Disney to get huge payout after death of Carrie Fisher
Disney is expected to receive one of the largest insurance payouts in history after reports it took out a $41m policy on Carrie Fisher.
The company, which bought Lucasfilm in 2012, took out a policy with Lloyds of London to protect it from any losses in the event that the actress was unable to fulfil her contract to appear in the new Star Wars trilogy, trade magazine Insurance Insider reported.
The 60-year-old, who renewed her role as Princess Leia - known as General Organa in 2015 film The Force Awakens - died in hospital on December 27, four days after having a heart attack on a flight from London to Los Angeles.
Fisher had already completed filming for the second of the new movies, known as Episode VIII and due to be released in December 2017, but fans had expected her to appear in the third movie which has not yet begun filming.
Insurance contracts covering major film companies for the unexpected death or incapacity of stars are not unusual in the film industry.
It is currently unclear how Disney will respond to Fisher's death - she was slated to have a major role in Episode IX - and they could use a CGI recreation of her as they did in the Star Wars spin-off Rogue One which was released in December.
Star Wars is not the first movie franchise to be threatened by the unexpected death of a star.
The final instalment of The Hunger Games series lost one of its stars, Philip Seymour Hoffman, in 2014 but Mockingjay Pt 2 was still able to be released, as the actor had filmed most of his scenes prior to his death.
Meanwhile, Bright Lights, a documentary about the lives of Carrie Fisher and her film star mother Debbie Reynolds, will now be shown this Saturday by HBO, instead of later in the spring.
It tells the story of one of Hollywood's most iconic mother and daughter duos.
Reynolds died at the age of 84 following a suspected stroke on Wednesday. Her last words were: "I miss her so much, I want to be with Carrie".