Although 20th Century Fox is expected to undergo downsizing, Disney reportedly plans to release all of the studio’s completed films once the $71.3 billion acquisition is finalized.
Barring last-minute obstacles, the deal will be official sometime next year, giving Disney ownership of Fox’s film and production studios, and control of such properties as the X-Men, Fantastic Four, Deadpool, Planet of the Apes, Predator, Avatar, Alien and The Simpsons.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Disney has every intention to release every Fox film completed or in production at the time of the acquisition. The newspaper’s sources contend that Disney will likely take over Avatar and X-Men, Fox’s biggest franchises, and “scale back production” on those pricier features that don’t fit into the entertainment giant’s family- and franchise-friendly formula.
Properties like an adaptation of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard are safe bets to make the transition to Disney, but something like “a trio of young-adult horror movies intended to be released in theaters within a three-month period,” may have a more difficult road.
Where this becomes interesting is with the fate of the next two Fox X-Men films, X-Men: Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants. Now undergoing re-shoots, Dark Phoenix aims for February release, likely arriving before the Disney deal is finalized. That would presumably permit Marvel Studios to make a clean break with Fox’s version of the X-Men moving forward. However, the horror-inspired New Mutants was pushed back to August, after the acquisition.
With reports that Marvel already has thoughts on how it wants to incorporate the X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it will be interesting to see how a more “mature” New Mutants is marketed.
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