It’s a done deal!
The Walt Disney Company has acquired a bulk of 21st Century Fox’s assets for a whopping $52.4 billion in stock. This includes companies like 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, Fox 2000, FX Networks, Twentieth Century Fox Television, along with their interests in Hulu and Sky.
Of course, the deal needs to be approved by the government.
Combining with Disney are 21st Century Fox’s critically acclaimed film production businesses, including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together offer diverse and compelling storytelling businesses and are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool, as well as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Hidden Figures, Gone Girl, The Shape of Water and The Martian—and its storied television creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, which have brought The Americans, This Is Us, Modern Family, The Simpsons and so many more hit TV series to viewers across the globe. Disney will also acquire FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Sports Regional Networks, Fox Networks Group International, Star India and Fox’s interests in Hulu, Sky plc, Tata Sky and Endemol Shine Group.
Properties they’ll now have access to include the X-Men, Deadpool, Avatar, and The Simpsons.Other franchises expected to be thrown in include Alien, Predator, Die Hard, and Planet of The Apes.
Although they state that Fantastic Four is part of the stable they’ll likely assume the license deal with Constantin Film (actual film rights holder since 1986) which is a production/distribution deal. The aspects of how they’ll be able to manage interconnections there remain to be seen. To us, it feels like a deal not unlike the one with Sony Pictures to make Spider-Man films.
The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love. The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises expanded opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds. Already, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort can experience the magic of Pandora—The World of Avatar, a new land inspired by the Fox film franchise that opened earlier this year. And through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic—whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it.
There is a lot that is currently unknown, such as what will happen to future X-Men films and if we’ll see an announcement from Marvel Studios and X-Men producers clarifying what this deal will mean for upcoming films.
Fox has a whole host of upcoming projects in development like X-Men spinoffs from James Mangold (X-23) and James Franco (Multiple Man), Matthew Vaughn’s third Kingsman film, Ridley Scott’s purposed Alien: Awakening, and Escape From New York reboot from Robert Rodriguez. What exactly will happen to these movies is a bit unknown at this stage.