The WSJ has some intel on Disney‘s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and shares some not-so-surprising news that will still dishearten us genre fans.
Within the report, they explicitly point out that Disney plans to utilize the Avatar and X-Men franchises, “and scale back production of costly movies that don’t fit its family-friendly, franchise-focused formula.” They share a handful of examples, and although none are horror, it’s pretty clear that this could be the end to the Alien/Predator franchises and hopes of any other Fox-fueled horror films. Could they sell or move the assets? It’s possible, but unlikely.
What does this mean for New Mutants? The article notes that Disney plans to release any films that are “complete or in production at the time of acquisition.” The vagueness doesn’t help speculate, but it’s hard to imagine New Mutants opening wide, unless Fox was able to get it into theaters before the official takeover next year. Still, I’m expecting to see this one get dumped onto a streaming service or VOD platforms if it doesn’t end up on a shelf collecting dust for the rest of eternity.
Even more awful, WSJ suggests it’s possible (not certain) that Disney shuts down 20th Century Fox for good, which would be a cataclysmic and heartbreaking Hollywood event after 83 years in business. However, thanks to Guillermo del Toro‘s The Shape of Water, they’re hearing that Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000, as well as the animation division, could/should remain intact.
In the end, history is at stake, not to mention 2,300 employees’ jobs. This is a dark takeover for a company that’s built on the roots of the “Happiest place on Earth.” Outside of hardcore Marvel fans, this is borderline devastating for everyone else.