The Deal is Done: Disney Delivers A Christmas Present to Geeks Everywhere
Let’s break down the massive Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox and what it means for geek culture.
We have to start with the obvious because it’s the most exciting. Disney now owns the movie rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and every character associated with them. Despite what some people were saying, this was the most important part of the deal for Disney.
It’s true that we may never see Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine fight alongside Robert Downey’s Iron Man, but we may get some iteration of that in the future. Along with the current collaboration with Sony, Marvel Studios will have access to every Marvel Comics character and storyline there ever was.
But there are other things to pay attention to in this deal as well. Disney already owns Lucasfilm and the current generation of Star Wars movies, but they’ll now own the first two trilogies as well. That means box sets, merchandise and more characters in the theme parks. Much cleaner and connected promotion.
The film rights to the Avatar franchise was also a big part of the deal. Disney’s Animal Kingdom already has an Avatar-inspired Pandora section of the park, but cross-marketing will now be a boon for both the movies and the attraction. And Avatar is just the family-friendly kind of franchise Disney does well with. With four sequels in development, they are destined to bring in billions.
Also coming to Disney are the Alien and Predator franchises. These are a bit tricky to figure out just how they fit in. Disney doesn’t typically put out these kinds of films, but they have a huge following and bring in a ton of money, so it’s hard to see Disney abandoning them completely. They’ll probably produce under another banner.
Disney has its own streaming service coming, and now is a majority owner of Hulu as well. Depending on how family-friendly Disney wants to keep its new streaming service, the current Marvel Netflix shows could move there or to Hulu, which is more adult-oriented. They’ll also have series’ like Legion and The Gifted in their arsenal. Could we see The Gifted cross over with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?
It will take a while to know all the ramifications and benefits of this deal as we continue to examine it, but I certainly don’t see it as a bad thing for the future of geek culture.
We’ll be publishing a series of articles specifically dedicated to the effect this deal will have on the MCU, so stay tuned!