Previously thought to have
According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox have restarted serious discussions to move divisions of the company to the house of mouse. The deal would include Fox's movie studio 20th Century Fox as well as its Fox television network and FX network.
It would also feature the National Geographic cable group, as well as a 30% piece of Hulu, 39% interest stake in the Sky broadcasting company, and Star India. Those assets combined are valued at around $48.5 billion, and while Disney is once again the front-runner, it seems Comcast is also heavily interested in acquiring that bundle of assets as well.
It would benefit Disney in a greater way, however, as taking control of 20th Century Fox would give Marvel back characters it has long craved, such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four. That would provide Marvel Studios a whole new slew of characters to integrate into the MCU, and Disney even more ways to grow the IP. That doesn't mean 20th Century Fox won't still be making movies with the X-Men and ancillary characters like Deadpool though, but it will likely only use the characters that lend themselves to more adult overtones.
These discussions have been going on since early November according to previous reports, but it was later reported that they fell apart, with companies like Verizon and Comcast looking to make deals with Fox afterward. Now it appears Disney is back at the table, and it seems 21st Century Fox wants to be able to make a decision on a deal (if it happens) by the end of this year.
For Disney, that would be the latest in a line of mega purchases, starting with the acquisition of Marvel in 2009, followed by Lucasfilm in 2012. It seems another landmark purchase could very well be in the company's near future.