We're officially in the Endgame of the Disney and 20th Century Fox merger, first announced a couple of years ago. And this merger is going to have some big implications for geeks as Disney will now hold the rights to a number of amazing science fiction franchises.
Variety reports Disney had set Wednesday as the closing date for the merger. You'll note that's a little more than a month before the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame movie drops.
As many excited geeks have pointed out, with the merger complete, Disney will regain the cinematic rights to characters like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men. One of those franchises has been used mostly well since its film debut in 2000. The other has been a cinematic mistake with all three attempts. I'll leave you to figure out which is which.
But Disney can do a lot with a month. And they wouldn't have to do much to really shake things up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Picture this: You've finished the movie and are waiting for the next tiny clue of what'll come next, that famed after-credits clip movie theater staff members probably hate. The screen slowly fades in from black on a clenched fist. And then three metal claws slide out from between the knuckles. Wolverine has made it to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at last.
Disney's film options for the MCU multiply drastically after the merger and I'm sure they'll waste no time rebooting X-Men (no more sending Wolverine back through time to erase bad movies from the past) and the Fantastic Four. Really, the only big property they still lack the film rights to will be Spider-Man, and after the financial success of Venom and the Academy Award given to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Columbia might just keep the character for quite a while longer.
Aside from Marvel, this merger has big implications for other popular franchises. Did you know Disney gets the rights to Die Hard? Can you picture Disney letting Bruce Willis say his signature Detective John McClane catchphrase? I can't.
Disney will also have the film rights to the Alien and Predator franchises, which haven't been performing too well financially over the last few years. Alien: Covenant had OK reviews, but it didn't make much money. And The Predator had neither good reviews nor solid financial success. Combine that with the fact both series are rated "R," and it's pretty easy to see Disney letting them collect dust, if not dissolving to dust with a Thanos snap.
The Avatar and Planet of the Apes reboot series are different stories (and I don't mean in a compare/contrast kind of way). Avatar sequels have been in the pipeline for so long, and the first film made so much money, that Disney is probably going to let James Cameron move forward unhindered with another couple of movies. The Planet of the Apes series that started with 2011's Rise of the Planet of the Apes has also made a ton of money and each gotten positive reviews. Disney probably wouldn't be opposed to a fourth sequel being made.
I'll be perfectly fine if Disney lets the rights to Doctor Dolittle and Goosebumps die quietly somewhere in a back room. Those series have spawned sequels I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemies.
Big things are in store cinematically with this merger, some good, probably some not so good. I don't like the shrinking of film studio competition to Disney. But I am genuinely interested to see how Disney does justice to some of its new properties.
But perhaps the real question I should be asking is this ... will Disney be resurrecting Attack of the Killer Tomatoes? Only time will tell.
MovieStyle on 03/22/2019
Print Headline: When worlds collide, Disney wins