Rupert Murdoch 'crazed' by Disney's purchase of LucasFilm

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
George Lucas, left, shakes hands with Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger at Disneyland Park, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch was apparently “crazed” to learn that Disney had acquired LucasFilm in 2012 after his own studio - 20th Century Fox - had released the first six Star Wars films with George Lucas.

In a new New Yorks Time profile, Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed that News Corp founder Murdoch was disappointed that his own execs hadn’t made the move first.

“Rupert was crazed that we bought Lucas,” Iger said. “They were the distributor of all of George’s movies, and he was very disappointed in his people. ‘Why didn’t you think of this?’”

Disney acquired George Lucas’ studio in October 2012 for $4.05 billion, announcing a new trilogy of Star Wars films would be released, starting in 2015. The third film in that trilogy - Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker - will land in cinemas this December.

The Rise of Skywalker (Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm)

Under the deal, Disney acquired ownership of LucasFilm’s IP including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, and Lucasfilm's operating businesses in live-action film production, consumer products, video games, animation, visual effects, and audio post-production.

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Four new Star Wars films have been released by LucasFilm since Disney assumed control - The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi, and Solo - and the franchise has continued to grow bolstering Disney’s share of the marketplace.

Rupert Murdoch and Robert Iger at the annual Allen & Co.'s media summit in Sun Valley, Idaho, Wednesday, July 8, 2009.(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

In March 2019, Disney acquired Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox after buying its owner, 21st Century Fox for $71.3 billion.

Disney will continue to release films under the Fox banner including four Avatar sequels, the first of which is due in cinemas over Christmas 2021.

Indiana Jones 5 is still on track for release in 2021 and has recently rehired Kingdom of the Crystal Skull screenwriter David Koepp to work on the script.