Disney bosses are planning to reunite the X-Men with fellow Marvel characters The Avengers in new movies after acquiring 21st Century Fox.
On Thursday (14Dec17) Disney chiefs agreed a deal with Rupert Murdoch to buy their rival for $52.4 billion.
The deal means Disney now owns the rights to characters including the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and Deadpool, who appear alongside The Avengers in the Marvel comic books, but could not feature in Disney’s Marvel films as 21st Century Fox licensed the rights in the 1990s.
In a press release announcing the deal, Disney executives revealed their plans to produce new films teaming the X-Men with fellow Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) heroes Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, and Iron Man.
“The agreement also provides Disney with the opportunity to reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love,” the announcement read.
Disney chairman Bob Iger expressed his delight at the deal, saying, “The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before.”
Logan director James Mangold, whose film featuring the X-Men character Wolverine was R-rated, has previously expressed fears that his adult approach to the genre would not be further explored in Disney produced films.
“We’ve now so co-opted this idea that these movies are not really stories, but are merchandise entities,” Mangold told Deadline. “You can’t kill the characters because they’re worth so much effing money.”
Hugh Jackman, who played Wolverine in nine films over 17 years before retiring from the role after filming Logan, is more upbeat about the future of his most famous character.
He told Collider, “It’s interesting because for the whole 17 years I kept thinking that would be so great, like I would love to see, particularly, Iron Man and the Hulk and Wolverine together.”