Well it looks like that Disney-Fox merger might happen after all. Early last month, word surfaced that Disney had engaged in talks to buy assets from 21st Century Fox, including the film studio and non-broadcast TV parts like FX and National Geographic. At the time, talks had cooled and the two studios weren’t actively in negotiations, but there was always the possibility that those talks could resume. According to CNBC, they have. The outlet reports that not only are talks back on, but they’re closing in on a deal that could be announced as early as next week. The value of the Fox assets is more than $60 billion, which makes the purchase of Lucasfilm seem like chump change in hindsight.
As previously reported if the deal goes through, Disney would buy Fox’s movie and television production assets, while Fox could keep its news, sports, and the broadcast network Fox. The sale arose when 21st Century Fox executives decided they couldn’t compete as well in the marketplace with their film studio and instead wanted to focus on honing the news and sports portions of the company.
The specifics of the deal in terms of how things change is wildly unclear. It’s possible Disney keeps Fox as a “separate” studio like Lucasfilm or Marvel Studios and sets up its own executives and hierarchy. Or it’s possible portions of 20th Century Fox (the film studio) are moved to existing Disney assets, like bringing all the superhero movies to Marvel Studios, etc.
Some contend this would result in Marvel Studios bringing the X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR into the MCU, so take a second and breathe. The current Marvel Studios regime is already stretched pretty thin making three films a year, so if they expanded that number to five (assuming Fox would still make 1-3 superhero movies a year), the creative oversight folks have become accustomed to from Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige becomes more difficult to manage. Getting three Marvel movies like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, and THOR: RAGNAROK in the same year that Fox puts out something as wildly different (and R-rated) as LOGAN could become a thing of the past.
There’s no guarantee this deal goes through, but we could have some very, very big news heading our way next week that will change the landscape of Hollywood dramatically.