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Movie fans went slightly bonkers when it was revealed recently that Disney had been in talks to purchase the entire film division from Fox. While it looked like the potential deal was dead, it now appears that may not be the case. A new rumor circulating around Hollywood claims that not only are talks between the two sides back on, but that the House of Mouse is "progressing speedily" toward the acquisition.
While the news just broke a few weeks ago, the initial story indicated that Disney and Fox had been in on again, off again, talks for quite some time. The word was that Fox was considering selling its entire film division, 21st Century Fox, in order to focus on news, sports, and other aspects of the TV business. While the sale talks were in their "off again" phase at the time, and didn't appear like they were going to resume, Deadline is now reporting that the talks are rumored to be back on, and based on what they're saying about the speed, it sounds like they may really be moving toward a successful conclusion.
As movie fans, there's reason to see the potential acquisition of Fox's movie studio by Disney as a positive thing. It would bring the X-Men and Fantastic Four film rights back to Marvel, leaving only Spider-Man as the major character not held by the studio. Fox also holds various rights to the original Star Wars films, and Lucasfilm would likely love to remove that hurdle to their future business plans. It would also bring many other lucrative franchises, such as James Cameron's Avatar films, under the Disney umbrella.
From a moviemaking standpoint, the news would be a little less sunny. One less studio means less competition in the marketplace, and that's simply not a benefit if what you want is a diversity of ideas. Disney doesn't release all that many movies as it is, and while they might increase the total number if they took over Fox, it's unlikely they would release as many more movies as Fox normally does as a separate studio.
The major benefit to Disney, and quite possibly the entire reason these talks ever really started, is that it would add a massive film catalog that could be included in the Disney streaming service the company has planned to launch in 2019. The more content the company can make available the more subscribers they're likely to pick up right off the bat. A streaming service is a major endeavor and whatever Disney can do to help ensure success will be important.
At this point, Disney isn't talking, but the company's acquisition of both Lucasfilm and Marvel seemingly came from nowhere, so it's very likely that if this deal is ever completed, we won't know until they decide to tell us.