Now that the Disney and Fox deal is finally official, we are already privy to some of the smaller details that the buyout will entail, including the confirmation that the Fantastic Four rights are indeed coming back to Marvel Studios. Regardless of what the business deal means to the bigger picture, Marvel fans were nonetheless thrilled when news broke out that Disney and Fox are in talks for a possible sale of some 21st Century Fox group key components, particularly their TV and movies division, as it poses the possibility of seeing almost the complete Marvel character catalog finally under one company. It was all good and everyone was hopeful, until one small but significant caveat came to light that could have curtailed the Fantastic Four inclusion in the same deal.
Fortunately, that problem appears to be non-bearing in the $52 billion deal. Alongside the X-Men, Deadpool and their supporting characters, Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and the Thing will soon rub elbows with the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, thanks to the recently formalized sale.
Amid this massive, industry-shaking deal, Disney did not miss the huge opportunity that it presents their successful superhero films division. In the presser released by the conglomerate, they teased on the infinite possibilities it offers the MCU now that Marvel Studios will regain creative control over their extensive catalog of characters that have long been with Fox. It also briefly touched on the company’s commitment to back up James Cameron’s budding Avatar franchise and National Geographic channel’s endeavor to educate the masses about Earth’s flora and fauna:
“The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love. The addition of Avatar to its family of films also promises expanded opportunities for consumers to watch and experience storytelling within these extraordinary fantasy worlds. Already, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort can experience the magic of Pandora—The World of Avatar, a new land inspired by the Fox film franchise that opened earlier this year. And through the incredible storytelling of National Geographic—whose mission is to explore and protect our planet and inspire new generations through education initiatives and resources—Disney will be able to offer more ways than ever before to bring kids and families the world and all that is in it.”
We can expect Feige and his people over at Marvel Studios are already plotting to re-introduce Marvel’s First Family into the MCU fold immediately. Unlike the X-Men, who garnered their fair share of popularity under Fox, the Fantastic Four struggled despite two attempts (one in 2005 and another in 2015) to be successfully launched into the big screen. And with both cinematic versions having very little fan affinity due to bad reviews, rebooting it and incorporating them into the existing lore that Marvel Studios have established will be relatively easier compared to other IPs that have gained fanfare over the years. The biggest risk here is to finally nail the big screen adaptation of the foursome in a way that it will obliterate all the other previously poor take on them.
Last month, Feige revealed that 20 more films are already on their docket after Avengers 4. While the Marvel Studios chief obviously has insider information regarding Disney absorbing some Fox division, it’s a wonder whether he had already banked on the sale and included it in his Phase 4 roadmap or not. With the MCU going cosmic moving forward, it’s easily possible that the mutants were left out of the slate. But if they want to slowly incorporate them, they could easily do so in Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 with Tony Stark supposedly selling the former Avengers Tower in New York to Richards, and then convert it to the Baxter Building.
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