There have been a number of reports that 21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell much of its properties to The Walt Disney Company. According to CNBC, Fox “is said to believe that a more tightly focused group of properties around news and sports could compete more effectively in the current marketplace.” And naturally, Disney can only benefit from the acquisition of additional film and television assets with plans for a new streaming platform on the horizon.
Of course, all of this information is mere speculation at this point, but I can’t help but wonder what the implications of such a deal would be.
1. Would this mean we can expect some X-Men universe crossover in future Disney MCU films?
I’m not a connoisseur of comics, but I have been obsessed with the X-Men franchise ever since my wee little preteen self discovered X-Men Evolution. My inner 12 year old needs to know if some of the new X-Men cast members of the post-Days of Future Past timeline are going to start appearing in some of these Marvel mashups that Disney has been giving us.
We’ve gotten a lot of great Scarlet Witch action, but imagine how cool it would be the see some of the core members from the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters hanging out with the rest of the Marvel gang for once.
2. Would this mean all our Fox and FX favorites are going to disappear from Netflix à la Marvel/Lucasfilm/Disney Animation/etc. in the not so distant future?
Family Guy, American Horror Story, New Girl, Archer, Always Sunny—just to name a few titles.
I will say that many of my favorite 20th Century Fox film properties are markedly absent from the Netflix library, which brings me to my next point.
3. How did I just notice that 20th Century Fox owned features are notably absent from Netflix’s on demand library?
*Sense of resolve in loyalty to Netflix wavers at the thought of this hypothetical scenario*
I’ve only just now realized while researching for this list that some of my favorite film titles are in fact 20th Century Fox films and aren’t even on Netflix: the entire X-Men franchise, Cheaper by the Dozen, Walk the Line, Tristan & Isolde, The Devil Wears Prada, Kingsman, and so on and so on.
Just a cursory look at Fox pictures since 2000 proves that gaining these assets would be quite the bargaining chip in the streaming space.
4. Is The Walt Disney Company forming a new Alliance of Evil with the Murdoch dynasty?
Okay. . .obviously a joke (sort of), but it does trouble the more delicate facets of my sensibilities that the two seem to be in cahoots moving into this new phase of the industry.
It’s a sinisterly strategic deal if the sale comes to fruition. Fox gets to zero in on it’s News and Sports—a facet of the industry that has mostly evaded the streaming trend with traditional maintaining the advantage—empire while Disney arms itself with bountiful TV and film properties to stage a coup of the streaming business.
This brings us to my last question.
5. Might Disney actually become a major contender competing with other major streaming platforms?
I was firm just a few weeks ago in my belief that studios couldn’t simply create their own streaming services and expect users to just flock over and fork up the additional expense of all of these additional subscriptions in order to watch their usual digest of television sans cable.
And to extent I was right. Not just any studio could expect this outcome, only THE studio. I don’t think anyone can argue that Disney has the clout in terms of brand loyalty to pull of a move like it’s creating it’s own streaming platform. And if Disney is able to make moves like this deal, acquiring an immense library of streaming assets that would become untouchable by competitors, the streaming space is in for a major upset not by some fresh newcomer but by the seasoned all star we were just starting to count out.