Here’s What The Disney/Fox Merger Means For Star Wars And The MCU

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With only the minor hurdle of regulatory hearings to go, Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox looks like a done deal. The decisions being made today at the Mouse House and within Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios are going to impact upon their blockbuster movies and pop culture in general for (at minimum) the next decade, so let’s take a closer look what exactly will change hands and what Disney might do with their new IP.

The most eye-catching result, of course, will be the X-Men making their debut in the MCU. How this will happen remains anyone’s guess, though my money’s on Disney completely recasting the roles and putting a new spin on favorites like Magneto, Wolverine and Cyclops in order to slot them neatly into the existing cinematic universe.

What might prove to be almost as momentous is the Fantastic Four IP, primarily because of the rights to iconic villains like Doctor Doom and Galactus that come as part of the deal. Finally seeing a screen version of Doom that does justice to his comic book character would be, well, fantastic. And if you want to build up to a villain more terrifying than Thanos, who better than the planet-eating Galactus? Whatever Marvel Studios decide to do with him, it’s got to be better than the rubbish space cloud seen in Rise of the Silver Surfer.

The impact on Star Wars will be slightly less dramatic, though, with the most immediate implication being that Disney will now own A New Hope. In case you didn’t realize, Fox still holds the exhibition rights to the pic, dating back to its original release (the rest of the movies were put out by Lucasfilm).

This anomaly has impacted upon plans to release box sets and prevented the official release of a De-Specialized edition of A New Hope – which would be the original 1977 version shorn of the ropey looking CGI inserted by George Lucas in the mid-90s. With the merger now happening, though, I’d say it’s a safe bet that we’ll finally see an all singing, all dancing home re-release of the Star Wars movies in time for the Christmas holidays.

All that being said, I think it’s quite right to be a little nervous about one corporation owning so much prominent intellectual property. I mean, there’s a good argument this is verging on an entertainment monopoly. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little excited about seeing the MCU expand to include new worlds and iconic characters. Make no mistake about it, exciting times lie ahead, and we’ll be keeping you updated every step of the way as this historic merger nears the finish line.

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