Surprise! Disney suddenly bought LucasFilm for $4 billion earlier today, adding Star Wars to the long list of properties flying under the Disney flagship. The release also announced a brand new Star Wars feature film in 2015.

LucasFilm, owned completely by CEO George Lucas, had full creative control over the Star Wars franchise before today, and in celebration of their new purchase, Disney has announced that Star Wars Episode 7 will be targeting a 2015 release date, with plans to release additional Star Wars films every two to three years into the foreseeable future.

The exact sticker price for Star Wars, and other LucasArts intelligent property was $4.05 billion, half in cash, and the rest in 40 million shares of stock.

George Lucas will remain on the film as a creative consultant, Kathleen Kennedy, Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm, will be promoted to President of LucasFilm, though she will still be answering to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn.

During the conference call, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated that along with the acquisition they received a “pretty extensive treatment for what would be the next three [Star Wars] films.” Iger added they were pleased with the treatment and the films were in “early stages.” Iger also noted that Disney now has the rights to the Indiana Jones franchise, although Paramount will still retain a portion of the property.

The full press release was released by Disney earlier today.

Lucas was quoted to say that he believes that Star Wars belongs to a new generation of filmmakers.

“For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next,” said George Lucas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lucasfilm. “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come. Disney’s reach and experience gives Lucasfilm the opportunity to blaze new trails in film, television, interactive media, theme parks, live entertainment, and consumer products.”

In the video below, George Lucas sits down with Kathleen Kennedy to discuss the reasoning behind his decision to sell Lucasfilm. He goes on to say that he’s very happy to hand over his company to Disney, knowing that it’s in “safe hands” and looks forward to seeing what they will do with the different franchises that he’s developed over the last few decades.

All that’s left now is speculation. Talk of a Force Unleashed film adaptation has been circulating for quite some time, but does the loose title of Star Wars VII dash those hopes? Will the film take place after Return of the Jedi as a continuing storyline, or will we be treated to something from the expanded universe?

Disney knows how to character brand, so we’re probably going to see the return of a few favorites. C3PO and R2D2 are shoe-ins for bit parts, but we might be able to expect a crowd-roaring semi-translucent cameo from Yoda as well.

How can Star Wars continue the saga?

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There’s plenty of material in the existing Star Wars universe on which to base new stories, so will the new film be an adaptation of a story already told in the books? Will it be a fresh reboot? Will it be a completely original story?

Older fans might remember a quick snippet of an interview with Lucas from 1983 in which he discussed what he would do with Star Wars 7 if he were in control. Since he’s no longer in control, these plans might be a moot point, but it’s still a very interesting idea especially given how long it’s been since Return of the Jedi.

In ICONS: Intimate Portraits in a chapter titled The Dark Side of George Lucas, interviewer Denise Worrell asked Lucas about his sequel plans, to which he revealed an idea, set 37 years in future, that revisits sixty-year-old Jedi Luke Skywalker as he restructures the Jedi Council after the events of the original trilogy.

According to Worrell, Lucas said that Mark Hamill would get “the first crack” at the role, and the series of films would discuss ” the Jedi knighthood, justice, confrontation, and mentorship.”

At this point, it seems more likely that the films will follow a brand new adventure with a mostly brand new cast of characters, but it’s worth noting that most of the original Star Wars cast members are still alive and kicking.

A little perspective: The six Star Wars films over a span of 35 years have made $4.4 billion. It might be safe to expect Disney to run this machine until the wheels fall off in order to get a healthy return on their investment.

This isn’t the first piece of news from the George Lucas/Mickey Mouse relationship. Check out our full detailing of their romantic journey.

Additional reporting by Jeremy Baril and Joshua Nealey

Excited for a new Star Wars film?

The final 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars will air starting in April 2017.

The news was announced via Facebook Live by the Pretty Little Liars creator, Marlene King, along with the stars of the show, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, and Sasha Pieterse. You can still watch the video on the official Pretty Little Liars Facebook page.

The conclusion of the show has been rumored for quite a while now, with King even stating earlier in the year that season 7 would likely be the end of Pretty Little Liars “as we know it.” However, up until now, speculation continued about how the show could potentially continue past its seventh season.

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The final 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars will air starting in April 2017.

The news was announced via Facebook Live by the Pretty Little Liars creator, Marlene King, along with the stars of the show, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, and Sasha Pieterse. You can still watch the video on the official Pretty Little Liars Facebook page.

The conclusion of the show has been rumored for quite a while now, with King even stating earlier in the year that season 7 would likely be the end of Pretty Little Liars “as we know it.” However, up until now, speculation continued about how the show could potentially continue past its seventh season.

A possible film was previously discussed as an option to end the series, but that seems to be off the table now. The series finale will now be a “two-hour, drama-filled television event.”

As for what we can expect for the final 10 episodes of Pretty Little Liars, it will “continue to be filled with homecomings and reunions.” We’ve already seen so many familiar and forgotten faces in season 7, so it will be nice to be able to say a final goodbye to even more characters.

On top of the returning characters, we can also expect a wedding! Obviously Ezria is the couple to watch for this, since they recently got engaged, but you never really know with Pretty Little Liars.

The summer finale of Pretty Little Liars season 7 is airing tomorrow, August 30, so we will have a long wait before the final 10 episodes air in April 2017.

The series finale will be followed by the premiere of Marlene King’s new series, Famous In Love. If you need a Pretty Little Liars fix after the show ends, this may be a good show for you to check out!

Famous In Love will be another one-hour drama that will supposedly “put the spotlight on the dark side of fame.” It is based on the novel of the same name, written by Rebecca Serle.

How do you feel about ‘Pretty Little Liars’ ending with season 7?

Behind-the-scenes looks at next year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast continue to leak off the animated film’s 25th Anniversary Edition, arriving in September.

Today we have four new previews. This one’s a particular doozy because we get to see a first look (sort of) at Emma Watson as Belle, who has yet to be unveiled in full. The dress she’s wearing in this concept art may be best remembered from the animated movie for its appearance in the scenes surrounding the song “Belle”:

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Behind-the-scenes looks at next year’s live-action Beauty and the Beast continue to leak off the animated film’s 25th Anniversary Edition, arriving in September.

Today we have four new previews. This one’s a particular doozy because we get to see a first look (sort of) at Emma Watson as Belle, who has yet to be unveiled in full. The dress she’s wearing in this concept art may be best remembered from the animated movie for its appearance in the scenes surrounding the song “Belle”:

beauty-and-the-beast-belle-emma-watson

Three pieces of concept art appear to have been drawn up for the costume department. We’re also getting a look at Gaston (Luke Evans) and Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson):

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Finally, we have a shot of Luke Evans and a woman rehearsing a dance scene that appears to take place on top of a table. In the background you can see additional concept art depicting Mrs. Potts (in kettle form), Chip, and a piano (who might be played by Stanley Tucci and named Cadenza):

beauty-and-the-beast-belle

Last week we got to see several other first looks from this same behind-the-scenes featurette, including Dan Stevens as the Beast (human form), Cogsworth, and Lumière.

At this rate, the whole behind-the-scenes look may be spoiled by the time the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is released to the world on September 20.

The live-action Beauty and the Beast arrives this March and is directed by Bill Condon.

Report: Warner Bros. wants Daniel Radcliffe to return for ‘Cursed Child’ movie

File this one under: Crazy rumor that's also somehow... plausible? (But it's probably not gonna happen.)

10:49 am EDT, August 29, 2016

If Warner Bros. are indeed working on a movie version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, they’ll likely be looking to bring back the o.g. Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe.

At least that’s the hot buzz from NY Daily News, whose “Tinseltown sources” also say that a movie version of the play could arrive as early as 2020, and that it might evolve into a trilogy about Harry and his son Albus.

Daniel Radcliffe — the same Daniel Radcliffe who proclaimed in 2010 that “I’m working very hard to establish myself as an actor outside of this series,” and who hasn’t even been to see Cursed Child yet — is reportedly Warner Bros.’ choice to play Harry in the series, which (as unlikely as it is to actually happen) may very well be true.

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If Warner Bros. are indeed working on a movie version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, they’ll likely be looking to bring back the o.g. Harry himself, Daniel Radcliffe.

At least that’s the hot buzz from NY Daily News, whose “Tinseltown sources” also say that a movie version of the play could arrive as early as 2020, and that it might evolve into a trilogy about Harry and his son Albus.

Daniel Radcliffe — the same Daniel Radcliffe who proclaimed in 2010 that “I’m working very hard to establish myself as an actor outside of this series,” and who hasn’t even been to see Cursed Child yet — is reportedly Warner Bros.’ choice to play Harry in the series, which (as unlikely as it is to actually happen) may very well be true.

After all, as amazing as Jamie Parker is as Harry Potter on stage, Warner Bros., must be aware that most Harry Potter fans won’t be able to see the play live, and therefore wouldn’t necessarily be as hyped about a ‘Harry Potter movie’ that didn’t star the actors from the original movie series.

Related: Have you read all of Hypable’s original Cursed Child coverage? (There’s a lot!)

As NY Daily News notes, however, Radcliffe is very much doing his own thing, with even the sources admitting that he’d “need some persuading” before agreeing to reprise the role he’s trying very hard to distance himself from.

Aside from this small inconvenience, there are plenty of other reasons why this would not — and perhaps should not — work out.

First of all, Dan Radcliffe is currently 27 years old, and if Warner Bros. was really planning the Cursed Child movie for 2020, he’d have to play the part of a 36-40-year-old Harry in the movie at age >30. We all remember how awkward the Deathly Hallows epilogue turned out, and we’re sure there aren’t many of us who’d want an hours-long version of that (for not to mention the possibility that they’d split this story into two movies).

Second, once they got Radcliffe back, they’d have to get everyone else, too. You couldn’t just have the original Harry back while introducing a brand new Hermione, Ron, Draco, Ginny, etc.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: Daniel Radcliffe is not Harry Potter. While movie fans will probably always see Radcliffe’s face when thinking about the character, he existed on the pages of the novel series first, which means a potential Cursed Child movie wouldn’t be recasting anyone if they went with new actors — they’d simply pick a new, older set of actors to embody the iconic characters.

Having seen the play on stage, this writer would personally much rather see the original Cursed Child cast reprise their roles for any eventual movie version that Warner Bros. puts together. A lot of the play’s success hinges on these actors’ performances and chemistry, and it’d be a shame to lose that magic on screen.

Would you want to see Daniel Radcliffe back as Harry Potter in a ‘Cursed Child’ movie?