The Walt Disney Company, a.k.a Disney, was founded in 1923 when Walt Disney and his brother, Roy, produced short animated films called the “Alice Comedies” collectively. Aspiring to grow the business, the brothers moved to a different location and grew their empire. In 1928, Mickey Mouse and the gang was born. Disney’s first full length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, made its debut in 1937. With the success of the movie, the brothers expanded the business once more. In the 1940s and 1950s Disney produced even more successful movies including Fantasia, Bambi, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Disney continued to grow with the decision to buy Marvel. With the $4.24 billion purchase in 2009, Disney added their own touch to Marvel movies. Then on Oct. 30, 2012, Disney spent $4.05 billion to purchase Lucasfilm, the production crew of the Star Wars movie franchise. Now, Disney is looking to expand again.
Social media exploded when it was announced on Nov. 6, that Disney was in talks to purchase most of 21st Century Fox, excluding the news and sports assets. If Disney does procure 21st Century Fox, this deal could “reunite Marvel’s X-Men and Fantastic Four” (comicbook.com) with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which Disney owns. According to Ali Carter on clutch-mag.com, rumor has taken comic book fans by storm that “this can be the beginning of a new era with Disney taking back the rights to many of Marvel’s characters. The Avengers movies could refer to mutants, Wolverine could become an Avenger and Deadpool could make an appearance.” Since 21st Century Fox owns the rights to the Marvel X-Men and Fantastic Four characters, Disney could then cross the mutants into the Marvel universe with the Avengers, giving them full control of the comic book universe.
However, there are some concerns with Disney purchasing 21st Century Fox in regards to the rating of movies. Most Disney movies receive either a G or PG rating, with the exception of Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with PG-13 rating and the Marvel franchise with PG-13. With the success of movies Logan (2017) and Deadpool (2016) which rated R, people are wondering if Disney will bring down the rating or keep it, especially since Deadpool 2 is set to hit theaters in 2018. Ryan Reynolds, star of Deadpool, tweeted “If this is true, I wonder how the fudge it would affect Deadpool?” Disney has two options at this point; bring the rating down or keep the movie independent with the R rating. According to Matthew Mueller on comicbook.com, “The more likely scenario is that after purchasing the studio they just allow it to stay independent. That would allow Disney to enjoy the benefits of 21st Century Fox’s R-rated content without hurting their more family-friendly brand.”
With fans fantasizing about the possibilities for future movies and taking to social media outlets, Disney noticed the popularity of this deal. On Nov. 29, the deal became more intriquing when the X-Men producer, Lauren Shuler Donner, voiced her opinion that she “is keen to bring the X-Men to the Marvel Cinematic Universe” (slashfilm.com). She, too, speculates what it would be like to unite the two universes for one crossover movie.
According to Chris Evangelista on slashfilm.com, “Weeks after word had ended, Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. has revealed that the deal might still happen.” Fleming stated, “A rumor in Hollywood of Disney progressing speedily toward the rumored acquisition of Fox.” However, there has not been mention in regards to this rumor. Fleming does not find this to be alarming. Instead, he mentions, “Radio silence right now from both studios, and given how Disney made the Marvel and Lucasfilm deals under the cone of silence, if this happens we’ll probably only know it when it’s announced. But it is certainly being talked about today.”
Although talks between Disney and 21st Century Fox have ceased for the time being, fans are excited at the prospect for the future, especially since Disney and 21st Century Fox have been talking about this deal on and off for the past few months. For now, until a deal is struck, fans can speculate the future of Disney/Marvel movies and what all they might entail.