There’s A Fox In The House Of Mouse. Carl explores Disney’s acquisition of Fox
It was always going to happen eventually. It was on the cards for quite a while now. And now it’s finally come to fruition. 21st Century Fox has announced that as of 12.02 ET Wednesday morning, Disney will officially gain control of its film and TV divisions and take the studio into its vast fold.
The deal was officially announced all the way back in December 2017. Disney decided to offer a multi-billion dollar amount in its quest to control the company. Included in the deal are all of Fox’s film and television departments. Disney is about to acquire a number of high profile franchises.
Fox has quite the library of franchises for Disney to now either continue, reboot or to end at its own discretion. Franchises like Alien, Die Hard, Predator and Avatar will now feature the Disney brand Logo. Not included in the deal however is Fox Corp. The Rupert Murdoch owned news and media company will now be on its own, spun into New Fox.
In 2018, Fox had around 22,000 employees across the globe. Around 7000 of these employees are expected to now become part of New Fox. Disney currently employs over 201,000 people. Disney has already announced that there will be some cost savings coming, rumoured to be in excess of £2billion. It is expected that at least 4000 Fox employees will be part of a wave of layoffs now the deal has been ratified but analysts say the true number may be in excess of 10,000 employees over time.
On the one hand, this can be considered exciting times. Disney now holds the rights to the original Star Wars Trilogy and can now release all nine of the episode films in a boxset once they gain the rights to A New Hope, which for some reason, Disney do not gain for a further two years. The deal also makes Disney the biggest player in Hollywood at this time. It’s stable of franchises, both created by them and gained by its acquisitions is huge and can guarantee excellent cinematic fare for years to come.
It can also be viewed as rather disturbing. Disney is fast becoming the ONLY player in town. It is its size that is troubling. By buying up studios and their contents, it could possibly down the line restrict the entertainment we enjoy. It’s heartening that Disney has said they will keep the Deadpool franchise R Rated and will consider continuing releasing R Rated content but whats to say they decide down the line that PG and PG-13 entertainment is the only content they want to produce. Marvel’s plans for an R Rated Blade reboot and Fox’s Alien, Predator and Die Hard franchises could be tamed down for a family audience. This is not the way it should go. Disney could become TOO POWERFUL. And that will interfere with the audience interest and not give the world diverse and different films than what the Mouse House will put out. Should we fear the day that EVERY film at the Oscars is a Disney production? And now that Fox has been assimilated, what studio will be next? Warners? Paramount? MGM?
Part of me is excited by this merger but part of me fears for the future. I fear that one day, we will all be watching nothing but what one studio gives us. Creative ideas may be restricted in favour of churning out reboots, remakes or sequels to whatever Disney has in its locker and decides to feed us. If that comes to pass, it will be a dark, sad day for entertainment.
What will the fallout be tomorrow morning once the deal has finally taken effect? Stay tuned to The Future Of The Force for up to date news, views and analysis of what the Mouse does with the Fox it now has in its house.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!