The precious entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox are officially slipping toward Disney‘s gravitational pull, and it looks like the much-touted deal will be signed, sealed and delivered by Thursday, December 14th.
In what could be a banner day for the Mouse House – Star Wars: The Last Jedi is also poised to begin its global rollout in two days’ time – 21st Century Fox and Disney are now said to be on the “glide path” for a historic merger, particularly now that Comcast has withdrawn its bid for the majority of Fox’s assets.
That leaves Disney as the sole suitor, with CNBC reporting that the enterprise value of Fox’s entertainment division is “seen as above $60 billion,” so gaining control of the Avatar and X-Men franchises won’t be cheap for the House of Mouse, even if an exact figure is yet to be disclosed.
And though film fans are beside themselves with excitement about the possibility of Marvel mutants crossing over into the MCU (and vice versa!), Logan helmer James Mangold recently warned that the imminent Fox/Disney merger may wind up affecting Fox Film and its output of adult-oriented, and often R-rated, movies.
Few would argue against Mangold’s concerns, but at a time like this, it’s worth keeping Disney’s track record in mind. Ever since its purchase of Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm, the Powers That Be over at Disney have largely left each company to their own devices, which leaves us feeling quietly confident about its pursuit of Fox.
Also of note, Kevin Feige is purportedly keen to get his hands on the X-Men, and hopes to “cross-pollinate” those iconic mutants with characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This, coupled with all of the hype and excitement surrounding Disney’s deal, has led some to wonder whether Hugh Jackman will ever circle back and reprise the role of Wolverine. Turns out the actor isn’t all that interested in a potential return (“my ship has sailed”) and instead hopes that another actor will come in and assume the adamantium claws.
Alas, even if Disney and Fox reach an agreement before the week is out, it’ll likely take a few years before we begin to see the consequences of the acquisition. In short: don’t waste your time hoping for the X-Men to crop up in Avengers 4.