When news broke out that Disney was planning to acquire Fox, it sent the entire internet on wild speculative discussion mode. Reactions to the news were decidedly mixed and even polarized in some cases; the fandom was all in for the deal since it would get the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters back to Marvel to use in their Cinematic Universe. At the other end, naysayers were of the opinion that the deal was bad for a competitive environment in that it would push an already strong Disney on the path towards Hollywood monopoly.
All that speculation not withstanding, the deal looks like it’s inching closer than ever towards being locked down. Reports have emerged that the merger / acquisition has been given the go-ahead with a $74 billion valuation which is what Disney will pay to acquire Fox’s assets. Both sides have brought in bankers and firms to help with the paperwork; according to Variety, Disney is working with JPMorgan and Guggenheim Partners whereas the firms Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners are on Fox’s side. The net value of all the assets to be acquired is about $60 billion which means Disney would be paying a hefty premium to seal the deal. An official announcement seems all but likely before Christmas or at the very least, the end of this year.
News of the deal first emerged back in November although after the explosion of the initial word, there was no further activity for a long time. This led to some speculation that the deal had gone south until reports of negotiations re-emerged. Both sides have been so far playing coy about the deal with neither coming out explicitly to provide a definite timeline or statement about the news and the majority of coverage and info coming courtesy media outlets. Fox’s stock price has seen a significant uptick since announcement of the deal.
The deal is expected to give Disney control to most of the media and entertainment related assets of Fox which it plans to use in order to build and strengthen its own streaming service to rival other players in the area. The assets covered include Fox’s Movie and TV Studios, FX Network, Star India and also its stake in Hulu and Sky. For Comic Book fans, the most important aspect of the deal of course is the X-Men and Fantastic Four returning to Marvel, thus giving producer and architect Kevin Feige the final pieces of the puzzle he needs to bring all his characters under a single roof. While it’s uncertain what will happen to the X-Men universe seeing as X-Men: Dark Phoenix is already well under production, it’s highly possible that the Fantastic Four will end up getting a reboot that is incorporated in the MCU. In what way will that happen and whether or not we’ll see any of this happen during the Untitled Avengers 4 much as the way it went down with Spider-Man’s inclusion in Captain America: Civil War remains unclear.
The next few days should supposedly paint a clearer picture of the deal. And the next few weeks should hopefully shed more light into this integration of Fox’s roster of characters with Marvel’s. Meanwhile, let us know what are your thoughts on the deal. Are you in favor of the deal going through resulting in the X-Men and Fantastic Four returning to Marvel? Or do you fear that this is the first step that will culminate in Disney’s complete dominance in the industry by swallowing up its competitors? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Update: The deal is now official. Read this piece to know more.