Image copyright Disney
It has finally happened, folks.
After years of wishful thinking and following several weeks of hopeful pondering, The Walt Disney Company has officially purchased several key studios and networks from Rupert Murdoch’s 20th Century Fox.
The deal, which was struck earlier today, will see Disney own Fox’s 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight studios, as well as broadcasting networks Sky and Star TV as well as gaining Fox’s share of Hulu.
The deal, which cost the House of Mouse a staggering $52.4 billion, will mean that Disney own the rights to many of Fox’s properties, including The Simpsons, Futurama, The X-Files, Avatar, Alien, The Fantastic Four and The X-Men.
It’s a deal that we wondered would ever come to fruition following on-again, off-again negotiations.
The deal officially makes Disney the biggest entertaining entity, and, thanks to the acquisition of platforms like Sky, Star TV, and Hulu, it will extend Disney’s reach in the now highly lucrative TV and online streaming service markets.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a press release;
“We’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings.”
Disney is fully aware that fans are now longing for that sought-after Avengers/X-Men crossover, and said the following on that proposition;
“The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.
The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises exchanged opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds.
Already, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort can experience the magic of Pandora – the world of Avatar, a new land inspired by the Fox film fantasy that opened earlier this year.
And through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic – whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources – Disney will be able to offer more way l ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it.”
Owner of Fox, Rupert Murdoch, said the following on the deal;
“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry.”
So, $54 billion later, we have our deal.
Disney and Fox are now unified in a way that has shocked the industry, and opened the door to an unknown new world of entertainment.
Maybe this is why Marvel Studios has been so quiet about what Phase 4 will entail, and maybe the Fantastic Four and The X-Men will factor into things.