OK, so just a few minutes ago Twitter literally exploded with news of a major financial announcement: according to The Associated Press, The Walt Disney Co. will acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc., for $4 billion in cash and stock.

Woah! If you ever wondered how much the Marvel Universe is worth, I think you just found out.

Under the deal Disney will now control and own 5,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man and Spider-Man. If Marvel shareholders approve the deal, they will receive $30 per share and will also receive .745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. Both the Disney and Marvel board of directors have approved the deal, but it still has to go through an anti-trust review. I don’t see there being any problem with the anti-trust review nor do I see the marvel shareholders turning up their noses to such a fantastic offer. Most likely, later this week, we should see final word on the resolution of this agreement.

Said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer:

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel`s fantastic library of characters given
its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses…This is an unparalleled
opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties
by accessing Disney`s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around
the world.”

So what does this mean to comic books fans? Well, it could be both very good and very bad at the same time. Let’s look at some quick pros and cons shall we?

Pro – Disney is a universal name with pockets so deep that God’s hand would have a hard time reaching the bottom.  Marvel is no slouch either in the household name department – but let’s face it, they are no Disney. All that extra money, means way more marketing and increased traffic within the theme parks (sorry Universal but looks like you might lose the X-Men characters in your parades.)

Con – With movies like Iron Man 2, Spider-man 4, The Incredible Hulk 2, Thor , The Avengers and Captain America on the horizon, what does this mean for their development? Iron Man 2 is already in full swing so I doubt we see any type of delay with that one, but with no other pre-production or principle photography under way on some other films, could we see some eventual delay(s)?

Pro – On the flip side, with Disney having such deep pockets, that means much more available funds to push MORE movies into production. It’s not like Disney is buying Marvel because they were threatened by Marvel’s market share and were trying to buy out the competition. No, Disney bought Marvel to use the property rights, not sit on them. This could mean we start seeing Marvel characters pushed into multiple forms of media. More cartoons, more comics, more live action TV shows and definitely more movies.

Con – We could find ourselves over-saturated with watered down superheroes, quickly written scripts and under produced adaptation that are Disney is just looking to make a quick buck with. They are, after all, trying to re-coup $4 billion dollars of investment. It is distinctly possible that quality could suffer.  Hopefully that won’t be the case, because whether Disney knows it or not, they are now under intense scrutiny from one of these largest, if not the largest, fan base in the world.

There are plenty of other pros and cons and we may discuss them in detail later today but for now we thought the news was worthy enough to get to you quickly.

What do you think of this mega-acquisition of Marvel by Disney? Does it make you as apprehensive as me for the future or elated that we may have an enormous opportunity to see more comic films in the future?

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Screen Rant will keep you updated as news come out.

[UPDATE: For our analysis of what this could mean for future Marvel movies (and TV shows) check out our follow-up: So Disney Bought Marvel – What Does It All Mean?]

Source: The Globe and Mail

Disney Marvel Logo: Spoiler TV