It looks like 2019 could start things off with a bang, or at least be ready to gear up for a bang. The long awaited Fox/Disney deal (which would give Marvel Studios command of the X-Men and countless other brands) could be ready to move forward on New Year's Day.
According to Variety, 21st Century Fox executive Peter Rice has told employees that the deal "will be ready to close" on that date. Rice is set to join Disney as a "top TV exec" when the deal closes, per Variety's report. The information came out when Rice addressed staff members during a "town-hall" meeting on the Fox lot, where he was joined by Fox CFO John Nallen. If the deal moves forward, Nallen would become the COO of something called "New Fox," which would be the company that would handle any assets that Disney doesn't pick up. Here's hoping for all involved that New Fox proves more popular than New Coke.
Rice and Nallen fielded questions from employees, especially those related to jobs that would overlap between the merging companies. Rice did say the deal will include layoffs. As for a "potential culture clash," Rice mentioned how Disney has assimilated several other companies in its history (Lucasfilm, Marvel Studios, and Pixar, just to name a few) and that they have always kept "the unique cultures of those organizations largely intact." Rice was also sure to mention that Disney was founded by an artist, and not a telephone or cable company.
What does all of this mean? When it comes to this deal, we've learned to expect the unexpected. Still, there seems to be some forward momentum and more than a little planning going on. One of our big questions is if this deal is "ready to close" on January 1, when will it actually close? If it closes shortly after (or even a few months after) what does this mean for Fox genre projects that are already in development? We can think of a few projects (Dark Phoenix, The New Mutants) that could see their futures diverted. Time will tell.