In a fascinating long-read feature story posted this morning on Bloomberg Businessweek's website, Devin Leonard looks at the extensive planning and discussion that led to The Walt Disney Company buying Lucasfilm Ltd. Leonard writes, for example, about Disney CEO Bob Iger's exploration of the subject before any paperwork had been drafted:
Beyond the movies, Iger needed to know Lucasfilm had a stockpile of similarly rich material—aka intellectual property—for more Star Wars installments. As any serious aficionado knows, there were always supposed to be nine. But how would Disney assess the value of an imaginary galaxy? What, for example, was its population?
The article, which is running as the cover story in the March 11-17 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, is a fascinating look behind the scenes, and any fan who finds Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm intriguing should read it. But perhaps the most interesting little tidbit is this one:
Asked whether members of the original Star Wars cast will appear in Episode VII and if he called them before the deal closed to keep them informed, Lucas says, “We had already signed Mark and Carrie and Harrison—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.”
Click through to Bloomberg Businessweek for the full look at the Disney-Lucasfilm deal.