First off, the Lucasfilm sale was never a sure thing -- it took a lot of doing, even with a long history between Disney chief Bob Iger and Lucas. Then when it did, Lucas was, not surprisingly, very protective of the framework he had laid out for the next three "Star Wars" movies.
At first Lucas wouldn't even turn over his rough sketches of the next three "Star Wars" films. When Disney executives asked to see them, he assured them they would be great and said they should just trust him. "Ultimately you have to say, 'Look, I know what I'm doing. Buying my stories is part of what the deal is.' I've worked at this for 40 years, and I've been pretty successful," Lucas says. "I mean, I could have said, 'Fine, well, I'll just sell the company to somebody else.'?"
Once Lucas got assurances from Disney in writing about the broad outlines of the deal, he agreed to turn over the treatments -- but insisted they could only be read by Iger, Horn, and Kevin Mayer, Disney's executive vice president for corporate strategy. "We promised," says Iger. "We had to sign an agreement."
Along with confirmation that ABC and Lucasfilm are discussing a long-planned live-action "Star Wars" TV series (which they stress will not interfere with the theatrical plans/mythology), Lucas basically confirmed that the old gang from the will be reassembled for these new movies.
"We had already signed Mark [Hamill] and Carrie [Fisher] and Harrison [Ford] -- or we were pretty much in final stages of negotiation. So I called them to say, 'Look, this is what's going on.'?" He pauses. "Maybe I'm not supposed to say that. I think they want to announce that with some big whoop-de-do, but we were negotiating with them." Then he adds: "I won't say whether the negotiations were successful or not."
Yes, Disney probably did want a big whoop-de-do -- not only will Lucasfilm be at Comic Con this year but the D23 Expo, Disney's fan club celebration, will also be held. Expect 2013 to hold lots of exciting "Star Wars" news.
You can read more about the Lucasfilm-Disney deal over on Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
[via Bloomberg Business Week]