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Last year, the entertainment world was rocked by the news that Disney was buying 21st Century Fox's film and TV assets. The deal will have long-reaching effect throughout both the movie and TV world, as a major studio absorbs one of its competitors. However, big deals like this that are worth billions of dollars don't just happen overnight. It's a process that takes years and there isn't a 100% guarantee that it will happen. Both Disney and Fox seem to be hoping for the deal, and they may have it inked and finalized by summer 2019.
21st Century Fox president Peter Rice held a town hall meeting on Thursday (via Deadline) where he reassured Fox Networks Group staffers about the acquisition of Fox assets by Disney. The meeting was mostly an update on the process of the deal and Rice told the crowd that they expect it to be completed by spring-summer 2019 and end of summer 2019 at the latest. This falls within the previous projection that the deal would take 18 months to finalize. While there is no doubt more regulatory hoops to jump through, everything seems to be like it's on track.
The deal is somewhat complicated, so here's a refresher for everyone. Disney plans to be buying 20th Century Fox movie studio, 20th Century Fox Television TV studio and FX Networks, while the remaining Fox assets, including Fox Broadcasting Company, national sports cable networks FS1 and FS2, Fox News Channel and the Fox stations, will form a new company. What this means for Disney is that it will have access to Fox's library of films and TV shows, which Disney can then include on its upcoming streaming service, for example. It also has the side effect of X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool characters possibly entering the MCU.
At this point, no one really knows the logistical changes that will have to take place at these Fox brands. For example, Disney will own Fox Searchlight, the prestige side of the entertainment giants movie division. The studio has built up quite a name over the years, and in 2017 produced Oscar contending (and winning) films like The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Disney has said it has no plans to change anything at the studio, but there are other Fox assets that remain up in the air.
We've still got a while to go before the deal officially becomes a reality. Though the commercial sale was approved, it still has to go through the federal government, which is not a process associated with speed. We'll be sure to keep you posted on all the big developments as the deal looms closer, so stick with CinemaBlend for all updates.