Deadpool co-creator and Image Comics co-founder Rob Liefeld is openly pleading for 21st Century Fox to pass on the reported acquisition of its film assets from Disney. Liefeld wrote an open letter of sorts and posted it to Instagram, addressing it directly to head of Fox, Rupert Murdoch.
For context, it’s been reported this week that Disney is looking to buy Fox’s film division, as the company is apparently looking to focus exclusively on news and sports. If the deal were to go through, that’d mean Disney would hold the rights to the X-Men franchise (which includes Deadpool), and thus be able to use the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Clearly, Liefeld is not a supporter of the deal.
“It’s your buddy Rob. Wait on any further talks until Deadpool 2 comes out and you’ve done a billion. And X-Force,” writes Liefeld. “This is your Star Wars franchise and you’ve only scratched the surface. Everyone on the film side has kicked it into overdrive. Watch that portfolio grow!”
Fox has big plans in motion for its X-Men franchise, with a Deadpool sequel well on the way and an X-Force spinoff movie from writer/director Drew Goddard in development. The studio has also got the horror-flavored, Josh Boone-directed New Mutants set to hit screens in 2018, and a ’90s-set Dark Phoenix movie in its core X-Men series to follow. It seems Liefeld is a fan of these plans, and wants to see the franchise grow on its own, rather than be absorbed into the MCU.
While the Disney/Fox deal was thought to be dead, earlier today it was reported that “pencils aren’t down” for the deal, meaning, it could very well still happen.
The deal between Disney and Sony to have Spider-Man be a part of the MCU went through a similar news cycle, with reports of the rights being handed over, before other reports speculated the deal was dead. Of course, it eventually happened, and we got Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and subsequently Spider-Man: Homecoming, which featured appearances from the MCU’s Iron Man and Captain America.
After a deal was made between Sony and Marvel Studios to share Spider-Man, fans hoped Marvel and Fox could work out a similar deal to allow for the X-Men and Fantastic Four to join the Avengers on the big screen. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has repeatedly reaffirmed that while fans should never say never, the chances of it happening seemed — and continue to be — slim. Or, are they?
Notably, Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets doesn’t include the FOX broadcast network, as a company cannot legally own two broadcast networks, and Disney already owns ABC.
Marvel Studios recently celebrated $5 billion at the domestic office after Thor: Ragnarok earned an astounding $121 million from its opening weekend stateside. Up next for the entertainment giant is Black Panther.