If only Walt Disney could see what his Mouse House has become, his cryogenically frozen head would be rolling. With news surfacing of the Walt Disney Company purchasing the meat of 21st Century Fox, it’s hard to imagine an era when a nearly 1.5 million budget on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs almost bankrupt Mr. Disney. But these are the times we live in, where Mickey Mouse is harvesting the entertainment industry like it’s nobody’s business. Comic book fans rejoiced at the thought of the Hulk duking it out with Wolverine. School children in their ninth grade social studies class were left scratching their heads wondering if this violates anti-trust laws. Then of course they celebrated with the other comic book fans.
Here, we break down the potentially good, the probably bad, and the downright alarming ugly of the Disney-Fox deal.
Marvel Studios is most likely working on an end credit scene with Captain America holding up a “Welcome Home” sign to the X-Men and Fantastic Four a la Say Anything. One of the loudest cheers of the impending Disney-Fox transaction is Marvel Studios welcoming the X-Men and Fantastic Four universes in with open arms. Creatively, these new additions open some doors. That’s probably not the case for whatever batch of screenwriters that need to cram certain cameos in each MCU film. Regardless, the new brood of intellectual property would most likely solve one of Marvel Studios glaring problems: good villains. They’ll have Dr. Doom, Magneto and Galactus to pick through. Then we as movie-goers can finally stop beating that dead horse.
Additionally, having the X-Men and Fantastic Four at Marvel Studios could revitalize each of these franchises. The X-Men introduction into the MCU can be ripped directly from the source material with the 2012 crossover story “Avengers vs. X-Men.” The X-Men films as of late have always been hit or miss. With X-Men: Dark Phoenix on the horizon, that may be a good time for the X-Men to once again reboot itself. You would think someone on the team has that superpower, considering how many times they’ve done it now… Cinematically, the first family of Marvel has always has it rough. Perhaps they could start anew, yet again. If anything, it would make Chris Evans’s dreams come true.
The big bads stem from dissecting two problems: creatively and the Disney streaming service. We’ll start on the creative side. Despite a number of misfires, Fox Studios hasn’t ruined all of their superhero movies. In fact, their last two outings, Deadpool and Logan might have been their best. Even though Disney films are laced with adult humor, it’s hard to imagine a potty mouth like Deadpool remaining completely intact over at Disney World. That’s partly what made the movie a success. Also, Marvel would also have to seriously think about what to do with Wolverine. After Logan gave the old man and Hugh Jackman a beautiful send-off, how can anyone be expected to fill those shoes? And Logan too followed Deadpool into R-rated territory with great results.
Superhero characters are far from the only properties up for sale. A MCU film in 2021 could star Homer Simpson getting drunk with the Ewoks on Avatar’s Pandora. All these acquisitions would be fodder for Disney’s planned streaming service. Disney will launch its plan next year to essential bury Netflix alive. Disney would have a controlling stake in Hulu. That begs the question of that streaming service’s future. However, the most alarming concern goes much further than an annoying added streaming service cost.
I’m not even sure how a Disney-Fox merger would be legal. If this deal goes through, good God. This deal has already raised red flags for some for it reeking of that anti-trust stench. Without competition, the Disney Company would grow from Mickey House to almost literally Mickey with the gauntlet. No one could challenge its authority, meaning Disney could do whatever it wants. Color me skeptical, but I don’t believe one of the items they’re buying is Uncle Ben’s sage advice on power and responsibility. And there won’t be any Avengers to save us – they’ll be snug under the Disney umbrella. There are a lot of unknowns as to what would come if this happens. However, one thing is definitely for sure: the entertainment world would never be the same.