As of 12:02 a.m ET today, the Walt Disney company officially took over the reins of much of 21st Century Fox, making the House of Mouse even more disconcertingly powerful than you can possibly imagine.
In a press release dropped late last night, Disney confirmed that the $71.3 billion deal which now grants it ownership of Fox’s film and TV assets—specifically (take a deep breath) Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Family and Fox Animation; Fox’s TV’s creative units, Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, FX Networks, National Geographic Partners, Fox Networks Group International, and Star India—as well as Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu, giving Walt Disney a 60 percent controlling stake in total, is complete. The process brings an end to a saga that has developed over the past two years.
For now, what that actually means doesn’t really change all that much, as initially racy as it might be to fans to see official Disney banners updated to put the likes of Bart Simpson and Deadpool alongside Rey and Carol Danvers.
For the immediate future, the impact on people going to see Marvel and Star Wars movies, or watching Hulu, is probably going to be minimal at most. As Disney CEO Bob Iger told staff in a memo acquired by the Hollywood Reporter today, now that the deal is actually complete and in action, the hard work can now begin in earnest:
I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us; that closing the deal was the finish line, rather than just the next milestone. What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic, global entertainment company with the content, the platforms, and the reach to deliver industry-defining experiences that will engage consumers around the world for generations to come.
We’ve spent the last year exploring the new opportunities and synergies generated by bringing our two legendary companies together. Leaders across both organizations have worked closely together to understand how to best unlock this potential and unleash innovation and creativity to generate long-term growth. We’re confident in our integration strategy and in our ability to execute it effectively; and we’re inspired and energized by the new possibilities.
That hard work might involve, as previous reports alleged, mass layoffs in the thousands as redundancies in merging two gigantic corporations into an even more gigantic one—like a business Voltron, only distinctly nowhere near as pleasant as that sounds—sees untold numbers of people finding themselves out of a job. Iger hints as much in the same memo, noting that Disney is still evaluating which areas of its now-even-bigger-self will be most impacted:
Our integration process will be an evolution, with some businesses impacted more than others. We’ve made many critical decisions already, but some areas still require further evaluation. We may not have answers to all of your questions at this moment, but we understand how vital information is, and we’re committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity regarding how your role may be impacted.
But hey, at least Wolverine might be in an Avengers movie some day, right?
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