Disney acquires Fox and opens the doors for the X-Men and the Fantastic Four to join Spider-Man and the Avengers on screen.
After weeks of speculation and rumors it’s official: Walt Disney has purchased 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for a staggering $52.4 billion. While Fox retains ownership of its news and sports divisions Disney has acquired Fox’s impressive stable of films to go along with their own massive movie catalogue. Disney now boasts film franchises like Fox’s Aliens, Planet of the Apes and Avatar to go alongside blockbusters such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones. The sale is a dream come true for Marvel fans as franchises like the X-Men, Deadpool and the Fantastic Four are now able to become part of the critically and financially successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The effects of the sale trickles down the entertainment ladder as Fox’s TV assets are also part of the deal. Shows like This Is Us, Empire, The Gifted, The Orville and FX’s Legion will now fall under the Disney banner. Disney’s animation division will also get some reinforcements with their acquisition of The Simpsons and Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. If Disney continues to harmonize the MCU and it’s television properties it will be interesting to see how shows like Legion and The Gifted operate narratively moving forward especially if/when the X-Men cinematic universe is merged into the MCU.
The expected reunification of the cinematic Marvel Universe may have an impact on what we see on the large and small screen sooner than we think. While plans are underway for Phase 4 of Marvel’s films there may be some tweaking now that characters like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and Doctor Doom can know be incorporated into the overall narrative. This will be particularly interesting since it’s being teased that major changes to the current roster of characters is to be expected. With Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans seemingly looking past their roles as Iron Man and Captain America the new influx of characters may be able to add some top tier Marvel characters to whatever Kevin Feige and brain trust at Marvel Studios may be cooking up for the future.
Hugh Jackman has already said that his return as Wolverine is unlikely, but if Disney comes to him with the right offer and more importantly the right script fans may not have seen the last of Jackman and his adamantium claws. After all, some of us remember a fellow named Sean Connery who came back twice to reprise his role as James Bond. In the world of film and entertainment it’s wise to never say never again.