It’s official. Disney has bought Fox and Bob Iger is staying on until 2021.
Do you remember when Disney bought Marvel? I do. Working at a studio editing commercials, my friend turns to me and says “Holy shit, look, Disney just bought Marvel for $5 billion”. I don’t know why, but it’s one of those “Where were you when this happened” sort of thing. It’s always stuck with me. There was a collective jaw drop at the studio, there had been no rumblings at all (as far as we knew). As first reactions go, they’re always pretty negative. But, we’ve gotten some great Marvel films out of the Mouse House. Then they bought Lucasfilm. Which the rumors had been circulating about for awhile, so it wasn’t that shocking. My first reaction to that wasn’t as negative, I was more curious about the restructuring of Lucasfilm’s other departments, such as video game development, what would be cannon, and how they would handle the Star Wars franchise. From their track record after acquiring Marvel, I knew it would be in good hands.
Now this is a totally different ball game. Let’s get the facts out of the way first, in case I’m boring you.
The deal, which has been in the works for weeks and was confirmed early Thursday, will see Disney buying Fox’s film and TV studio, the National Geographic and FX cable channels business, regional sports networks, international networks, including Star India, Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu and its 39 percent stake in European pay TV giant Sky.
Immediately prior to the acquisition, Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders.
The 53-acre Fox studio lot on Pico Boulevard near Los Angeles will stay with that company that will remain under the control of Rupert Murdoch, though it remains to be seen what the plans are for the $425 million piece of property.
Disney was smart and just bought the entertainment division of Fox. They left the crappy news channels. In the deal, Rupert Murdoch and his two sons, James and Lachlan will be key shareholders in Disney stock. Does that mean they will have power in decisions in the company? Absolutely, but with only 5% of the whole stake, while Fox shareholders will have about 20%. Be aware of that. It’s also said that James Murdoch could be offered a senior executive role at Disney, once everything is finalized. Sweeten that pot Disney, and you can have those Marvel characters back, Die Hard, Avatar and everything else.
What I found interesting is that Bob Iger extended his contract at Disney through 2021. He was originally set to leave at 2019, with rumors circulating around Hollywood that he was looking at a presidential bid. Apparently he had quite a supporting group for that. Obviously, that’s not going to happen now, but I can see why he extended the contract, and I’m quite pleased with that. I’m sure whoever took over for him in 2019 would have the experience on how the company ran, but it’s in better hands with a veteran.
So what next? How far is Disney going to go? We have many conglomerates in this world, and Disney seems to be on the fast track to acquire as much as they can and out-beat any competition. They are currently working on a streaming service to squash Netflix. This acquisition certainly adds more films and television shows to their library, that other streaming services can’t show. Say what you will about them, but they have a hell of a business model. Hell, even the major theater chain here in Canada modeled themselves after it. Wasn’t for me in my early 20’s (I quit, seemed very 1940 Germany), but you can’t deny the effectiveness.
Now what you all care about: Will we get the Fantastic 4 in the Marvel Universe? What about DeadPool? X-Force? X-Men? I personally think Disney will still keep DeadPool rated R, but under a different banner. I think they’ll treat James Cameron like Royalty, however, I can see some heads butting. Especially if Kathleen Kennedy is involved. I also wouldn’t be surprised if she took over for Iger in 2021.
Maybe we’ll get that 20th Century Fox logo in front of Star Wars again?
And don’t even get me started on the implications of the release of the original Star Wars Trilogy untouched, now that they have acquired the rights!
I’m sure you all have thoughts. Post them below. CONGLOMERATES! (mutiny!)