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As much fun as it is to get excited about how the X-Men and Fantastic Four will eventually be incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe following Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox, we can’t ignore that this merger has also resulted in some negative consequences. Last week, it was announced that Disney is dropping Mouse Guard, a Fox blockbuster project that was only weeks away from beginning production. Now we’ve learned about more Fox movies that are being evicted from the House of Mouse.
The Tom Hanks-led News of the World and the adaptation of the Angie Thomas book On the Come Up have both been removed from the Disney slate. However, unlike Mouse Guard, both have already found homes elsewhere, with News of the World (as revealed earlier this month) moving to Universal and On the Come Up moving to Paramount. The Woody Harrelson-led dramedey Fruit Loops is also reportedly poised to be given the heave-ho, although Disney hasn’t made that official yet.
These three movies came from the now-shuttered Fox 2000 division, and according to insiders who spoke with THR, this is Disney “simply culling the enormous influx of projects.” Regarding why On the Come Up was specifically cut, the last movie based on an Angie Thomas book, The Hate U Give, lost money despite being modestly budgeted, so presumably Disney wasn’t willing to take another risk like that. It was also noted that Mouse Guard was deemed to be too expensive for a non-franchise film.
So these mark the latest casualties of the Disney/Fox merger, but it’s also important to mention that there other projects that were given the green light by Fox president Emma Watts before the merger was finalized that will still move forward under the new regime. They include Kingsman: The Great Game, Fear Street, West Side Story, Free Guy, Death on the Nile and, of course, Avatar 2.
That said, apparently some of these movies are being met with “scrutiny,” with Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn reportedly being concerned about the West Side Story remake showing young characters smoking. In terms of overall scope, the report states that Emma Watts and the Fox folks are not being asked to make lower-priced movies, but to aim for more “larger all-audience PG-13 and R films,” like The Ballad of Richard Jewell, which Clint Eastwood is being eyed to direct.
It was to be expected that there would be changes to the Fox release slate after Disney took control, but that doesn’t make it any easier when the people who are working on these movies learn that their work has been ejected. The best case scenario is that these projects move to other studios, the worst is that they never see the light of day. Either way, don’t be surprised if more Fox removals are revealed in the coming weeks/months.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates about the changing Fox landscape now that it’s part of Disney. For now, you can learn what movies are already on the calendar in our 2019 release schedule.