A new rumor claims that a foreign oil tycoon is interested in purchasing Lucasfilm and Star Wars from The Walt Disney Company.
This new rumor comes from YouTuber Overlord DVD, who reveals one of his Hollywood spies informed him, “So we’ve been told there is an individual interested in buying Star Wars. So this rumor was told us three-ish weeks ago and we pretty much laughed about it and moved on. Now, we have several sources confirming this and while Disney may not sell we’ve been told that there is an offer on the table.”
Overlord DVD added, “According to this, the potential buyer is an oil tycoon from overseas. Allegedly, he grew up loving Star Wars movies and has only recently seen the latest movies and he wants to fix them.”
“The latest source that made this claim says this guy is willing to pay $8 billion and he won’t even miss it,” Overlord DVD added. “And Disney can keep the rides and even make new ones, but will never be allowed to make another movie, show, cartoon, etc…”
This rumor comes amid The Walt Disney Company making significant employee layoffs throughout the company. Most recently the company let go of Lightyear director Angus MacLane and producer Galyn Susman. MacLand and Susman were eliminated as part of 75 positions being cut at Pixar according to Reuters.
These cuts at Pixar are part of The Walt Disney Company’s previously announced plan to eliminate approximately 7,000 positions over the year.
Despite laying off a significant portion of their employee base amid promises to find $5.5 billion in costs, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger has indicated the company would focus their efforts on big IPs.
During the company’s Q1 FY 23 Earnings Results Call, Iger said, “In additionally we are going to lean more into our franchises, our core franchises, and our brands. I talked about curation in general entertainment. We have to be better at curating the Disney, and the Pixar, and the Marvel, and the Star Wars of it all.”
However, despite Iger making it clear they would be focusing on their franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars, he made it very clear they would be cutting costs on those productions, “And, of course, reduce costs on everything that we make. While we are extremely proud of what’s on the screen, it’s gotten to a point where it’s extraordinarily expensive. We want all the quality. We want the quality on the screen, but we have to look at what they cost us.”
“So, we are going to continue to go after [subscriptions], but we’re going to be more judicious about how we do that. We are going to look carefully at pricing,” Iger said. “We’re going to reduce costs both in content and, of course, infrastructure, there’s a lot that we’re getting at that there.”
“Marketing is another area where we are going to try and rebalance marketing the platform versus marketing the programs,” he added.
Iger would reiterate much of these comments in the company’s Q2 FY 23 Earnings Results webcast, but also indicate that much of the content they created for Disney+ and Hulu has not been driving subscription growth, “As we grow the business in terms of the global footprint, we realized that we made a lot of content that is not necessarily driving sub growth and we’re getting much more surgical about what it is we make.”
“So as we look to reduce content spend, we’re looking to reduce it in a way that should not have any impact at all on subs,” he asserted. “We believe there is an opportunity for us to focus more on real sub drivers.”
Iger went on to tacitly reveal that those real sub drivers are the theatrical films they release and subsequently put on Disney+ after their time at the box office has ended, “One thing we also know is that our films, those that are released theatrically, big tentpole movies, in particular, are great sub drivers, but we were spreading our marketing costs so thin that we were not allocating enough money to even market them when they came on the service.”
He added, “As witnessed by the ones that are coming up including Avatar, Little Mermaid, Guardians of the Galaxy, Indiana Jones, Elemental, etc…, where we actually believe we have an opportunity to lean into those more, put the right marketing dollars against it, allocate more away from programming that was not driving any subs at all.”
Based on Iger’s comments it does not appear that the company has any indication to sell Lucasfilm or Star Wars, but is rather going to embrace the franchise in an attempt to not only boost their box office hauls, but also drive subscriptions to Disney+ and Hulu.
However, anything is possible as the PGA Tour recently merged with LIV Golf after over nearly a year of the PGA lampooning LIV Golf in the press and both entities targeted each other with antitrust lawsuits.
What do you make of this new rumor that a foreign oil tycoon is interested in purchasing Lucasfilm and Star Wars?