Disney Buys Fox: What does it mean?

Erik Mendez

Contributing Writer


This deal has a lot of meanings to a lot of different people. For Marvel Studios fans like myself, this will mean that X-Men and Fantastic Four will be back under the Marvel umbrella. Marvel characters not being part of the Marvel films until now, what does that mean? Sometimes to get to the end, you have to go back to the beginning.

In the 1990’s Marvel was on the verge of financial bankruptcy. Jobs were being lost left and right, comic books were not doing too well, and the 90’s X-Men animated series on television could only do so much to popularize superheroes to a mainstream audience.

Before Marvel began making movies under their own banner, they had been known to license out their characters to other studios such as Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Fox.

Sony Pictures had been allowed to produce and distribute films centered on the Spider-Man universe of characters, while the Fantastic Four and X-Men were under the Fox banner. The distribution rights for the Hulk were and still are under Universal Pictures. The legalities to this are far more complicated than the information I have presented above.

In 2008, Marvel Studios began creating a slate of films such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, Thor, The Avengers and much more. Since the beginning of these modern-day superhero films, even more characters that were on loan to other studios have returned to Marvel.

Daredevil, formerly under 20th Century Fox went on to become a successful Netflix series currently consisting of two seasons with a third one on the way.

Ghost Rider now no longer under the hold of Sony Pictures has been known to make appearances on ABC network’s Marvel’s: Agents of Shield.

Spider-Man on film does not belong to Marvel currently but an exception to the rule has been made under a joint partnership featuring Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, the primary distributor. Spider-Man in the movies is a tale of two studios working together to reboot and incorporate the character into the larger Marvel Universe lore on film.

A lot of the previous legalities and older deals between Marvel and other studios are the reasons these characters have never intersected on film together.

Disney has bought out Marvel, Star Wars, and Fox as of recently. Disney having paid $71.4 billion intends to create a digital streaming service to compete with Netflix using the acquired properties.

As of 2019 and according to BusinessInsider.com, Disney will have completely owned the following: Alien, Predator, Planet of the Apes, Ice Age, and Die Hard. Syfy.com reports that franchises such as The Simpsons, Futurama, Kingsman, Night at the Museum, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will belong to the house of Mouse.

Disney as of October 2012, currently owns Lucasfilm, the company that oversees the use of the Star Wars properties in various forms of multimedia. Marvel Entertainment is a subsidiary of Disney as of December 2010. For Star Wars fans, Fox’s rights to the original trilogy will now fall into Disney’s hands.

It’s been speculated by fans around the globe that until this acquisition had been made possible, Marvel had refused to give exposure to their characters in films produced by rival studios. Recent videogames such as Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite, and Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 did not feature the X-Men in any capacity.

For me personally, I’m happy to know I get to live in a world where Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, The Avengers, characters that otherwise would have gone unheard can now coexist in a world of iconic properties like X-Men (including Deadpool). It’s the best of both worlds where everyone is an A-list character.

For everyone else, the effects of this deal will vary and the change won’t happen overnight. To see what the effects of this deal will be, only time will tell.

Photo info: Disney bought Fox Photo courtesy: YouTube