After weeks of speculation, it’s finally happened: Disney has acquired Twenty-First Century Fox in a deal worth billions. More importantly, it means that Mickey Mouse is now the iconic cartoon caretaker of some of our favorite film and TV franchises.
As Disney continues to consider its options for an all-new digital streaming service, the $52 billion takeover of Fox properties will certainly bolster its library of available content. But just how pervasive is this merger? Obviously, for comic book fans, the potential for Fox’s X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR franchises to be added into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe is an exciting one. While Fox has had a lot of success with the X-Men – which continues with new TV shows and movies on the slate – the Fantastic Four has never been able to gain any popular traction, despite three feature film attempts.
Getting incorporated into the main Marvel movies, under the careful eye of Kevin Feige, could be the key to making a faithful – and popular – adaptation of the comic book company’s First Family. A re-introduction to the characters in an upcoming Avengers movie would allow for the characters to be reintroduced to the public without risking a backlash because of the earlier failed films, much like they did with Spider-Man.
This deal, though, is about much more than unifying the fractured Marvel movie properties. There’s so much more that Disney now has access to, whether to include as a part of their future streaming service, or to capitalize on through one of their connected film and TV studios. Let’s take a quick look at some of the franchises that now belong to the House of Mouse.
“Yippee-kay-yay, Mickey Mouseketeer!”
Fresh off its inclusion in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry, John McClain now has a brand new boss. While there has been talks of a new Die Hard feature of late, we’ll have to see if Disney wants to continue on with the franchise after the abomination that was A Good Day to Die Hard.
I’m pretty sure we’ll all soon know exactly where Springfield is located: right inside Disney theme parks around the world. It’s too perfect to pass up, right? Create an official smaller-scale replica of the town right inside the Magic Kingdom and allow throngs of fans to pose with Homer, Bart and Lisa right alongside Mickey and the gang while traveling around in a school bus driven by Otto (is he still around? It’s been a while since I’ve bothered to watch).
Planet of the Apes
This always struck me as a franchise that’s a perfect fit for Disney. The Planet of the Apes has spanned nine movies since the original debuted in 1968 (four since the 2001 reboot) and everything involved would make for a great addition to the streaming service, not to mention the marketing potential for its 50th anniversary next year. Plus, it opens up another option for its own area in Disney parks.
I’ve really started to consider what kind of new Disney parks could be created with this deal, and really that’s what is getting me more and more excited. Imagine parks based on and inspired by former Fox properties – now owned by Disney – like TITANIC (hopefully the Disney cruise lines stay away from this one), THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA and THE MAZE RUNNER franchises, or even ICE AGE. All of these properties – and so much more – now belongs to Disney.
If the company keeps buying all these new properties, Disney theme parks may need to expand over the entire country just to house them all…