Did Disney Trade Jerry for Indy?

Last Friday, there were a couple of interesting news stories that showed up. The first one really wasn’t a surprise: Film producer Bruckheimer in 3-year deal with Paramount. According to that story, Jerry Bruckheimer has signed a new deal, and his first planned projects are sequels to two of his classic films, “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Top Gun,” which he had made for Paramount before his deal with Disney. Disney had recently decided not to renew its deal with Jerry Bruckheimer, as we had discussed earlier in a post by Matt, More ‘Lone Ranger’ Fallout.

A few hours later, another interesting news: Disney secures rights for future ‘Indiana Jones’ films. As you probably know, when Disney bought LucasFilm, they got Indiana Jones in addition to Star Wars. However, Paramount still had some ownership in any future Indiana Jones movies before this new deal was made. So now, although they haven’t announced any plans for a specific movie, Disney can release a new one if they choose to do so. And one would think they wouldn’t have gone to the trouble to make that deal if they weren’t planning something.

But I got to wondering, were these two events related? Did Disney still have some say over Jerry Bruckheimer’s contract, even if they were deciding not to renew it? Did Disney make a trade with Paramount, trading Jerry Bruckheimer for Indiana Jones?

It wouldn’t be the first time Disney has done something like that. As you may remember, back in 2006 when Monday Night Football was moving from ABC to ESPN, sportscaster Al Michaels was wanting to move from ABC to NBC to host their Sunday Night Football games. So in exchange for letting Michaels out of his ABC contract, Bob Iger made a bargain with NBC Universal to get the rights back to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the cartoon character that Walt Disney created (and lost the rights to) before Mickey Mouse. So if this is true, it wouldn’t be the first time a real person was traded for a fictional character.

If there was a trade this time around, apparently both companies got what they wanted. As we have discussed, Disney does not see much value in future Bruckheimer films aside from the already-planned Pirates and National Treasure sequels in the works, while Paramount feels that Bruckheimer still has some good movies left in him. And I would agree with that. Not necessarily sequels based on 30-year-old movies with the original, aging stars. But I think he will come up with some other good stuff, as he has in the past.

And Paramount probably also didn’t see all that much value in another Indiana Jones movie. “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” was not the huge hit that the first three movies were, and Harrison Ford isn’t getting any younger. But for Disney, the advantage is having everything under one roof and not having to negotiate with Paramount over any future Indiana Jones movies. It really makes sense, because they already own the character. Could they be planning at least one more movie with Harrison Ford as Indy? Or could they be planning something new with a younger actor taking over the role? While you could make the strong argument that Ford created the character and is irreplaceable, remember that others have already played Indy in the television series “Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.” While it might take some getting used to, another actor could very well take on the part, and even do it successfully.

So was there actually a trade? Or was it just a big coincidence in timing? Unless someone who has some inside knowledge tells what all really happened, we might not know for certain.

But I usually don’t believe too much in coincidences.

Star Wars Holiday Special

In Episode 5, we were discussing all the aspects of Disney buying Lucasfilm and all its related businesses. And one item I mentioned near the end of our discussion was the Star Wars Holiday Special. Except I had some of the facts wrong.

First off, I called it the Star Wars Christmas Special instead of its actual name, the Star Wars Holiday Special. The show focused largely on Chewbacca’s family – his wife Malla, his son Lumpy, and his father Itchy. Chewbacca and Han Solo were trying to get to Kashyyyk to celebrate Life Day, which apparently is a major holiday there. So that was the holiday in question, not Christmas.

Also, I said that I thought the show was aired on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but it was actually shown on the Friday before Thanksgiving. November 17, 1978, to be exact. Looking back on my memories, that would make more sense, because it would have been odd for us to leave for a trip on Tuesday evening when we always had a half day of school the day before Thanksgiving. And we would never miss school, even if it were just a half day. Sorry about not having my facts straight!

To make it up to you, here is the opening of the Star Wars Holiday Special, for your viewing enjoyment:

If that entices you to want to see more, the other parts can be found at YouTube as well. And if that doesn’t entice you to want to see more, then maybe you know how George Lucas felt after seeing it, too. Because he evidently wasn’t involved in the making of the special.

And because Matt mentioned it, here is the video to White and Nerdy by Weird Al Yankovic, which includes him buying a bootleg copy of the Star Wars Holiday Special:

Not that we are white and nerdy at all, of course.

Episode 5 – Lucasfilm, Star Wars, and Disney

Beyond the Berm Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back. Oh wait, that is a different Episode 5.

There hasn’t been much of significance happening in the world of Disney lately. Just some little news item about Disney buying Lucasfilm was all we could think to talk about. But we did the best that we could.

Come hear our opinions on the deal, the positives and negatives, the possible plans for the future, childhood Star Wars memories, and more. And don’t forget about Indiana Jones – he is a part of the deal, too!

Be sure to check it out! May the force be with you.

To hear our podcast: