According to a bombshell report that dropped earlier this week via CNBC, Disney is considering buying 20th Century Fox. For those who are unaware, 20th Century Fox is the main film production arm of News Corp and owns the rights to many major properties such as the Avatar franchise, Planet of The Apes, Alien/Prometheus, and the X-Men franchise. The deal would represent a seismic shift in Hollywood power and easily make Disney the biggest film company on the planet. If the deal were to go through, which there is some legitimate doubt about, Disney would control the three biggest franchises on the planet between Star Wars, Avatar, and the MCU. Leaving the rest of Hollywood to play the biggest game of catch up in the history of the industry.
Fanboys will obviously be the most interested in the Marvel aspects of this potential deal. Since Fox owns the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four one could assume that these properties would make their way into the MCU in some shape or form if a deal is struck. There are two ways of looking at this, one is that fan-favorite heroes and villains such as Galactus, Wolverine, Dr. Doom and Deadpool could slide into the MCU. Giving the franchise the ability to include any and all Marvel storylines as part of the greater cinematic universe. Secondly, the argument can be made that if Disney were to buy 20th Century Fox that the chances of another ‘Logan‘ type film ever being made would be instantly diminished. Disney has released R rated films via their Touchstone division in the past but recently they’ve been playing it really safe. The grittiest products that the company has released in recent years are the Marvel Netflix programs which have been described by many as a “PG-13 Plus’. According to IMDB, the last R rated film that Disney has released came via Touchstone in 2006 with Mel Gibson‘s ‘Apocalypto’. I’m not trying to say that an R rated film is by any means innately superior to a PG-13 film but in general, films that take risks and push boundaries are generally rated R.
Only time will tell if and when this deal will go through but the effects of what this merger might mean for the industry and for some of the most popular properties on the planet are very interesting to ponder.
We’ll keep you posted on more updates as they develop.