Q: What’s blue and yellow and red all over? A: The cartoon geek’s new view of Disney, now that the Mouse House has brought such titles as “Avatar,” “The Simpsons” and “Deadpool” beneath its roof of colorful characters.
The $52.4 billion deal announced Thursday morning (Dec. 14), under which Disney gains a massive swath of Fox entertainment and media properties pending final approval, reaps specific rewards for fans of nerd culture.
One of the most hopeful developments is that Fox’s X-Men can live with Marvel’s the Avengers on the same screen, given that Disney will own both major superhero teams, as well as the group that kicked off modern Marvel Comics five decades ago, the long Fox-owned Fantastic Four.
The deal has far-reaching implications for how viewers consume content, especially the boost it provides to Disney’s forthcoming streaming services, given that Disney could amass 40 percent of the domestic box office once you add Fox’s current share. Fox and Disney combine for 10 of the top 20 titles on Box Office Mojo’s inflation-adjusted list of the top-grossing movies in history domestically, including “Star Wars” and “Avatar,” both of which are ongoing franchises. Disney is trying to compete not just with traditional studios but also tech titans like Apple, Netflix and Amazon for control of content and how it gets to people’s living rooms and mobile devices.
But strictly in terms of how this could alter what viewers see on the screen, Chris Evans – who starred in Fox’s “Fantastic Four” films before becoming iconic as Marvel’s Captain America – spoke for many fans last week when he tweeted about the exciting prospects of Hollywood team-ups:
“So who do I talk to about a Cap/Human Torch buddy comedy spin-off? I’m thinking Planes, Trains and Automobiles meets Parent Trap.”
So who do I talk to about a Cap/Human Torch buddy comedy spin-off? I’m thinking Planes, Trains and Automobiles meets Parent Trap. https://t.co/3KRPZOVzq2
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 6, 2017
Even Hugh Jackman mused recently on how the deal could fulfill what he long hoped for since he debuted as Fox’s screen Wolverine in 2000, telling Collider: “It’s interesting because for the whole 17 years I kept thinking that would be so great, like I would love to see, particularly, Iron Man and the Hulk and Wolverine together. And every time I saw an Avengers movie I could just see Wolverine in the middle of all of them like punching them all on the head. But it was like, ‘Oh well, that’s not gonna happen.'”
Jackman noted that though this year’s “Logan” marked his retirement from the role, “for someone else I would like to see Wolverine in there.” (“Logan,” like “Deadpool,” was violent, R-rated fare, raising the question of whether Disney will decide to use a separate umbrella for new R-rated superhero movies, or instead steer such Fox characters back to PG-13.)
Thursday’s deal also provides an interesting bookend to the deal Marvel Comics struck with Fox a…