong fans over the head- in 2005….)

  • Ken_Begg

    Giant monster movies will be maneuvered into pre-production, waiting to see how the new G film does. Asylum will make a mockbuster, but other than that, there won’t be a ton of cheapie knock-offs. This is the pattern followed by the releases of the Deanzilla and Jackson Kong film. Everyone will be ready to cash in if Warners’ movie is a hit, and also to scrap any plans if it fails.

    The good news is, it already looks to be majorly better than the Tri-Star film, if only because they actually seem to be making the film about, you know, Godzilla.

  • Ken_Begg

    Sometimes they make money on momentum, however. Schumacher’s first Batman made money because of the Burton films. Then Schumacher made another one, and everyone who disliked the previous one skipped that. I’m not sure there’s a lot of call for yet another trip to that well.

    Disney can only hope and pray their new Star Wars movies are as good and popular as The Avengers. (Which was made by Marvel, by the way, not Disney.) Quite unlikely, since nearly everyone considers that movie to be a gigantic success.

  • Now, to be fair, BATMAN FOREVER was a pretty good movie. It’s own success was deserved. The folly of BATMAN AND ROBIN, something upon which I reflected during the screening, was that it was just too overblown and lacking in sustance. Even as a kid, I was thinking that it looked big, but was pretty hollow. I can’t say as I felt FOREVER was guilty of the same sin.

  • I’m trying to keep from learning too much about the film before I see it, but one thing does make me rankle a bit. There seems to be a feeling from producers that the Tri-Star film misfired because it featured only one monster, so they’ve decided this film will have an opponent for the big blue dinosaur to fight. I can’t say I find that a wise move. This is a new Godzilla with all new ground rules. I think the first film should focus on Godzilla and establish how and why this particular version is indestructible. Save the up-the-anty stuff for the next film (which would be a sure thing if we could count on Legendary just delivering a good monster movie), I say. I’m pretty sure the lack of another monster wasn’t the main complaint fans had about Tri-Star’s film. Or am I wrong?

  • At least not to the same degree, anyway. Also, at least it featured some good casting choices, and they dialed back the camp element more than they did for the follow-up film.

  • Ken_Begg

    Yeah, but it takes three years to make a movie now, not one a year, like Toho had to build on. And frankly, after the last movie it only makes sense to play your strongest hand the first time out.

    Also a problem with the Tri-Star movie; no oral beam (kind of like making a non-flying Superman), monster running away all the time, monster highly vulnerable, etc.

    Hopefully a second monster will also cut the human stuff to a minimum, although in any case, the next movie HAS to be better in that regard than the 1998 version.

  • Ken_Begg

    Man, you’re entitled to your opinion, Rock, but that’s a lonely one. Most of us thought BF sucked. It’s hideous portrayal of Two-Face alone consigns it to Movie Hell. Val Kilmer was an awful Bruce Wayne (as George Clooney was in the exact opposite fashion in the next movie–Schumacher clearly had a lot of passion for the character), Bruce Wayne as himself publicly kicks a ton of criminal ass at a Police Charity Benefit and nobody notices…awful movie.

  • Does Toho still have the rights to make Godzilla movies, or does Warner Bros. have the solo go? I read somewhere that they were waiting a decade before making more.

  • zombiewhacker

    I’m surprised nobody’s asking the question: what the hell could Ep VII possibly be about? The Sith have been wiped out. The Empire is finished. Hamill, Ford, and Fisher are way too old for their roles, Recasting such iconic stars could prove dicey (*cough* Superman Returns).
    My idea: have Disney remake the Prequel Trilogy instead.

  • Mr. Rational

    None of us needed to hear Jim Carrey say “joygasm” in a movie that was marketed to teh kiddiez, either.

  • Mr. Rational

    I doubt the Empire is really finished. Its leader has been knocked out, but it still has assets in place all over the galaxy, and command of a ton of major planets. I bet the Rebellion still has a lot of work to do, and that would be a good place for an Ep VII to kick off…say, twenty years or so down the road.

    Bonus: then, you could have a younger set of actors carry the storyline, while still keeping the iconic stars as background characters without recasting them (i.e., “with HARRISON FORD as ‘Han Solo’ and MARK HAMILL as ‘Luke Skywalker'”).

    This will still suck hard, though.

  • Mr. Rational


  • Luke Blanchard

    I didn’t hate Indy 4 at all. It wasn’t the best but I found it satisfactory in a way I didn’t find the Star Wars prequels.

    I’ve long thought the original Star Wars films have a Disneyish quality. The roles of the characters in the stories were mostly clearly-defined (hero, villain, mentor, comic relief). The characters were mostly two-dimensional but strongly drawn in a larger-than-life way, like animated characters or the characters in old-style Disney family movies.

  • Ken_Begg

    Toho is basically a real estate company now. The reason they’ve been trying to punt the Godzilla movies to another company is that, aside from the free income for them for no investment, they need a G-movie to come out every so often to keep the copyrights on the various monsters active. These are then licensed out to toy companies, etc. The reason Toho got back into filmmaking following the failure of the Tri-Star film is mostly because they had to to keep those rights active.

  • Ken_Begg

    Yeah, Luke will be the new Obi-Wan, you’d have to think.

  • Ken_Begg

    I don’t think anyone hated it, but I think the majority were overwhelmed. Even if you leave the theater basically satisfied, that doesn’t necessarily mean to want to see another movie after that. (Charlie’s Angels, ect.)

  • Toby Clark

    A lot depends on whether or not they’re treating the Expanded Universe books as canon, because if they plan to bring back any of the original actors, this’d have to be set around the Legacy of the Force era.

  • Terrahawk

    The sequels could do well. But I think they have to jump maybe a century into the future. They could have some sort of intro scene(s) with the old characters to show what laid the seeds for the future problems. However, I wouldn’t jam the sequel right after VI.
    I’m getting worried about Pixar. I think they’ve reached their zenith and are on the way down. I don’t know if it’s being owned by Disney or what, but their last couple of attempts have been blah.

  • Ken_Begg

    I doubt any books will be considered ‘canon,’ indeed, I think that would be an alien thought for a film studio. That doesn’t mean they won’t pick and choose things they like from any sources they have control over, though. I don’t think Whedon (or even Marvel) considered any actual discrete comic book ‘canon’ for his Avengers movie, instead he took what he liked about the characters and boiled it down into a mainstream audience-friendly synthesis. Indeed, I’m not sure how else you can do it.

  • Ken_Begg

    I doubt Disney has anything to do with it; it’s hard to keep at an artistic peak forever. They managed it for a looong time, but in the end, nobody stays at the top of their game.

    I can’t imagine they won’t want to incorporate a few of the classic movie actors like Hammil and Ford and Fisher. So I would expect it to be set a while after the first films, but not incredibly are into the future.

  • Marty McKee

    I can’t remember now where I saw this, but apparently there would be some “renumerance” that Paramount would be owed for Disney to make an Indy 5, and the quoted Disney exec didn’t feel the film would be worth paying Paramount the fee.

  • Ken_Begg

    That might be a face-saving maneuver also. I’m sure the last movie eked out a slim profit margin at best, with all the huge talent gross participation deals (Lucas, Spielberg, Ford, etc.) So unless you’re looking at a complete reboot, which itself would be a HIGHLY dicey proposition and still cost a boatlad, it probably doesn’t make sense to start with. But rather than say that, you just go, “Oh, yeah, that Paramount fee is the killer.”

  • That’s true.

  • Granted, it’s been a while since I screened the film, but I liked Kilmer in the part. I guess I’ll have to watch it again soon and refresh my memory…..

  • While not the greatest adventure movie I’ve ever seen, it wasn’t that bad, either. It did feature one of my favorite Indy moments of all time, though. The scene in question being when the Red spies have Indy outnumbered and he’s asked if he has any last words. “I Like Ike!”

  • Ken_Begg

    I guess my problem with his performance is that he completely ACTS like a guy who’s ‘secretly’ Batman. Two minutes with him and his secret identity would be undone…all that lurking in shadows and so on.

    Keaton was great because he showed the camera the crazy but not the other characters in the scene.

  • Well, logic would dictate a better human element, but this IS Hollywood we’re talking about…….

  • Too late. Facebook is swamped with images of Leia captioned “Disney Princess” and I even saw a pic of the established Disney Princesses dolled up in Leia’s slave girl costume. The wheels are already turning.

  • MarchallDog

    I hope they are better than The Avengers. I know it was a really popular film but I guess I was expecting so much more. It was supposed to be this huge movie nerdgasm and I left the theater so underwhelmed. Or maybe I just wasn’t prepared for the whole flying invisible aircraft carrier thing- that threw me off a bit.

  • Ken_Begg

    Really? Hard to think of much more venerable in the Marvel comics universe than the SHIELD helicarrier. It’s been around since ’65.

  • Mr. Rational

    No, the Leia thing is inevitable. Although it disgusts me to the core, I’ve mostly made my peace with it. I was talking about making a Disney-fied Star Wars MUSICAL. Don’t give them THAT idea. For God’s sake, think of the children!

  • Ken_Begg

    Again, compared to what Lucas has done, I imagine it would still be a step up.

  • The Rev.

    I don’t know if they were official, but I recall novels being released a long time ago following the “original” trilogy, featuring Han and Leia’s kids as the protagonists, although Han, Leia, and Luke were also present. I want to say Luke was the mentor for one or both of the kids. I also recall Boba Fett and Solo having a run-in at some point.

    Bear in mind, I did not read any of these; these are bits I picked up from a former roommate who was a huge Star Wars nerd. If they have a term for the SW equivalent of a Trekkie, he was it all the way.

  • Toho still owns the rights to Godzilla and only licensed the rights to make a Godzilla movie to Legendary Pictures. They did something similar back in the 80’s, but the planned American 3D Godzilla film never got off the ground. Hell, Toho only stopped making Godzilla movies in the 90’s because Sony didn’t want any competing Godzilla films when theirs came out. Once that came and went, Toho went back to work until daikaiju films started bombing at the Japanese box office.

    While there is some truth in the issue of needing to keep trademarks active (which you don’t have to do with copyrights), Toho doesn’t have to make movies to keep them. Take Varan for example. Despite his not having appeared in any movies in decades, I can assure you that his trademark is still good.

  • Ken_Begg

    Thanks for the clarification, GDL!

  • I once read of an unoffical sequel to RETURN OF THE JEDI shot back in the 80’s. Even had, I think, Carrie Fisher. Anyone know anything about this?

  • I would love to see the Zahn books turned in to films. Grand Admiral Thrawn is a great bad guy.