In what may be the deal of the year, if not the decade, two of Hollywood’s greatest entertainment giants will be combined under a single leadership. Disney is buying a considerable part of 21st Century Fox in a deal worth $52.4 billion. This will be a significant addition to its ever-growing portfolio already encompassing a significant number of prime entertainment assets. This development is expected to make an enormous change in the media industry, helping Disney in its battle against upstart streaming services like Netflix which have persuaded a many consumers to switch off from the traditional cable subscription model.
Disney is set to become the owner of 21st Century Fox’s movie studio and regional sports networks. Cable channels FX and National Geographic will also change hands, as well as Fox’s stakes in Hulu and European pay-TV provider Sky. However, they will not be getting Fox broadcasting network, Fox News Channel, and Fox Business Network.
One group of people was particularly enthusiastic about the announcement of the purchase: Marvel fans. With this deal, all Marvel characters will finally be united under a single roof. Disney, who in its impressive catalog of high-grossing films boasts the rights over Star Wars, Avatar, as well as television hits The Simpsons and Modern Family, acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009. However, not a small number of superheroes and villains are still in the hands of other companies. Spider-Man is owned by Sony Pictures, and the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four are the property of Fox.
Deadpool in Disneyland
Of course, a monumental occasion like this cannot go by without a witty quip by Deadpool‘s Ryan Reynolds. The actor, who brought this iconic character to life in the 2016 R-rated movie, tweeted a photo of himself dressed in costume being escorted out of Disneyland by a security guard. He captioned it, “Apparently you can’t actually blow the Matterhorn.” The Matterhorn is one of the oldest roller coasters in the Californian theme park. How and perhaps more importantly why, the mutant anti-hero would want to ‘blow’ it in the first place is a question probably best left unanswered. However, it’s hilarious antics like these that have convinced fans that Ryan Reynolds not only perfectly portrays Deadpool, but that he actually is Deadpool.
Still, Fox hasn’t lost the rights over its Marvel characters completely. The company is still set to release several comic-book based movies, including The New Mutants (April 2018) and Deadpool 2 (June 2018).
A changed policy?
One thing that has caused a lot of concern among the fans, however, is Disney’s inclination towards family-friendly programmes. This has given rise to worries that the company will tone down the mature content which has become a very popular feature of some recent Marvel films. The first to breach those waters was obviously Deadpool. Then this year another movie followed in its footsteps: Logan, Wolverine’s swan song was also rated R.
The Matterhorn jibe wasn’t the only tribute Reynolds paid to the Disney-Fox deal. A few days earlier, the actor joked about exploring the “explosive sexual tension between Deadpool and Mickey Mouse”. Deadpool’s trademark dirty jokes may be reduced or completely eliminated under Disney’s supervision, so it may be wise to not get too excited too soon. On the other hand, how can we help feeling delighted with the chance of our favourite superheroes intertwining and the potential movies featuring both the Avengers and the X-Men, or Spider-Man and Deadpool? The Marvel universe has just been ushered into a new era, and we can only wait and see the wonders it will produce.