It’s getting close. Disney and 21st Century Fox have progressed to working out the fine print of their $70B mega-deal. Variety reports that both companies have brought in third party banking firms to crunch the numbers and examine all the finer details of a deal that will net Disney most of 21st Century Fox’s assets.
Disney is working with JP Morgan and Guggenheim Parnters while Fox has brought in Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners. This due diligence suggests an agreement could be reached at any point, with Variety’s sources thinking the deal might be made before everyone heads off to their holiday break.
Many comic book movie fans are excited about this deal because one of the major assets up for sale is Fox’s movie studio. That would mean the Fox-licensed franchises X-Men (including Deadpool) and Fantastic Four would be accessible to Disney-owned Marvel Studios for the first time. The X-Men could appear alongside The Avengers on the big screen in the foreseeable future.
That is exciting, but this deal goes so far beyond Marvel movies. Even Fox’s entire movie studio isn’t the biggest asset in the deal, with Disney also looking to pick up nearly two dozen regional sports networks, various domestic and international cable channels, and a 39% share of Sky.
And as I say with each update on the Disney/Fox deal, an agreement will not immediately put Deadpool or Wolverine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If the deal really is made by Christmas, Disney and Fox will spend most, or all of 2018 navigating government regulation. Then Disney will need time to completely integrate Fox’s assets into Disney’s larger organizational structure.
Don’t let the prospect of an exciting future obscure your view of an equally, or perhaps even more exciting present. We’ve got a decade’s worth of Marvel Studios movies all culminating in Avengers: Infinity War next year and Avengers 4 in 2019. The mutants and the Fantastic Four can wait just a bit for the ink to dry.