Fox is still producing films of varying quality based on the Fantastic Four and the X-Men characters... much to the consternation of Marvel fans, many of which would love to see all of the classic Marvel Comics characters finally be reunited under the Marvel Studios banner. CNBC notes that talks have not occurred in the past few weeks, but both companies could revisit the deal at a later date.
According to CNBC, 20th Century Fox is willing to sell many of its assets over to Disney. The deals with Fox were signed long before Disney bought Marvel Entertainment in 2009. It would also have kept its broadcast network and the local broadcast stations it owns.
Any potential acquisition would have to clear regulatory hurdles - which is one reason why Disney is not interested in certain Fox assets. Apple, which also reportedly eyed the company, has always been seen as a potential buyer for Disney. And the general logic of "you need scale to succeed in entertainment" makes sense, as that's also been cited as a factor in the pendingAT&T-Time Warner deal. That deal is now undergoing review by United Kingdom regulators. For one thing, Sky would be reportedly included in the sale, which would dramatically expand Disney's overseas sports presence.
Sheikh said he is surprised that the Murdoch family, which controls 21 Century Fox, would consider giving up control of the company. By offloading its media properties, the studio would keep a tight focus on news and sports. Disney will be able to get the rest including movie and TV properties.
It'd definitely be interesting.
Variety reports Fox's stock price shot up more than 6 percent within 30 minutes of the CNBC report, and Disney shares also grew slightly to just under $100. As a result, the deal is now effectively dead, though it should be noted that in Hollywood, deals do have a tendency to be resurrected after being officially announced as dead; the current deal between Sony and Marvel to share Spider-Man went through that very news cycle.