Bob Iger, Chairman and C.E.O. of The Walt Disney Company, confirmed during a shareholders meeting that 20th Century Fox will continue to operate in some capacity and keep its name after the merger between Disney and Fox is finalized.
In other words, Fox is set to become another content creating subsidiary operating under the Disney banner, joining the likes of Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm and Pixar.
This announcement seemingly puts to rest any and all fear that Disney would be toning down, or even outright axing some of Fox's R-rated properties, as Iger explained that 20th Century Fox, FX and Fox Searchlight, among other Fox brands, will continue to exist under their own names.
FX content is most likely going to remain on Hulu, whereas the more family-friendly Fox properties have a chance of ending up on the new Disney+ streaming service. Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox will continue to make its own movies (including R-rated ones), and Fox Searchlight will continue to produce more niche films from newer filmmakers.
Of course, the elephant in the room is still the subject of Fox's Marvel properties and what the future holds for them. As previously reported, Marvel Studios is set to absorb the rights to characters such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, with a new X-Men franchise set to be spearheaded by Kevin Feige.
Previously, Iger himself strongly suggested that the X-Men would be completely taken out of Fox's hands, telling The Hollywood Reporter, "I think it only makes sense. I want to be careful here because of what's been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn't be two Marvels."
That being said, however, Fox has expressed interest in keeping its Marvel franchise going, in spite of their acquisition by Disney. In fact, as recently as this week, renowned comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis confirmed that he is still penning an X-Men script for Fox.
So, while fans of Fox's films and television shows can take solace in the fact that Disney will largely allow the company to continue operating as is, Marvel fans in particular may have to wait a bit longer to see what sort of official joint agreement is reached regarding the future of the two entity's on-screen superheroes.
The merger between The Walt Disney Company and 20th Century Fox is expected to be finalized something this summer.