This year, Disney set all the wheels in motion to purchase 20th Century Fox, in a massive $71.3 billion deal set to transform the entertainment business.
The repercussions of this are set to completely change the power paradigm in entertainment. Disney already owns Marvel Studios, LucasFilm, and Pixar, meaning that there’s a strong chance most, if not all, of the summer blockbusters you watch are owned and produced entirely by the Mouse House.
However, 20th Century Fox and Fox Television have been around a long time – since 1935. This time has let them acquire their own impressive collection of franchises and loved characters. We’re going to take a look at all the characters and shows you can expect to see in Disney World over the next few years.
Marvel’s First Family
It’s hard to believe it today, but in the 1990s Marvel was facing bankruptcy. Before the historic start of its cinematic universe in 2008 with
Iron Man, Marvel had to stay afloat by selling the film rights to some of its most famous and beloved characters. This included X-Men, Spider-Man, and Fantastic 4.
Of course, we know that Spidey joined the MCU in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, because of a deal they had struck with Sony. But other characters haven’t been so lucky. Since 20th Century Fox owns the X-Men and Fantastic 4 characters, there’s a big chance Disney will add them to their already huge cinematic universe.
That means we will see Professor X, Magneto, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, Rogue, Mystique, and just about every character move to the Mouse House. No exact plans have been announced, but comic book fans can look forward to welcoming these mutants, and Marvel’s ‘First Family’, back to the powerhouse studio.
The anomaly in all of this remains the R-rated Marvel superhero Deadpool. Violent and vulgar in nature, his fate appears to be less certain if handed over to Disney. The corporation is famously family-friendly, and he is a direct contrast to their usual characters. Currently, Disney has no plans to incorporate the Merc With A Mouth into the MCU but won’t want to mess with its $700 million winning formula.
Wars With Star Wars
Strangely, when Disney bought Lucasfilm from Fox in 2012, it didn’t include the rights to Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope. The purchase of Fox could give Disney the last piece of its puzzle and allow it to release Star Wars collections for home release.
The iconic Fox fanfare disappeared from subsequent Star Wars films, who knows if Disney will bring it back?
Marvel and LucasFilm are significant pieces for Disney which let them complete their stories from partially-owned properties. There are plenty of other franchises that Disney will now own which may reignite the franchise boom. Remember, there have been nearly five new Star Wars films in the six years since its purchase of LucasFilm. They’ll probably want to do the same with new property.
Disney will soon own Avatar – the highest grossing film of all time. And while James Cameron has had four sequels planned since the film’s 2009 release, who knows what Disney will choose to do with it? There are also some other known popular franchises that will soon be in Disney’s hands:
- Die Hard
- Home Alone
- Night At The Museum
- Ice Age
- Planet of the Apes
- Alvin and the Chipmunks
Importantly, Disney will also have access to Fox Searchlight – Fox’s sub-division dedicated to smaller indie films. These have often been successful both critically and financially: Black Swan, Birdman, Little Miss Sunshine, Juno, Slumdog Millionaire all caught the attention of fans and won prestigious awards.
Now For The Television
That was just the film divisions and the films that are already known to the public. If Disney can turn the obscure Thor into a billion-dollar hero, who knows what they will achieve with the lesser-known characters they will gain access to in the future.
The biggest characters Fox currently own include Homer Simpson and Family Guy’s Peter Griffin. This means that a real-life ‘KrustyLand’ might be a possibility in Disney World, and fans can see their childhood heroes finally have a home large enough to host these larger-than-life television universes. Other cartoons include Futurama, Bob’s Burgers, and American Dad.
Outside of cartoons, Disney will soon own:
- American Idol
- The X-Files
- New Girl
- American Horror Story
- Modern Family – this is broadcast on ABC but produced by Fox.
In the recent trend of renewing old shows and bringing them back for modern television screens, who knows what they might decide to bring back – Malcolm In The Middle, anyone?
As well as all the conventional characters and shows we can expect Disney to hoover up. Fox also owns National Geographic, FX, Star, Sky Atlantic, and Sky Cinema. This will give Disney an opportunity to enhance its place in more mature content, such as nature and history shows, as well as less family-friendly content that may show sex, violence, or drug use.
The Future of Streaming
It’s no secret that Disney has fallen behind in the streaming game. Netflix and Prime Video are years ahead in their revolutionary service providing quality and unique content for viewers all over the world. After the deal, Disney will own a 60% stake in Hulu, and also plans on starting its own exclusive video streaming service.
With all the aforementioned content going on to one new service, Netflix must be feeling pretty anxious. They will soon lose all their Disney-owned content and would have to compete with a platform offering everyone’s favorite superheroes and television stars.
What do you think about the Disney/Fox purchase? Do you think it will be a good idea?