Earlier this week, some potentially ground-breaking news broke with word that 21st Century Fox was engaging in talks with Disney to sell off their film and TV assets, namely the 20th Century Fox movie studio that could have a huge impact on Disney’s Star Wars franchise, as well as bringing the Fantastic Four and X-Men franchises into the Marvel fold. That report indicated that both sides currently weren’t engaged in talks, with some believing that the potential deal may be dead, but it seems that both sides aren’t quite ready to give up yet. CNBC’s David Faber, who broke he news earlier this week, is now reporting that both sides haven’t completely abandoned the deal. Here’s what CNBC’s David Faber had to say below.
“Pencils aren’t down. It does appear at the very least that they have not abandoned the idea of that combination.”
The potential blockbuster deal would be for Disney to purchase 21st Century Fox’s assets such as the 20th Century Fox movie studio, although laws would prevent the company from buying the Fox television network since one company cannot own two broadcast networks. Disney would also not purchase Fox’s sports programming assets, since that could raise antitrust issues since it owns ESPN, or Fox News or any Fox affiliates. If this deal goes through, though, Disney would then control international broadcasting assets like Sky and Star, along with American cable networks like FX and National Geographic. The deal would allow 21st Century Fox to focus its efforts solely on its news and sports properties to be able to compete on a greater scale in those marketplaces.
For Star Wars fans, this potential deal means that Disney would finally own the home video rights to the original Star Wars trilogy. There have been rumors for years that Disney was planning to release a new home video set with the unaltered theatrical edition of the first Star Wars trilogy, not the much-maligned “Special Edition” sets that George Lucas released in 1997, and if this deal comes through, Disney would finally be able to make that happen. The deal would also finally allow Marvel to get back the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises, which the studio has been seeking for years.
After Marvel Studios was formed in 2006, the studio tried getting back all of the rights to its characters that they sold off when Marvel was just licensing their characters to other studios to make their movies. As the studio became more and more successful and popular, they started getting the rights back to several characters like The Punisher, Ghost Rider, Blade, Daredevil, while even coming to a shared-rights deal with Sony Pictures for Spider-Man, but the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises still remained elusive, as 20th Century Fox kept retaining the rights by making more movies. If 20th Century Fox becomes a Disney property, those franchises would be available to be included somewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a prospect many fans have been waiting years for.
Still, even if this deal isn’t officially dead, it seems there is still much more work to be done, which would begin with negotiations actually getting started again. CNBC also reports that, since talk of this deal emerged, shares of Disney stock has jumped seven percent, while Fox shares have spiked 19%. While