by Chris Braly
Most of Hollywood, geekdom, and the rest of the entertainment world was blown away last year when it was revealed that Disney was offering to buy 21st Century Fox. Any such deal would create a massive ripple-effect in the film and television world, as would any similar major studio acquisition. Now, reports are coming in that Disney and Fox are hoping to close this deal by summer 2019.
Cinemablend is reporting:
21st Century Fox president Peter Rice held a town hall meeting on Thursday (via Deadline) where he reassured Fox Networks Group staffers about the acquisition of Fox assets by Disney. The meeting was mostly an update on the process of the deal and Rice told the crowd that they expect it to be completed by spring-summer 2019 and end of summer 2019 at the latest. This falls within the previous projection that the deal would take 18 months to finalize. While there is no doubt more regulatory hoops to jump through, everything seems to be like it’s on track.
The deal is somewhat complicated, so here’s a refresher for everyone. Disney plans to be buying 20th Century Fox movie studio, 20th Century Fox Television TV studio and FX Networks, while the remaining Fox assets, including Fox Broadcasting Company, national sports cable networks FS1 and FS2, Fox News Channel and the Fox stations, will form a new company. What this means for Disney is that it will have access to Fox’s library of films and TV shows, which Disney can then include on its upcoming streaming service, for example. It also has the side effect of X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool characters possibly entering the MCU.
In addition to the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, Disney will also have the rights to properties/characters such as Cable, X-Force, Wolverine, Silver Surfer, Galactus, and many more. Furthermore, this deal includes FOX TV and the FX Network, meaning they will own several geek related shows such as The Gifted, The Simpsons, Futurama, Legion, The X-Files, and many others.
What this means for the direction of some of the more adult fare, such as Deadpool, remains unknown. For a while Bob Iger has said those films could remain R-rated. However, the recently announced animated Deadpool TV series on FX Networks, has been cancelled over “creative differences.” Announced last year, the animated Deadpool show was being billed as an adult-themed action-comedy that would air on FX’s FXX sister channel, which is also now the home of the network’s animated hit Archer. Donald Glover and his creative collaborator and younger brother Stephen Glover, recently announced they would be departing the project.
Perhaps most importantly to Disney, they will finally acquire the full rights to Star Wars: A New Hope, completing their ownership of the original trilogy. Not to mention fully owning such properties as Avatar, the Planet of the Apes franchise, along with Aliens and Predator. This.is.a.MASSIVE.deal.for.Disney.
After the acquisition, 21st Century Fox’s remaining assets will be limited to Fox Broadcasting Company, national sports cable networks FS1 and FS2, Fox News Channel and the Fox stations, all of which will form a new company, simply be called “Fox.”
One interesting turn of events happened last Thursday. The UK ‘Panel on Takeovers and Mergers’ announced that the Walt Disney Company will be forced to submit a bid for Sky Broadcasting should the competition authority block Fox’s bid due to “plurality concerns”. Disney would then have to submit a bid for Sky for at least $15.33 dollars, or 10.75 pounds, per share upon the completion of their $52 billion merger with 21st Century Fox, which is the same price Fox offered when initially pursuing the merger in 2016.
Meanwhile, back in the states, several Democrat lawmakers are actually trying to stop the deal altogether, fearing one company having so much power.
What do you think of the deal? Do you feel good about Disney having control over so much?