The Major Implications That a Disney Purchase of ’20th Century Fox’ Could Have
In completely unexpected news right out of left field today, CNBC reported that talks between the Walt Disney Company and 20th Century Fox have been ongoing for a few months, with both parties in discussion about the possibility of Disney purchasing Fox’s brands and subsidiaries outright. Once again, we should reiterate that CNBC’s report claims there are discussions only at this point, and none of this deal is set in stone. Ho However, considering the investments Disney has in some of the properties that Fox owns, it’s not too shocking to think they’d be interested in going after it. While this deal would be monumental, not only to Disney, but the entire film industry and another landmark in a new era of an ongoing corporate black hole, there’s still much to speculate what could come of a result like this. Therefore, we’re taking a look at five major implications that Disney purchasing 20th Century Fox could have upon the company and the film industry.
The Potential Good:
Disney Retains the Rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four Franchises
This is perhaps one that is probably the most exciting to most Disney and Marvel fans. For quite some time, Marvel has been hoping to get their hands on the X-Men and Fantastic Four properties, which are Marvel franchises, but who’s theatrical rights are the property of 20th Century Fox, due to a sale before Disney had purchased Marvel Entertainment. Disney buying Fox would mean that the X-Men could potentially meet up with the Avengers, or that the studio can re-invigorate the Fantastic Four franchise. The possibilities would be endless if this deal were to be made.
AVATAR Becomes a Disney Franchise
Another major thing that could come out of a Fox purchase would mean that Disney would now own the rights to James Cameron’s Avatar series. Which would be handy, considering Disney just spent billions on an Avatar themed expansion at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Owning the franchise right away would give Disney the ability to control the series and ensure that their investment doesn’t go stale too quickly.
Disney Will Own the Rights to ‘Star Wars: A New Hope’
Even though Disney bought the entirety of the Star Wars franchise when it acquired Lucasfilm Ltd from George Lucas in 2012, they’ve always had to battle a difficult clause with 20th Century Fox, who officially own the complete rights to the original Star Wars film, later re-titled A New Hope. Should Disney buy Fox, they would have the ability to finally own this cinematic classic and the groundwork to the billion-dollar franchise they now so proudly wield the power to. Hey, maybe they’ll even make that original, unedited film release.
Endless Disneynature and National Geographic Content
20th Century Fox also owns the rights to National Geographic, which may be perfect for the Disney brand, and especially, the Disneynature brand that Disney launched several years ago. Should Disney buy National Geographic, it would provide them with the resources to create even more incredible new content and provide a quicker reach for fans to see far more frequently.
The Potentially Harmful:
What is the Disney Brand About Anymore?
As Disney continues to focus more of its resources to purchased properties, the studio faces the possibility of a dangerous identity crisis. Disney was once defined with a specific brand image that allowed them to become the corporate superpower that they currently are. Should Disney buy all of these properties and franchises that are so far removed from what Disney is familiar with, then what would become of ‘the Disney brand’? The brand would fade futher into obscurity and The Walt Disney Company would just be another studio that happens to release several different types of films.
Disney-Focused Productions and Original Films Could Become a Thing of the Past
As spectacular as Disney is right now, this is even something they face today. Just look at Disney’s 2017 lineup. Out of all of their films, only one movie, Disney-Pixar’s Coco, is an original film, not based off a pre-existing franchise or purchased property. Next year and the following, there are no original movies from Disney. Not that the films that Disney is making are bad, in fact they are spectacular, but it would be nice if Disney focused more on making those types of films that made them so popular rather than just Star Wars or Marvel. If Disney were to buy Fox, likely most of their resources would be to honing Fox’s owned franchises as well, making those smaller ambitious films harder to break out into the spotlight in this potential corporate franchise smorgasbord.
The news of a 20th Century Fox buyout from The Walt Disney Company is shocking and even a bit confusing, but there’s a lot that could come out of it if it were to ever happen, both good and bad. Neither Disney or Fox have released any statements on the matter, but if there’s anything we’re certain about as avid Disney fans, we’ll be keeping a close eye out about this news, and what it could mean for the future of The Walt Disney Company.