According to a new report, the blockbuster deal that would send Fox's Marvel properties over to Disney has progressed to the final stages. The two companies have been in talks for some time now, though discussions have definitely heated up in recent weeks. A potential deal was said to have stalled back in early November, but the fact that Fox and Disney were even talking was enough to get the Marvel fanbase buzzing, setting up a firestorm in the online community about whether or not the acquisition was in the best interest of the characters in question.
Fox has a bit of a checkered history when it comes to their Marvel adaptations. Productions have varied wildly in quality, from the flat-out awesome (Logan, Deadpool) to the outright sacrilegious (X-Men: The Last Stand, all three Fantastic Four movies). The studio has arguably their biggest Marvel slate yet lined up for 2018, with Deadpool 2, The New Mutants, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix all set to hit the big screen next year. It's a complicated time to pull off such a merger on the Disney side as well, with the Marvel Cinematic Universe gearing up towards Avengers: Infinity War and moving towards an uncertain future in Phase 4.
The talks between the two studios were reignited earlier this week, with reports stating that a deal could be finalized as early as next week. Today's news seemingly cements that story, as Variety is reporting that "both companies have set teams of bankers on the case to work out the fine print." The report goes on to state that, according to sources, "it is possible that a deal could be struck before Christmas." The deal is said to be valued in the range of $74 billion.
Marvel fans are of course keyed in on the idea that Disney would finally be allowed to include characters from the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises in the MCU. The possibility of seeing mutant heroes like Wolverine and Jean Grey fighting alongside the likes of Spider-Man and Captain America is a dream scenario for most, though the deal has more than its share of detractors. Bringing the X-Men franchise into the MCU calls nearly all of Fox's currently in-development films into question, and there are many that feel that such a merger would actually be damaging to the characters and tone that Fox has worked to establish in recent years. Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld even penned an open letter to Fox's higher ups yesterday morning, urging them to reconsider sending their Marvel characters over to Disney.
As far as we know, this is the farthest along the two companies have ever managed to get in their discussions, so if you're pulling for the merger to go through, things are certainly looking promising. If you're in the anti-acquisition camp, keep in mind that these talks have broken down before, so all hope isn't quite lost.
- Deadpool 2 (2018) release date: May 18, 2018
- New Mutants (2019) release date: Aug 02, 2019
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) release date: Feb 14, 2019