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The Honcho Round-up #76: The properties Disney could potentially own

By Alex Wiggan

Hi heroes!

Yesterday, I talked a little more about the news that The Walt Disney Company is ever nearer to making a deal to buy parts of 21st Century Fox. This is a subject I’ve spoken about a few times on the blog, because it is an extremely significant deal which has the potential to open up Disney’s character portfolio immensely.

For comic book fans, a big focus of the deal is the acquisition of two Marvel properties: the X-Men and the Fantastic Four; but these two properties are merely the tip of the iceberg. If Disney goes ahead and buys the film and TV catalogue of 21st Century Fox then the amount of new characters it will acquire is vast.

To get up to speed, here are the main heavy hitters which Disney currently oversees:

  • Disney Animated Classics (From Snow White to Moana)
  • Disney Princesses (an extension of Disney Animated Classics)
  • Indiana Jones
  • Marvel (with a few notable exceptions)
  • Pixar (From Toy Story to Coco)
  • Star Wars (with a few key distribution exceptions)
  • The Muppets

The above names are key assets in the Disney pantheon, but these sit alongside an already extensive back catalogue of beloved movies, classic cartoon characters, TV shows, online content, theme parks and stores, which bring in billions of dollars for Mickey and Co.

With a Fox acquisition on the cards, the potential for new shows, new films and new products based on Fox’s existing characters is limitless. Characters that were previously off limits to Disney (aka the Marvel ones) could now find a new lease of life, while tired franchises that need redirection (Alien etc) could find it under the Disney umbrella.

Here are the big names Disney could soon oversee, either through film, TV or Fox’s current distribution deals:

  • 24
  • Alien
  • American Dad!
  • Archer
  • Bob’s Burgers
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Deadpool
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Die Hard
  • Fantastic Four
  • Family Guy
  • Firefly
  • Futurama
  • Ice Age
  • Independence Day
  • Kingsman
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Predator
  • The Simpsons
  • The X-Files
  • X-Men (including Legion & The Gifted)

All of the above names are either fan-favourite properties or have the potential for a revival/continuation under the Disney umbrella. Properties such as Ice Age or Diary of a Wimpy Kid would be an easy fit for Disney, whereas some properties such as Alien or Planet of the Apes could be fleshed out and transformed into a cinematic universe, similar to what is currently happening with the Star Wars and Marvel brands.

Of course, the above examples are really just a slice of what is potentially on offer – with some of the most notable names being highlighted to demonstrate the depth of the deal. As you can see, that’s quite an example, considering that the above names are some of the biggest names of the ’80s, ’90s, ’00s and today.

In addition to the above list of properties, Disney could also gain a packed film portfolio that runs as far back as the mid-1930s. Films include the likes of Moulin Rouge!, Minority Report, Home Alone, Titanic, The Omen, Night at the Museum, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, Big, Doctor Dolittle, Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Cannonball Run, The Fly, The Princess Bride, The King and I, Edward Scissorhands and Fight Club, amongst many (many) others.

Now just think about that for a second – think about what Disney could do with some of these titles if they had the opportunity. An Omen TV series? A Doctor Dolittle cartoon for pre-school kids? A theme park zone dedicated to The Princess Bride? A Home Alone ride?!

In the US, Disney has a new streaming service on the horizon and it will no doubt be looking for content – both old and new – so nothing is out of the realm of possibility. Heck, only yesterday I filled out a survey for DisneyLife (Disney UK’s streaming service) and the one thing I highlighted was the lack of adult-orientated content on the service – content that could be filled through Fox’s back catalogue.

Of course, there are various downsides to all the above – most notably the idea of The Walt Disney Company having such a dominance over the movie and TV biz. With Disney buying huge chunks of a studio like Fox the competition gets that little bit smaller, while the Mouse House is getting much, much bigger.

There’s also the question of what would Disney do with certain franchises that may be deemed ‘tired’ or ‘in need of a rest’. If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, for instance, who’s to say that Disney wouldn’t (temporarily) put the show to bed following an acquisition?

What about The X-Files? Following the recent revival, the show is about to air its eleventh season (January 3rd), but how much longer could the show continue beyond this ten-episode run? Would Disney be looking to continue the brand or would this finally be the end for Mulder & Scully?

If the X-Men get folded into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will Legion and The Gifted be automatically cancelled? What about Deadpool, Family Guy or American Dad!? Do these properties really fit with Disney’s current model?

Whatever happens over the coming weeks, the Disney/Fox deal is likely to create big changes – both good and bad. The fate of some of your favourite franchises could rest in the hands of Disney right now, so keep your fingers crossed that everything works out the way you hope.

Until next time, take care.

 

 

 

About the author: Alex Wiggan has written blog posts for Honcho-SFX blog since October 2014. He likes writing, eating pizza and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Sometimes in that order.

 

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Posted in Film & TV, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel, Pop Culture, Star Wars, The Muppets
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