We are getting to the point where it’s just easier to ask, “what doesn’t Disney own?”. Well, thanks to a $52 billion deal, you can cross 21st Century Fox off that list. Marvel Fans, rejoice! Or is this a bad thing? With such a big deal, fiscally, there is a good and bad side to this, plus a lot of hidden gems buried deep within the Fox library. Seeing how Disney (the House of Mouse) is on it’s way to buying everything that can, potentially, be owned, are they a studio that can deliver the goods?
For many years, and probably still, many people were confused over which studio had the rights to which Marvel character. It is still confusing, seeing how Sony still owns the rights to Spider-Man, but are, essentially, renting him out. That Venom movie that Sony is working on (starring the fantastic Tom Hardy as the titular character) will be completely removed from the larger MCU, for now, at least. Now the X-Men and Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four, are coming home, and they are bringing some of their very important friends with them: Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, the Skrulls, Franklin Richards, Galactus, his Heralds, and we can have the Negative Zone. Finally, a prison that can hold super villains, so we can stop killing them off!
The most obvious takeaway from this deal is the merging of the X-Men/Fantastic Four into the larger MCU, but there are a lot of hot properties that Fox still has under their belt. Properties like Aliens, Predator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and now, finally, Fern Gully. Yes, Fern Gully will now be a Disney movie, so that argument can be nipped at the bud. Disney is an unstoppable juggernaut, when it comes to film, and there is a lot that can be done with these new hot properties, but, honestly, Disney will aquire home video distribution rights to the original Star Wars trilogy. This may be the first time in 20 years that we will be able to purchase unaltered versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. Also, because it’s Disney, we will be getting a huge restorative overhaul, which means a 4K upgrade the way Star Wars was meant to be seen, and that will be the hottest selling item of the year. Although I won’t say this is free money for Disney, because they paid over $50 billion for it.
All of this seems like nothing but positive, but Disney, even though this seems unfathomable, has limited resources. Although I have disagreed with how Sony has handled the Marvel deal (keeping their own separate Spider-Man universe) I will say that having multiple studios financing their own projects is more financially efficient. Disney knows what makes money, and prioritizes projects accordingly. The upside of Fox owning the mutants is that we can have regular X-Men movies, Deadpool included, as well as the other Marvel movies. It is a large strain on a studio to have so much under its belt, even though Disney is such a huge conglomerate.
This is all, of course, just surface level, fan observations. I’m looking at it from the lens of my favorite properties are in the hands of the best business company in the world. Granted, the best business doesn’t necessarily reflect the best interest of all fans, but now we can have a company that can afford to bring some forgotten, yet beloved franchises back into the light, such as Big Trouble in Little China. There is also the chance that Disney decides to bring the respective teams with them, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Hutch Parker, Simon Kinberg, as well as the current cast of X-Men. Remember Kevin Feige was a producer on the first X-Men, and many subsequent pre-Marvel Studios endeavors, and he may show his loyalty to the team that helped him build the biggest brand in modern cinema. That, or Disney is a stereotypical, cartoon villain that just bought the company for stock options and to eliminate the competition. I lean towards the former, but expect some serious, and exciting, news in the coming months.