But Lucas couldn't ignore the growing chorus of naysayers about his proposed movie studio in Marin County. Lucas's group announced this week it will withdraw plans to create the massive production facility and will seek a new site for it.
The stunning move cheered project foes who called the ranch site near their homes the wrong place for a film production studio with a footprint the size of two football fields. But county officials and business interests were devastated, noting the project promised to energize the Marin economy, providing millions in revenue and hundreds of jobs.
"We have several opportunities to build the production stages in communities that see us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire, and if we are to stay on schedule we must act on those opportunities," Lucasfilm said it a statement headlined, "Lucasfilm pulls building plans out of Marin."
"The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors," the firm owned by billionaire filmmaker George Lucas added.