It's been in the works for quite some time, but as of yesterday, Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox is finally done, and the $71.3 billion deal looks set to have a big impact on the future of TV and movies — particularly those within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In a press release, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger enthused about the deal. “Combining Disney’s and 21st Century Fox’s wealth of creative content and proven talent creates the preeminent global entertainment company, well positioned to lead in an incredibly dynamic and transformative era,” he said.
By acquiring 21st Century Fox, Disney now has the rights to a number of Marvel characters that were previously owned by Fox, opening up a multitude of options for future standalone and crossover movies.
Within the current MCU, characters move freely between films. Whether its a joint extravaganza such as the Avengers movies or in standalone outings such as Black Panther and the Captain America films, every installment takes place under one narrative umbrella.
Some Marvel characters, including Deadpool and the X-Men, however, were left out of the MCU loop because they were licensed by Fox. Meaning that while you might have seen Wolverine and Spider-Man trade one-liners in the comics, that wasn't possible on the silver screen, but it could be now.
With the current Avengers franchise drawing to a close in next month's Endgame and Disney's new streaming platform gearing up for launch later this year, it looks like a new era of Marvel superheroes is upon us. One that might see Deadpool and Ant-Man skipping into the sunset together in the not-too-distant future. Watch this space.