In what could be a major shift in film and TV, Disney is reportedly in talks to buy most of 21st Century Fox. The entertainment conglomerate is home to the 20th Century Fox movie studio, along with the Fox Television Group, among many other properties.
The news comes from CNBC, which reports that talks between the two companies have taken place on and off over the last few weeks. However, at this point, there is no deal in place. While talks are not actively happening right now, it’s reported that they could resume at any moment. Should it actually come to pass, though, this could reshape two of the biggest franchises in movies–the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the X-Men films.
Both series come from the Marvel Comics banner, but have been unable to crossover with each other thanks to being produced by different studios. Should Disney purchase 21st Century Fox, though, it would make bridging the two worlds much easier. That said, bringing the X-Men–and the Fantastic Four, for that matter–to Disney isn’t the only major thing at stake in a potential sale.
An acquisition by Disney could also see the company taking over the FX and National Geographic cable networks, CNBC reports. It would, however, not include the Fox broadcast network. Disney owns ABC and is only allowed one TV network. The deal would also not include Fox Sports, Fox News, or Fox Business.
Perhaps more importantly, purchasing 21st Century Fox would go a long way in helping Disney beef up its TV and movie library as it prepares to launch a streaming service in 2019. Already, the company is working on pulling many of its titles from Netflix as it readies the project.
Looking at it from the 21st Century Fox side, being purchased by Disney would be a major point in film history. The 20th Century Fox studio was founded in 1935 and has produced some of the biggest movie franchises of all time, including the Alien films and Die Hard series. It’s also the studio behind 2009’s Avatar and the multiple sequels James Cameron is currently working on.
At this point, the possibility of talks are nothing more than reports. That said, with both Marvel Studios and 20th Century Fox set to release new chapters in their superhero franchises in early 2018–Black Panther for Marvel, New Mutants for 20th Century Fox–it will certainly be interesting to see if the talks lead anywhere. Beyond that though, it will be fascinating to see what a sale could mean for the movie industry as a whole with one less major studio.