After weeks of rumours and speculation, The Walt Disney Company has announced that it has officially reached a deal with 21st Century Fox to purchase its entertainment assets in a deal which is officially valued at $66.1 billion, and includes $52.4 billion in stock, which leaves Fox investors owning a 25% stake in Disney.
The deal includes Fox’s film and television studios – including franchises such as X-Men, Fantastic Four, Avatar, Alien, Predator, Planet of the Apes and Die Hard – as well FX, National Geographic, Fox’s regional sports networks, the company’s 39% stake in Sky, and the Star India cable network. It also includes Fox’s full film library, including the distribution rights to the original Star Wars.
“Bringing Disney and Fox together will combine some of the world’s most iconic entertainment franchises,” said Disney on the deal. “[It] provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”
20th Century Fox has three X-Men movies incoming in The New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and is also slated to begin production on Gambit early in the new year. It’s unclear how the deal will impact future projects such as X-Force and Multiple Man, as Marvel will presumably look to incorporate the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as soon as is practical.
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