Disney Boss “Enthusiastic” About Fox Merger Despite Interest From Comcast


Tuesday’s investor call was a busy one for Disney, as the company took the opportunity to lock down plans for multiple Star Wars TV projects along with a new film series from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the creative masterminds behind HBO’s über-popular Game of Thrones.

Amid talk of Lucasfilm’s far-away galaxy, though, CEO Bob Iger addressed the company’s proposed merger with 20th Century Fox, and why he still feels “enthusiastic” about the landmark deal, one which will eventually see the X-Men join forces with Marvel’s cinematic heroes, despite interest from Comcast.

Before we discuss the quarter and other developments across the company, a quick update about our recently announced acquisition. The regulatory process has begun in numerous jurisdictions across the world. And I spent the last several weeks meeting with a number of business leaders at Fox, gaining insight that will be invaluable when it comes to integrating our organizations once we have regulatory approval.

It’s in the final stages, then, but as Iger notes, Disney is still seeking “regulatory approval” before it can dot the i’s and cross the t’s of what may well be the biggest and most historic film acquisition in recent history.

It greatly affects the world of television, too, as the Mouse House’s buyout would uproot the likes of The Simpsons and other major projects that have taken up residence at Fox. Still, Bob Iger firmly believes that the merger will only change the entertainment landscape for the better.

After these discussions, I’m even more enthusiastic about the businesses we’re acquiring and the management teams that are leading them. As we said, when we announced this deal, there are three primary strategic priorities fulfilled by this acquisition. It will deliver more content and the production capabilities and talent to produce even more. It will enhance our direct-to-consumer initiatives with platforms, technologies, brands and existing customer relationships to build on. And it will greatly diversify our businesses geographically. All three of these elements sync up perfectly with our own core strategies, and all three are designed to create growth in a very dynamic global marketplace.

Business jargon aside, the Disney-Fox merger would spell a major upheaval for comic book movies, beginning with the introduction of the X-Men – not to mention Deadpool and the Fantastic Four – into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is about to reach a climax of its own thanks to Avengers 4.

There are still many questions to be answered, then, but at least for now, fans can continue to enjoy Marvel and 20th Century Fox content for what it is, safe in the knowledge that both franchises are headed toward a very bright and prosperous future.