Disney and Fox have reached an unprecedented US$52 billion deal in which all of the properties under 21st Century Fox will now be part of the House of Mouse. Rumors in Hollywood claimed that Fox was looking to get rid of its film properties to grow their sports and news businesses. The lucrative deal will not only hand over the rights of properties like Avatar, The Simpsons and National Geographic to Disney, but it will return the film rights of popular characters such as Deadpool, The Fantastic Four and X-Men back to Marvel, who had previously sold them when the company was on the verge of declaring bankruptcy in the 90s.
Of course, the fact that Marvel now had all these beloved characters back under its fold doesn’t mean we’ll see them fighting hand in hand with the Avengers, or that they even should. Fox already had sequels to Deadpool and Logan in the works, both acclaimed films that were placed in a much more adult-oriented universe than their MCU counterparts. Although I would love nothing more than to see Wade Wilson lay one quip after another while killing aliens alongside Rocket Raccoon, Marvel would have to exercise plenty of caution in the way they get these characters to know each other. If there ever is such an absurd situation that even warrants it.
Even with the deal apparently done, this still leaves many questions in the air, like for instance what will happen to Hulu, the streaming service which is currently exclusive to US residents and of which Fox owned a majority stake of 60 percent. The Federal Communications Commission in the US (FCC) is looking into the business deal, as this type of move would basically mean Disney is killing one of the six major Hollywood studios.
The CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, will remain in his post throughout at least 2021 to preside over the transition for both companies.