Last month it was widely speculated that Disney and Fox had held talks over a potential takeover. With Disney keen to scoop up a large section of 20th Century Fox and its properties, excited fans speculated over the potential of seeing Deadpool and X-Men return home. Now it’s being reported that both parties are back in negotiations.
The WSJ is reporting that both Disney and Fox are back round the negotiating table, with Disney pushing for a deal before the end of the year.
The deal would reportedly include 20th Century Fox, the TV branch of 21st Century Fox as well as a huge selection of Fox television and movie assets. Of course among those film properties are a number of Marvel licenses – including X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool.
Interestingly, Disney would also take Fox’s stake in UK satellite television provider Sky – which is currently looking to seize full control of Sky. That is under investigation by the UK’s Competition Commission – a process that would be made all the more complicated if Disney were to snap up the entire organization.
The deal could also slow down Disney’s interest in developing its own streaming platform. Reports suggest that Hulu would be included in any deal – giving Disney a huge stake in an established platform. The company hasn’t been coy about its desires to launch and operate its own streaming platform – putting it in direct competition with Netflix. Given that Netflix currently manages several of Marvel’s IPs, it potentially points to a bitter breakdown in relations down the line – more if they end up owning Hulu.
It could also change the direction of Marvel’s MCU quite drastically – with the X-Men potentially slotting in to Phase 4 of the popular movie universe. Up to now the cinematic universe has ignored those characters entirely.
Comcast, the US telecoms giant, has also reportedly voiced its interest in acquiring the media giant – although it’s unlikely they could compete with the financial might of Disney.
Our Take: Disney buying 20th Century Fox would be a game changer for the movie industry – the ramifications of which would be felt across the board. Given the reported short deadline Disney has attached to the talks, we may not have to wait long to hear more.