Something I reported on and speculated on afterwards has been confirmed by some of the biggest markets in the world and the biggest media outlets worldwide as well.
A few weeks ago, there was a small story floating around the financial news that Disney and 21st Century Fox were having secret meetings to determine a price for Fox’s media assets which would include 20th Century Fox studios and channels like FX Networks and National Geographic. My focus was mainly on what this potential merger could mean for fans of geek culture and specifically, fans of Marvel Comics.
As this is a geek-centric site for geek news, let’s keep it in the Geek realm and talk about what Disney is getting from Fox that Geeks might enjoy.
Even though Disney has the rights to the Star Wars franchise after purchasing Lucasfilm in 2012, Fox has retained the distribution rights to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is perpetuity. If you tried to purchase Episode IV through Disney before, you were unable to. With this change, Disney would have distribution rights to the entire Star Wars catalog.
Disney decided to go big in the theme park world with the inclusion of their new AVATAR attraction and with this acquisition, if it goes through, Disney will get the AVATAR franchise as well. They will also reportedly get the Planet of the Apes franchise as well as older franchises like Night at the Museum and Ice Age, which might get some new life.
One of the biggest aspects of this proposed deal for geek audiences is that optioned characters from Marvel Comics will be returned to the company that created them. This means that The Fantastic Four and the X-Men universe would probably go back into the hands of Marvel Studios. Even though fans have been screaming for years for these characters to return, the success of R-Rated outings like Logan and Deadpool might give fans pause about how they will be incorporated under the family-friendly Disney corporate umbrella. (Personally, I suggest a spin-off studio for more adult stories, like the Marvel Knights comic Imprint.)
Disney would reportedly receive FOX’s stake in Hulu, which along with the studios current holdings, would make Disney the majority shareholder in the streaming service.
Disney would take on Fox Studios Television division as well. This would mean that the studio would get control over series like American Horror Story, Modern Family, the long running animated series The Simpsons and the critical and fan favorite series This is Us.
So there you have it. These are some of the assets that Disney will acquire if this deal goes through with Fox. Personally, I think Disney has been good about allowing Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm to continue to produce things without interference. It will be interesting to see what this proposed deal means for properties that are currently thriving under Fox.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.