In what could possibly be the biggest merger in the entertainment industry of the century, talks for the Walt Disney Company to purchase assets from 21st Century Fox are seemingly inching closer to the finish line. The most recent report from Variety is that talks have progressed far enough that both companies have tasked bankers with ironing out the fine print of the deal.
Reports of the deal claim that the acquisition wouldn't be a complete merging of the two companies, but that Disney would purchase a majority of Fox's most valuable assets, including film and TV rights to their various properties. A source close to the deal claims terms could be agreed upon by Christmas.
Rumors of the deal first broke in November, only for talks to quickly fizzle out. Comcast reportedly began discussions to purchase Fox, only for those talks to also come to a halt.
According to Bernstein Research analyst Todd Juenger, the deal is estimated at around $74 billion.
The motivation for Disney to purchase Fox's movie and TV assets would largely hinge on the Marvel characters the company owns, such as the X-Men, Fantastic Four
Marvel first sold the rights to many of their major properties in the '90s when the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, with X-Men, the first foray into the current comic book domination of the box office, proved how lucrative many of these characters could be on the big screen. Sony's Spider-Man in 2002 continued that success, leading to a variety of comic book characters getting the feature film treatment.
In 2008, Marvel Studios debuted Iron Man, the first installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a series of films which has since earned over $13 billion worldwide.
Given the massive fanbase of the X-Men, many audiences have been frustrated that the mutants haven't been able to appear in the MCU, which this deal could completely change.
Stay tuned for details on the acquisition.