Deadline is reporting that the 2015 Disney film will be Star Wars: Episode 7 and that Episode 8 and Episode 9 will appear in two- to three-year intervals. Disney has acquired a detailed treatment for the next three films in the series, which would, theoretically, begin sometime after Return of the Jedi.
Lucas says he will serve as a "creative consultant" on the new Star Wars and offered these thoughts:
"For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. 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.”
Crazy breaking news coming from THR concerning the future of Star Wars and Disney…
Early buzz sweeping Hollywood says that the Walt Disney Company has acquired LucasFilm for $4.05 billion in cash and stock. Kathleen Kennedy, who currently serves as cochair of LucasFilm, will now be shifted to president and report to Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.
If that weren’t a big enough deal to wrap your head around, add in this: Disney has plans to oversee a brand new Star Wars movie set for release in 2015.
What will this new Star Wars be? No one seems to know yet – it could, theoretically, be Episode 7 – or it could be something else entirely. An animated feature? A feature-length version of the 1313 series that was rumored for television? Something entirely different? We just don’t know.
What we also don’t know is how involved George Lucas would be with a new Star Wars project under Disney control. The THR piece makes no mention of Lucas’s involvement after the deal is completed, so we can’t do anything but speculate at this point.
Needless to say, the Internet is exploding with this news, which is even bigger than Disney’s previous acquisition of Marvel. With both Marvel and LucasFilms in the fold, on top of their own animated productions and Pixar, Disney just basically gave themselves a license to print money.
We’ll bring you more details on this as the story develops.