Disney Reportedly Interested in Buying Fox to Consolidate Marvel Characters

Geek circles were sent into a frenzy with the report of the Walt Disney Company was in negotiations to acquire the various entertainment divisions and properties of 21st Century Fox. And though the House of Mouse has myriad reasons for making such a lucrative purchase, one particular reason stands out to many comic book fans.

In the wake of the news going public, the Wall Street Journal is now stating one reason for the purchase is to secure the rights of other Marvel properties that Fox has the rights to, namely the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises.

The report states buying Fox would bring Disney one other significant asset that would make it a more formidable competitor in TV and film. Under a deal that dates back to the 1990s, Fox controls big- and small-screen rights to Marvel's X-Men and other characters who have appeared in their comic books, as well as the Fantastic Four.

But getting two of their most popular properties under the Marvel Studios banner was but one of the reasons driving their negotiations, according to the report, as Disney also wants to be able to compete with Netflix in the streaming game.

Disney already announced its plans to launch two different streaming services. One will be an ESPN-branded service offering comprehensive coverage of sports, and the other will offer television shows and movies produced by Disney properties.

Though Disney currently has a deal to stream their current movies on Netflix, it expires in 2018 and the company doesn't plan to renew, opting instead to use their own service and compete with Netflix.

But one area where they're having trouble is in the television offerings. Netflix, however, is seen more and more as a threat with their investment into original series, especially now that shows like Stranger Things and Making a Murderer have become successful for the streaming platform.

Adding the TV library of the FOX Network would do a lot to bolster their output and position Disney to be able to offer a viable Netflix competitor to customers.

However, the report states that sources familiar with the negotiations say that talks have stopped and they're not sure if they'll be picked up again. And even if they do, nothing will be finalized until a deal is agreed to and the ink on the contracts dry.