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Disney buys Lucasfilm and announces new Star Wars film

One of the major Hollywood studios, Disney, has bought Lucasfilm in a deal worth more than $4 billion.

The company, set up by George Lucas in 1971, is best known for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises.

In announcing the takeover, Disney revealed that it will be producing a seventh Star Wars film, to be released in 2015. Episodes 8 and 9 will follow.

The announcement of the new trilogy will come as little surprise, since Lucas always said he saw Star Wars as a nine-film epic. What’s more unexpected is that Disney revealed that after that, there’ll be another film every two or three years.

Stephen Spielberg’s frequent producer Kathleen Kennedy, who joined Lucasfilm as co-chairman in June, will become its president, reporting to the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn.

Lucas himself will remain at the company as a creative consultant. In a statement, he said “It’s now time for me to pass `Star Wars’ on to a new generation of filmmakers.”

Disney said the deal combined “a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity.”

In recent years, the studio has acquired other major entertainment brands, including the animation studio Pixar, the comic publishers Marvel and the US television network, ABC.

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