TV & FILM
brian-mcgee - December 14, 2017
Rumors have been swirling for months that Fox was looking to unload its film division in an effort to better focus on its sports and "news" businesses. Disney emerged as a top contender for more than one reason, but mostly because they're the New York Yankees of the film industry: Deep pockets and endless acquisitions, mixed with a decent stable of homegrown properties that keep it at or near the top year in and year out.
Well, Disney made it official this morning that this was definitely going down with this press release...
The Walt Disney Company to Acquire Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., After Spinoff of Certain Businesses, for $52.4 Billion in Stock: https://t.co/XeOzZXaRBn
— Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) December 14, 2017
Okay, so there are many, many, many reasons for us to be excited by the news that Disney is officially going to be acquiring Fox's film division, 20th Century Fox, but I want to focus on two of the biggest reasons. First, the Marvel properties owned by Fox—The X-Men and Fantastic Four—will now be free to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hooray! Second, and even more exciting if you ask me, is that the theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy can theoretically be released from the vault, so to speak.
Obviously the Marvel thing is a huge deal. I doubt they're going to rush into production on a new Fantastic Four series anytime soon, but I imagine this means that the MCU's Phase 4 has to be drastically re-thought now. Unless, that is, this was the plan all along and why Kevin Feige has had to be so vague about their plans post-Infinity War. I also wonder if this will find some of the bigger names in both franchises—your Downey Jrs, and various Chrises, and Jennifer Lawrences, and your Fassbenders, and so on—won't want to stay on longer, just to say they were there when the merger took effect. Probably not, but it's fun to speculate.
For me though, the biggest positive in this deal has to be the potential acquisition, by Disney, of the original theatrical versions of Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi. We can get glorious 4K restorations of them onto disc and bring the original versions of the greatest fantasy trilogy of all time back into our collections. It's an absolute shame that fans have had to do the leg work on this for the last twenty years, but George Lucas' refusal to re-release the original versions of these films is shameful. Pretending those versions have no merit is a fool's errand and one we can finally put to bed now, I hope.
We'll keep you up to date with the latest news on this as it comes in, but what are you most excited about or nervous about? Are you worried that Deadpool might have to wash his mouth out with soap now that he's in the Mouse House? Are you pumped about seeing Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique morph into Chris Evans' Captain America? Let us know in the comments section below!