Fox's Animated Movie Franchises Are Probably Safe
Fox's primary animation studio, Blue Sky Studios, will be included in the acquisition. A contender with industry giants Pixar and Dreamworks, Blue Sky has been responsible for films such as Rio, Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, The Peanuts Movie and the more recent John Cena-voiced film Ferdinand.
Blue Sky's most imminent upcoming animated feature is Spies in Disguise. Set for release in September 2019, the film boasts an impressive voice cast, including Tom Holland, Will Smith and John Cena. The buddy-comedy follows a James Bond-esque secret agent who must rely upon the inventor of all his tech to save the day (it's touted as 21 Jump Street meets Skyfall).
The franchise that Blue Sky is perhaps most famous for is the Ice Age series, which is currently being developed as a TV series, according to current 20th Century Fox chairman and CEO Stacey Snider. Whether Disney will continue with the production of said TV series remains to be seen.
The Fate of Fox's TV Animation Is Also Unknown
Also included in Disney's new animation selection are perennial television stalwarts The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob's Burgers, thanks to their association with 20th Century Fox Animation. Fox's approach to animation is allegedly currently being "revamped," but there is a Bob's Burgers feature film in the pipleline, which is supposedly going to go ahead. A second Simpsons Movie is also apparently in the early stages of development, alongside a hybrid live-action/animated Family Guy movie.
Expect Disney to slowly figure out what to do with these often-controversial adult animations, and how to find a place for them within their family-friendly image. While they do, Snider will continue on, expecting her animated features to come to fruition. American Dad! will also go on, and fans will supposedly even see a return to King of the Hill (a show already tipped for a revival).
Disney Will Own A Lot Of Prestige TV Thanks To FX
American Horror Story and Disney might not feel right being said in the same sentence, but as Disney will be buying FX in its intellectual property haul, they'll be responsible for its ongoing production - alongside other FX shows such as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Americans and Marvel's Legion. Don't expect Disney to pull the plug on any of these shows, as they're consistent money-makers and crowd-pleasers, but they'll likely keep their distance and allow FX to continue on autonomously. After all, Always Sunny isn't exactly a family-friendly show.
An Uncertain Future for Disney's Other New Brands
Through Fox, Disney have now acquired the rights to the Alien franchise. The second film in Ridley Scott's Alien prequel series, Alien: Covenant, a lackluster follow-up to the similarly-derided Prometheus, left a lot of story for the industry titan to explore. However, the last word from Fox was that the sequels had even been cancelled (as of December 2017).
Disney is also acquiring the hugely successful Kingsman franchise, which has some major future plans already laid. Set to shoot next year, Kingsman 3 is the follow-up to last year's successful Kingsman: The Golden Circle and under the new merger's terms and conditions is guaranteed a release. The Kingsman movies have also recently brought fresh word of a prequel, spinoff, and TV show all in the works, which means the House of Mouse is being handed the keys to a brand with the potential for real, lasting longevity.
Disney will also the critically-acclaimed, VFX-pioneering Planet of the Apes franchise. Bob Iger did mention the franchise by name when speaking during Disney's third quarter 2018 financial results conference call, so clearly it's on their mind, but seeing how the close of the most recent trilogy was only last year, its hard to tell how soon we'd see a redo (or even a continuation of) the franchise. That said, a total box office haul of $491 million for the trilogy conclusion War for the Planet of the Apes is not to be sniffed at, so it shouldn't be too long before audiences see a continuation of the franchise.
Hulu Becomes Disney's Second Big Streaming Arm
Disney famously have a streaming service in the works to rival Netflix's - if not in quantity than in quality. In addition to their plans for that service, the Fox buyout has also come packaged with a controlling stake in Hulu. The streaming service has been around online since 2007, and has been putting out some consistently headline-grabbing, crowd-pleasing shows, including The Handmaid's Tale, Marvel's Runaways, and the Stephen King mash-up Castle Rock.
Disney's plan is to stick all its non-family-friendly content onto Hulu, keeping its own brand streaming service squeaky clean. This beefs up Hulu's catalogue, considering it's going to include a whole host of adult-orientated Fox property. Scarily, Hulu lost $900 million in attempting to develop more original content last year, and that number is predicted to rise to $1.7 billion in 2018. This is unlikely to phase Disney however, considering they just spent over $70 billion acquiring Fox. A potential $1 billion loss from Hulu is a drop in the ocean.
Considering that The Handmaid's Tale was the first streaming service to win an Emmy for Best Drama, Disney will most likely be willing to encourage Hulu's original output, whilst simultaneously scaling it down somewhat to avoid further drastic fiscal losses.
The details of Disney's acquisition of Fox are still emerging, and we won't have a full picture of what will happen to these many movie and TV properties until the deal is finalized and Disney's new reign begins. We'll be sure to keep you updated on any further developments here on Screen Rant.
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