It’s been many months since there was any news about the impending purchase of Fox’s entertainment assets by Disney, but it seems the deal is nearly done. It has been reported that it will be finalized on Wednesday, March 20.
The date was included in a press release from Disney that stated the studio had received the last piece of approval required from regulators. Fox shareholders have until Thursday this week to decide how much cash and Disney stock they wish to receive, and the acquisition will become effective on the 20th.
Most notably for film fans is the fact that the deal includes a variety of high-profile movie properties formally owned by Fox. Most notably, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four could finally become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while the likes of Avatar, Alien, and the Predator will also be controlled by Disney.
While Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige and Disney CEO Bob Iger have both been reluctant to talk in detail about the future of these characters in the MCU, both have strongly hinted it will happen. In January Feige described the availability of the X-Men and Fantastic Four as “very exciting,” while Iger previously confirmed that Fox’s Marvel properties would all be under the control of Feige and Marvel Studios.
The Fox deal followed a tense bidding war between Disney and Comcast. Ultimately, Comcast did not match Disney’s $71.3 billion bid and the deal was agreed by shareholders last July. The deal also includes FX, Nat Geo, Star India, and Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu and 39% stake in Sky.