By Jake Goldberg
On Thursday, Disney announced they struck a deal to acquire 21st Century Fox. This major merger of $52.4 billion will give the Walt Disney Company control over Fox’s Film and Television studios. But what will it mean for the theme parks, comics and movies?
The news broke on a very good day for Disney as it was the release of their latest addition to the new Star Wars saga “The Last Jedi.” The question was still asked, what does this mean for the future of both studios? With a previous existing studio such as 21st Century Fox, where do their characters and movies fit into the Disney Family?
Below are some speculative ideas, concepts and generally good things that could come with this major studio merger.
A More Diverse Movie Presence In Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Disney-MGM Studios theme park of the past as we know it is dead. Disney continues to move fast on their Star Wars land and Toy Story Land expansion within Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney is presented with the unique opportunity to give their new properties a theme park presence.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is continuing their expansion and now they have another major studio with a long history to toy around with, giving them more properties than those that exist within Pixar and Lucasfilm. This could allow the park to have more of an immersive “Hollywood” atmosphere and compete with the vast properties used at Universal’s theme parks. Examples of 21st Century Fox blockbusters that can potentially be used are the Alien franchise, The Kingsmen movies, Planet of the Apes, Independence Day and Avatar (which is already featured at Disney’s Animal Kingdom).
This year “Kingsman the Golden Circle” made $394.4 million in the box office, and “War of the Planet of the Apes” made $490.7 million. These properties may not fit the typical Disney brand, but there was a time when Disney park fans saw James Cameron’s “Avatar” as an odd addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Now “Pandora: The World Of Avatar” has smash-hit attractions with wait times often over two hours.
These properties and more can potentially be used in Hollywood Studios as attractions, in a nighttime projection show, or we may just see them as posters hanging around the park. The intellectual property they can splurge on just got a whole lot bigger.
New Creative Property For Marvel Comics To Explore
The famous merger between Disney and Lucasfilm in 2012 put our favorite galactic heroes and prosthetic aliens under the house of mouse. This brought about a new wave of Star Wars comics through Marvel Comics. Now Disney has a whole new world (get it?) of intellectual properties to bring to the page, many of which exist as comics within the Dark Horse publisher. These properties include The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, Firefly and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
Marvel can capitalize and use its talent during this merger to expand on stories that may not have been given full glory, such as the early canceled sci-fi “Firefly.” With only one season, a movie and some spread out comics, Marvel could easily create new story arcs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer already has a strong comic book presence that Marvel could continue. Their latest addition will be a comic series featuring the mentor “Giles” debuting Feb. 28.
Avengers Vs. X-Men Film Is A Possibility
In April of 2012, Marvel Comics presented their “Avengers vs. X-Men” comic series. The Avengers had just smashed onto the big screen and many fans (myself included) yearned, wished and cried (I cried) to see these heroes collide on-screen one day. Unfortunately, before Disney acquired Marvel, the rights to the X-Men characters were in the hands of Fox. We didn’t think we would ever see Dr. Strange and Magneto on screen together, until now.
The most obvious decision of this merger was to bring back the Marvel properties under one roof. With Infinity War on its way, Marvel has been tight-lipped in regards to their plans for the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s unknown how long it’ll take for Disney to include our favorite mutants. With Hugh Jackman’s recent departure from the Wolverine film series, there’s room for a brand new Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the character.
The possibilities don’t stop with the X-Men. Marvel’s cosmic universe just got a whole lot bigger. With the smash hits of “Guardians of the Galaxy”, a raccoon with a machine gun isn’t all we’ll be seeing in Marvel’s space. Fan favorite characters such as the Silver Surfer and the intergalactic threat of Galactus can return to Marvel Studios. Examples of characters that could return to Marvel Studios are Fantastic Four, Gambit, Deadpool, Storm, Beast and Kitty Pryde.
The Disney Fox merger has brought about a new level of change that has yet to be seen within the entertainment world. Shifts within the world of television, movies and even streaming services are among us. To read about more details of the deal check out our article here.