Okay, so if you’ve been on Twitter, you’ll know enough about the Disney-Fox merger to know that a) Star Wars and Mickey Mouse can now work together b) There’s a decent shot at a solid Fantastic Four movie now and c) Frank-n-Furter will likely be the next Disney princess.
But besides shoddy Photoshop opportunities, what’s it all mean? Well, in a nutshell :
Disney take over for Fox, bringing their product into the storerooms with their own. The deal is expected to close in March, with only a few territories – in particular, Brazil has been bullish – lukewarm on the $71 billion buyout. Bob Iger is eager to lock this all down within the next six weeks, at which time we should have a ‘go’ date for the merge.
When it happens, and it will, Disney will inherit all of Fox’s Film and TV properties – and there’s too many of them to list here, but they include everything from the ‘’Die Hard’’, ‘’Predator’’ and ‘’Alien’’ franchises, to the Marvel characters they’ve housed for the past couple of decades (like ‘’X-Men’’), cult classic TV series like ‘’X-Files’’, ‘’Buffy, the Vampire Slayer’’ and “21 Jump Street”, Oscar winning greats like “Wall Street”, “Titanic” and “Working Girl”, and most importantly, the ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ brand.Heh.
While nothing has been officially announced, there are a number of franchises rumoured to be revving up again once Disney takes over – with some art departments and producing committees even tinkering at the projects before then – and you’ll have already read about those plans for “Deadpool” (and yes, it WILL be rated-R), the “Alien” films, and “Die Hard”. What’s interesting about Disney’s future slate is that, because they’ll now be spoilt for choice when it comes to their franchises, the studio will be transitioning some franchises to the small screen instead – turning once-proposed features into TV series (“Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Narnia” already rumoured to be going that route).
In terms of film franchises outside of the superhero universe, here’s a few others that we’ve heard are making a comeback courtesy 500 S Buena Vista St.
Will Ferrell and Melissa McCarthy are being courted to play the new bumbling burglars in a reboot of John Hughes’ classic “Home Alone”. “SNL” star Mikey Day and writing partner Streeter Seidell are scripting a film that will reportedly be set in the same universe as the original films – which means there’s a wee chance of a Macaulay Culkin cameo.
Planet of the Apes
Matt Reeves recently concluded his ”Planet of the Apes” franchise at Fox– with the bravura “War of the Planet of the Apes” – so Disney have a clean slate when it comes to a legendary franchise initiated by Franklin J. Schaffner in 1968. Have heard they’re quite keen to do another “Planet of the Apes” but whether that’s a remake or even a sequel to “War”, who knows? Guess they’ll shuffle in a horde of writers to pitch their different ideas and go from there.
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Classic cartoon series, numerous hit albums, a hit movie franchise for Fox, a successful new Cartoon Network ‘toon… of course Disney are going to bring back Alvin, Theodore & Simon! Expect family franchises like “Alvin” (as well as “Night at the Museum” and “The Wimpy Kid”) to be of the first newly-greenlit projects over at Walt’s pad.
No brainer. Fox have been trying to get a new “Fly” off the ground for years – and J.D Dillard and Alex Theurer “wrote a cool script”, we’re told – and Disney will continue developing. Such an awesome template to work on. How can Disney release horror and edgy adult fare like this? It’s called offshoot labels, folks – remember the Touchstone banner that Disney used to release adult fare like “Starship Troopers” and “Shoot to Kill” in the ‘80s and ‘90s?
“There’s talk” of something “Speed” happening, I’m told. One of Fox’s flag-ship action hits, and largely so because of the electric combo of Keanu Reeves and director Jan de Bont, don’t be at all surprised if Disney attempt to at least entice Reeves back into the fold. Fox have been looking at it for years, but couldn’t crack it. Reves does seem very keen on sequels right now, so maybe that was the hold up before? And who wouldn’t want to have a ‘Reeves-fronted’ action franchise in their house right now, with “John Wick” such a phenomenon!?
Gonna be a real interesting time for us movie fans when this kicks in!