Several weeks ago it was revealed that Fox and Disney have entered talks to sell most of the company to Disney in a multi-billion dollar acquisition. The deal would let Fox keep all of their sports and television divisions because Disney already owns ESPN. And that would create a monopoly if Disney owned both ESPN and the Fox Sports Network. However, the deal would allow Disney to own all of the film and television studios owned by Fox. Unfortunately, the same day this was announced it was also announced that both company’s had walked away from the table.
Then last week it was revealed that Sony may be interested in purchasing Fox but not much buzz came with that news. Now Peter Bart of Deadline is reporting that Disney and Fox have fast-tracked their talks as of this week and has “gone silent” which could mean an announcement is imminent:
I just want to start with a juicy rumor that is fast gaining steam in town today, that Disney is progressing speedily toward that rumored acquisition of Fox. The version I heard has the Murdoch clan keeping possession of sports and news properties, and the rest of TV and the film studio going to Disney. Radio silence right now from both studios, and given how Disney made the Marvel and Lucasfilm deals under the cone of silence, if this happens we’ll probably only know it when it’s announced. It is certainly being talked about today.
Now what this means is that down the line is that Marvel Studios would, in turn, get the film and television rights back to the X-Men and possibly the Fantastic Four. The latter is a little bit tricky considering Constantin Film actually owns the Fantastic Four and sold distribution rights to Fox in 2004. However, they could be included as well.
It should be noted that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige got his first producing gig on the set of 2000’s X-Men by longtime producer Lauren Shuler Donner. So while the acquisition is possible it’s unknown how much of this will effect the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Phase 4 moving forward. Only time will tell if this historic deal goes down…