Confirming weeks of talks and speculation Disney is officially buying a large chunk of Fox in a deal valued at $52.4 billion. This deal includes Fox’s movie and TV studios and also its stake in Hulu and Sky giving Disney access to a large chunk of assets and content as it battles streaming giants in coming up with its own online service in the near future. Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch will end up with a near 5% stake in Disney with the acquisition being described as more of a merger for both companies.
The deal has been the talk of the entertainment industry ever since reports started emerging early November that Disney is going after Fox. Last week it was heavily rumored that both sides had drawn out the bankers and that the deal could be announced before the end of this year. The mouse house has made good on media speculation with the deal being confirmed early morning today not just by an official statement released on its own site but also by a variety of reputable sources. In light of the deal, Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch said “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”. At Disney, CEO Bob Iger is expected to stay on and extend his term until 2021.
While there have been both proponents and opponents of the deal, one particular set of people will surely be rejoicing upon the news. With Marvel’s Fantastic Four and X-Men franchises being the last major characters it lacked access to, the deal gives the rights to both back to Marvel. For fans, this means the X-Men and Fantastic Four can finally be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe giving Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige complete control of the entire roster of Marvel characters to play around with. He has yet to release any statement on this news (admittedly, its too early in the day for a statement of any sort but we’re sure he must be elated).
The deal is being labeled as the mother of all deals, being described as bigger than all previous Disney deals combined. To recap, some of Disney’s biggest acquisitions have included Marvel and Lucasfilm for $4 billion each giving them access to the comic-book characters and George Lucas’s Star Wars universe and Pixar for $7.4 billion giving them the studio’s entire library of animated movies. With this deal, rights to popular franchises and movies such as Avatar, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Deadpool along with National Geographic and FX channels.
Understandably it’ll be a while before the finer details of the week are worked out and the merger is given the go-ahead by regulatory authorities. That said, this news is bound to take center-stage for the next few days. As fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we can’t wait to see how Kevin Feige sneaks in the Fantastic Four and X-Men characters into the MCU. A post-credit scene in Avengers: Infinity War perhaps teasing the existence of Reed Richards?
What are your thoughts on this deal? Are you excited at the possibility of Wolverine sharing screen-space with the Avengers or Reed Richards interacting with Bruce Banner? Or do you fear that this is a first step towards a monopolistic industry ruled by Disney and a few other studios? Sound off in the comments below and like us for more such news.