Earlier this year, Disney's deal purchasing 21st Century Fox officially closed giving the House of Mouse ownership of a vast number of properties, studios, and more. While early on many fans were very focused on what the business deal brought to the world of entertainment -- particularly in terms of iconic properties like the X-Men and the Fantastic Four for Marvel Studios -- since the dust has settled there's been a lot more of a critical look at the deal and its impact on film studios and the industry at large. Since the finalization of the deal, Disney has shuttered Fox 2000 and laid off many people by eliminating roles in other areas of business. However, not everyone thinks Disney's growing list of acquisitions to be a problem, including filmmaker Kevin Smith.
Variety asked Smith if he was concerned by Disney's massive reach while on the red carpet for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Smith very simply said no.
"No, not at all," Smith said. "As long as they got the money to make these big spectacle movies, then I'm glad that Disney's on their side."
He went on to explain that while things were changing, that's just how it is and there are still many opportunities for stories to be told even with Disney's growth.
"You know, it's a shame that the world's getting smaller in terms of there aren't as many studios apparently as there used to be, but then you've got newcomers like Netflix who are replacing a zillion studios at once so we're watching the business changing in front of our eyes and either you're into that and you want to adapt or you just kind of move on," he said. "It's never going to go back the way it was, but, I gotta say, there are far more opportunities to tell stories. A lot more outlets now."
To a certain extent what Smith is saying tracks. Yes, Disney has made significant changes to the entertainment and filmmaking landscape with their acquisitions. For example, Avengers: Endgame recently overtook Avatar as the highest grossing film in box office history but due to Disney's acquisition of Fox, technically a film made by a studio Disney acquired (Disney acquired Marvel Studios in 2009) overtook a film from another studio Disney acquired. It all shakes out to Disney. However, Smith is also right about other players coming into the picture, such as Netflix, who are trying their hand at films for the big screen. Netflix in particular had great success with 2018's Roma which was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The film ultimately brought home three, including Best Director.
But Smith is also correct in his noting that he doesn't really work for Disney. Smith's movies tend to be smaller and more on an indie scale, including the upcoming Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, a film that Smith referred to as coming full circle when he started shooting the film earlier this year.1comments
"It's kind of nice to go full circle," Smith said of the film's 21-day shooting schedule that matched with the shooting schedule of Clerks 25 years previously. "But at least, when we started, you know, last time those 21 days, like that was a person who'd never made a movie in his entire life working with people who never made movies their entire lives. Now you're working with like Jedis so, you know, that 21 days is very different.
What do you think about Smiths' take on Disney? Let us know in the comments below.