George Lucas confirms that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are signed for the next Star Wars...kind of
In a really in-depth and compelling article in Businessweek, the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney is covered in great detail, from George Lucas' frustration with the backlash of the prequels, his coming to terms with passing on the torch of his STAR WARS franchise, offering the gig to Kathleen Kennedy, the dealmaking with Disney CEO Bob Iger, the hiring of J.J. Abrams, his current involvement with the new trilogy, and, oh yeah, basically confirming that Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are officially onboard.
Here's the highlights:
On Lucas passing the torch to Kathleen Kennedy:
Lucas asked if she was interested in taking over Lucasfilm. Kennedy may have been blindsided by the news, but she happily accepted the position. “When Kathy came on, we started talking about starting up the whole franchise again,” he says. “I was pulling away, and I said, ‘Well, I’ve got to build this company up so it functions without me, and we need to do something to make it attractive.’ So I said, ‘Well, let’s just do these movies.’ ”
On Lucas' current involvement with the new trilogy:
Even so, he’s attended story meetings for the new film, adjudicating the physical laws and attributes of the Star Wars universe. “I mostly say, ‘You can’t do this. You can do that,’ ” Lucas says. “You know, ‘The cars don’t have wheels. They fly with antigravity.’ There’s a million little pieces. Or I can say, ‘He doesn’t have the power to do that, or he has to do this.’ I know all that stuff.”
On a live-action TV show and the fight against "overhype":
Iger is busy readying the machinery that will crank out Star Wars-related toys and theme park attractions and whatever Disney deems as appropriate franchise exploitation. He says he’s looking to expand sales of Star Wars merchandise overseas and that ABC and Lucasfilm are discussing a live-action TV series. At the same time, Iger says he doesn’t want to do anything that might detract from the upcoming movies. “I don’t want to overcommercialize or overhype this,” he says. “It’s my job to prevent that.”
On the signing of Hamill, Ford, and Fisher for the new trilogy:
“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.”
Some interesting and cool bits, eh? It's a great article, which I recommend checking out if you're interested in the mechanics of the Lucasfilm/Disney deal. I'm already getting weary of all the STAR WARS back-and-forth, but this is genuinely cool news to hear and much more legit than some of the stuff that's been cranked out of the rumor machine thus far. Expect a lot more as time goes on. You know the drill.
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII is slated to hit sometime in 2015 (but, my money is on 2016)
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