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?

disney buys lucasfilm wide new

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?

Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!

Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?