This week, Disney officially announced the acquisition of 20th Century Fox after many months of rumors and speculation. Naturally, the news is a game-changer in a myriad of ways. Suddenly, Disney technically owns The Simpsons (something the show itself predicted 19 years ago), but that's not all. The beloved animated film Anastasia, long mistaken to be a part of the Disney brand, technically is now part of the brand. Meaning, like, Anastasia could become a Disney princess in a weird, retroactive way. And then there's an even bigger shakeup to consider.
Fox has long held the rights for the entire X-Men franchise, as well as Deadpool and Fantastic Four. These superhero stories are technically a part of the Marvel Comics Universe, insofar as they live underneath the Marvel umbrella rather than the DC Comics umbrella. But since Fox has maintained legal control over all those characters, they were all doomed to never join the gargantuan Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nevertheless, this acquisition opened a new world of possibilities. And on Dec. 14, Disney CEO Bob Iger answered the question that was on every huge comic book fan's mind.
According to ComicBook.com, Iger confirmed a merging of superhero universes during a conference call pertaining to the acquisition. Iger said Disney is "looking forward to expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to include X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool."
The announcement is crucial as the upcoming Deadpool sequel and Avengers: Infinity War rapidly approach their release dates. Disney is also poised to press on into a new phase after the next Avengers movie, thus carving our a space to introduce X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four in many more upcoming movies. Whether they'll entirely reboot the stories (as they did with Spider-Man) remains to be seen.
Get ready. The universe is expanding in ways we can't even imagine.