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Hollywood’s Mixed Reaction to the Disney-Fox Deal

Whispers of Disney’s plan to buy out a significant portion of 21st Century Fox have been circling for weeks, but now that the deal is actually done, reactions to the news have been mixed.

Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds leant into the comedy of what the merger could mean for his fourth-wall breaking anti-hero, who will now be owned by Disney.

The juxtaposition of wholesome Disneyland and not so wholesome Deadpool definitely raises questions about the future of the franchise.

Particularly, whether unconventional and cliché defying superhero films like Deadpool (2016) will be able to exist at Disney, without having their edges filed down and their voice stifled by the largest entertainment machine in the world.

This is something that Disney CEO Bob Iger has addressed.

He apparently wants to keep making sequels to the franchise, saying that “there may be an opportunity for an R-rated Marvel brand as long as we let audiences know what’s coming”.

Iger’s statement doesn’t really have the certainty required to put the minds of fans at ease, but it’s a start.

Other people within the Disney machine have expressed a more wholly positive take on the acquisition.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) director James Gunn seems eager for more of Marvel’s original IP to be back home; this acquisition would put The Avengers, The X-Men, and The Fantastic Four at the same studio for the first time since these films have been coming out.

But the negative impacts of such a deal have not been lost on everyone.

The Writers Guild of America, West, expressed deep concerns, primarily based around the monopolisation of cinema, and the stranglehold that capitalism seems to have over mainstream art.

The WGAW statement reads:

“In the relentless drive to eliminate competition, big business has an insatiable appetite for consolidation. Disney and Fox have spent decades profiting from the oligopolistic control that the six major media conglomerates have exercised over the entertainment industry, often at the expense of the creators who power their television and film operations. Now, this proposed merger of direct competitors will make matters even worse by substantially increasing the market power of a combined Disney-Fox corporation. The antitrust concerns raised by this deal are obvious and significant. The Writers Guild of America West strongly opposes this merger and will work to ensure our nation’s antitrust laws are enforced.”

Ellen A.

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