What Will Happen To Fox Searchlight If Disney Acquires It?

The Shape of Water Sally Hawkins Eliza Amphibian Man

Some significant changes are coming in the world of entertainment following Disney's' decision to possibly purchase 21st Century Fox. The move has raised questions about the future of certain Fox properties, including the Oscar-winning Fox Searchlight brand. Alas, it sounds like fans should not worry, as Disney seems to think that Searchlight is fine just the way it is right now. During an appearance at Disney's Annual Meeting in Houston, Texas, Disney CEO Bob Iger explained:

We have every intention once the acquisition is approved to maintain the business of Fox Searchlight. We think they're in the business of making high quality films. We don't have any plans right now to change what they do. Frankly, we think they're doing just fine.

Fox Searchlight has become well-known as one of Hollywood's premier brands in recent years. The studio currently serves as the prestige side of the entertainment giant's film division, offering up strong Oscar-bait in a vein similar to other awards-worthy studios like A24 or The Weinstein Company in its prime. Following a very strong 2017 (which saw Fox Searchlight produce films like The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), it seems that Disney has no intention of messing with a formula that appears to work. The Shape of Water's Best Picture win should pretty much speak for itself.

With that said, one thing not explicitly established by Bob Iger's remarks at Disney's Annual Meeting (via Variety) is how the bigger Fox brands could change after the transition takes place. Many fans already assume that it could lead to properties like the X-Men franchise and the Fantastic Four integrating with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Disney has yet to lay out specific changes that will take place when all is said and done.

Of course, now we have to wait and see if the Disney-Fox deal will even go through in the first place. Though the sale was officially confirmed, the landmark business decision will still have to go through a series of regulatory processes in the federal government to make sure that everything involved in the situation is copacetic. If that happens, Disney will then take full ownership of the Fox properties that it recently purchased. Until that happens, we have to treat all of this in hypothetical terms and take any unconfirmed news with a healthy grain of salt.

CinemaBlend will keep you posted as more information related to the Disney-Fox deal is made available to us. Until we learn more, head over to our comprehensive 2018 movie premiere guide to check out all of the films (Fox Searchlight or otherwise), that will debut on the big screen over the course of 2018.

Conner Schwerdtfeger

Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.