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While I am writing about Ford not of age for an action movie, there is this rumor:

Now, we’re getting unofficial word that Harrison Ford has signed-on to reprise his role as Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode 7 – lending credence to hopes that the film will directly continue storylines from the prior trilogy – while introducing new characters too. Of course, if the rumor turns out to be true, it would likely mean that other high-profile casting announcements are also in the pipeline.

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Culture-Cafe/2013/0215/...

Give Disney credit for creating buzz -- even if it is years ahead of the movie hitting the market...

W.D.
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I definitely think Ford, as well as Hamil and Fisher, will be back in the new films, perhaps -- actually, make that most likely -- on a limited basis throughout whatever plot is generated. I hope they infuse the acting tones they utilized for the first two films. I found the "Jedi" film to feature a more stiff, reverent kind of acting engine that was found in the later prequels (and the creative quotient of the prequels wasn't too high, as most agree).

What I truly wish we knew was how much he is getting for the role (assuming he is actually cast). Will he have profit participation? Actually, that last one is obvious -- if he is cast, he will get it. I'd also love to know Abrams's deal.

But I think we as shareholders are entitled to this information. It might not bring down compensation -- although it might help to keep it in check somewhat -- but it would help us better model the value of a given project. Budget, marketing expenses, talent compensation, all of it should be exposed. There's no difference between reporting a CEOs package of compensation and the value of a movie budget cum details. For that matter, TV programming costs should likewise be offered up in exhaustive detail for perusal and analysis.

One note to make is that I believe Lucas kept the cost of the originals at something like $120 million per film. I think, in the interest of risk management, Disney must adhere to that number (I've read some articles that suggest the fact that Lucas owned ILM created an economy of scale). I also seem to recall that Lucas said in an interview the movies must come in at no more than around $120 million, otherwise it wouldn't work (whatever that meant, if I got his words right). Frankly, it's comforting to know that the prequels grossed a lot of money and sold a lot of merchandise even though they are despised.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
I expect more production costs will leak out closer to the film's release, but I am not as sure we are "entitled" to this information. Disney is a huge company and I can't imagine them providing line item budgets for every project. No one is asking about the costs of the specific lands or attractions at Shanghai Disney. No one has asked if the cost for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was reasonable under a certain amount, or the Haunted Mansion could be operated more cheaply with 998 ghosts.

At some point, we have to trust in the management team in which we invested. Every year we get the opportunity to vote for or against the Board of Directors, whose responsibility to us is to make sure management is running the company in our best interests. They are the ones that set the fiscal management rules and look at big ticket projects and give the company a green light, red light or sends it back for more work. It is Iger's responsibility to make sure his leaders are fiscally responsible and he himself is responsible to the Board.

As for the movies themselves, Disney has 3 years to not only write, shoot, edit and market the film, but that is also 3 years to integrate it into the Disney ecosystem (to borrow the term from Apple), or what I will now call the Mousecosystem. That means potentially adding Star Tours to any theme park resorts that do not already have it, bringing Star Wars onto the cruise ship (think 80's disco night to the Star Wars theme), bringing the Clone Wars over to Disney XD from Cartoon Network, maybe even introducing a new Padawan show on Disney Junior. And how about intergalactic sports shorts coverage on ESPN?

Fuskie
Who expects the new films will be placed some decades into the future, rather than try to make Ford, Hamilton or Fisher look like their 20's selves, even with movie magic...
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