Disney and Fox's deal may be finalized by next summer. The Hollywood landscape will look very different in the near future. With the streaming race heating up and studios betting more and more on franchises or cinematic universes, the movie industry is as competitive as ever. Disney's the cream of the crop when it comes to adapting to this new model, as the majority of their slate includes either MCU, Star Wars, Pixar, live-action remakes, or animated movies.
Disney isn't sitting idly by however, as their focus on developing a streaming service of their own has found them looking for as much content as possible. That was a key reason behind them being interested in acquiring Fox when the studio was looking to sell. Disney secured the winning bid at the end of last year, which now means it just has to jump through some regulatory hoops - and it appears things are moving along fairly well.
Deadline reports that at Fox's recent town hall meeting for employees, 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice told those in attendance that they expect the deal to officially be finalized by the end of summer in 2019. That expectation appears to be the worst case scenario though, so it's possible that we're just over a year away from the deal being 100% done if the regulatory approval continues at its current pace.
The deal is obviously complicated as Disney (one of Hollywood's biggest studios) is looking to buy out one of their competitors. There's been multiple attempts by Comcast to intervene, and they may do just that in a bid to buy the international TV company Sky. But, all parties at Disney and Fox are working to make sure the deal does go through, and they'd all surely prefer it happen sooner rather than later. Even though the deal is agreed upon in principle, Disney does not yet actually own Fox's assets. That doesn't mean that changes aren't going to be announced during this transitional period. Disney's already announced changes to gear up for their streaming service. Such changes will be likely continue to be made so that, once the deal is approved legally, there isn't any wasted time in letting Fox and "New Fox" operate under the new circumstances.
If next summer is the targeted date for the deal to be finalized, then that is when we can expect to start to learn how some of the IPs involved will be influenced. Marvel Studios can't use the X-Men or Fantastic Four until the deal closes, so fans shouldn't expect to see any of those characters rebooted until 2020 at the earliest, or 2021 more realistically. Still, Disney's getting much more than just Marvel characters back, and all eyes will be on how the Mouse House uses its new branches moving forward.