I'm sure everyone's read the stories today. 

Disney bought Fox entertainment for more than $50 million in stock. Fox will keep its news and sports channels, and Disney gets almost everything else, including the film rights to X-Men and Fantastic Four.

In addition, Disney picks up some non-Marvel brands of sigificance, including The Simpsons, Avatar and Kingsman. Disney also adds Fox's 30 percent ownership of Hulu to its own 30 percent share, for a majority share.

So, what do y'all think?

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The Simpsons predicted this nearly 20 years ago...

So this opens up a lot of possible movie team ups or fight combintations that were not possible before. Like the Hulk versus the Thing? Alot of other possibilites also come to mind. Any ideas? What would yall like to see as a result of this acquistion?

A decent Fantastic Four movie.

The ink for this deal won't really be dry for about a year.

It seems likely that anything that's already in the can is probably safe, and that includes all the 2018 movies -- New Mutants, Deadpool 2 and X-Men: Phoenix. Gambit, scheduled for early 2019, already has star and director signed, so is probably also still a go.

Disney now owns 60 percent of Hulu, but can't do anything major without the other two stakeholders, NBC/Comcast and a smaller one, agreeing. Eventually, though, they are talking about making Hulu a prestige streamer with more adult content, while starting a second, family-oriented service for Disney, Pixar and Marvel. One wonders if they would still have R-rated superhero movies (like Logan and Deadpool) and send them to Hulu, or what. It's really too early to speculate, since nothing can happen for a year or two, but I just did anyway.

My biggest question is about the Dr. Doom movie planned with Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley as writer and/or director. I think we'd all love to see a great Dr. Doom, regardless of who makes it. Hawley's take would certainly be interesting but if we still get a great Doom from someone else, I'm on board.

This likely kills the possibility of an X-23 franchise. The option of re-creating Wolverine with a younger actor is an idea that probably has its own gravity well.

I kinda wish they'd table Phoenix, and just wait for Feige to re-launch the X-franchise to tell that story. The X-universe is a mess right now, and the new Jean Grey (that chick from Game of Thrones) has maybe had six lines of dialogue. We have to know and love Jean Grey for Phoenix Saga to have any emotional impact, and it won't in 2018. But that's money in the bank, so I'm sure it will be released anyway, as probably the last X-movie before a reboot. (Unless Gambit is the last before a reboot.) 

Who's actually still alive in the current X-universe? We have Magneto and Xavier, of course, but the adult crop of mutants includes Beast, Psylocke, Mystique, Quicksilver and Wolverine. That's a weird X-team. Scott and Jean are around, but are teenagers. If the little girl we saw when Quicksilver was introduced is Wanda, then she's probably still a pre-teen. This is X-Men history turned sideways.

I had no idea that the X-universe was in such a mess! So the actress that is portraying the new Jean Grey is a disappointment?

I wouldn't say a disappointment. Just that she hasn't had much screen time. It's hard to get attached to a character you don't see much. 

We see Cyclops even less. I couldn't even tell you who plays him, and if he's had any dialogue at all.

Now that I've been thinking about it, I remember that X-Men: Apocalypse ended with a set-up for the X-Men going forward. (I find it easy to forget everything that happened in Apocalypse.) It ended much like Avengers: Age of Ultron did, with two veterans (Cap and Widow) looking out on a field of new recruits (Falcon, Vision, Scarlet Witch, War Machine).

In this case it was Beast and Mystique beginning the training of a new class, consisting of Cyclops, Jean, Storm, Nightcrawler and Quicksilver. The five were all teenagers. Magneto had declined Xavier's offer to participate, Psylocke sneaked off (she was a villain) and both Angel and Havok were killed. I presume that's the status quo X-Men: Dark Phoenix will use.

Which I hope will be the last use of this version of the characters. However they are introduced into the MCU, things will have to change -- Wanda and Pietro, for example, already exist there (although that Quicksilver is dead). And I don't particularly care for this version, which puts all the relationships I know in a blender, scrambles the timeline and doesn't even use Colossus, Banshee, Kitty Pryde, Iceman and other favorites. (Although most of those did appear before the First Class reboot or in the apocalyptic future of Days of Future Past.) It won't bother me at all if Kevin Feige wipes the slate clean after 2018. 

Here's a column on how X-Men/FF might move to MCU. Pure speculation, of course. But fun speculation!

The age of the hyper-popularity of Westerns ended; mustn't this age of superhero super-popularity end too?

I think Westerns lost popularity because (a) people started seeing the Indian Wars differently (b) and stopped idealising the Americans who settled the West (c) and shifted from fantasising about living a freer/more exciting life in the past to living one in the present (James Bond) or future (Star Trek)[1] (d) due to a. and b. and the 1970s zeitgeist the Westerns became violent and dour (e) there had been so many of them everyone had seen all the Westerns they needed to see.

Superhero films offer the fantasy of having superpowers. I suppose that has perennial appeal. Superhero movies have served as popular family films, and children like superheroes. I can't name a genre I think will replace them. But what other fad ever lasted?

 

(1) To be sure, 1970s movie SF was amazingly dour, and the future can also be a locus of fears, including of nuclear war.

I'm sure the superhero movies will run out of steam at some point. When they stop bringing in huge amounts of money, they'll stop, like anything else. I don't think we're close to this point yet.

I get annoyed when movie snobs say they should stop making them. If someone doesn't like a certain type of movie (which they probably haven't even seen) don't pay to go see it!

The movies the snobs don't like are the one keeping the movie companies and cinemas alive.

I've complained about that before too, Richard. Critics seem to just hate popcorn movies and feel that they're pushing out Great Movies that would be made otherwise.

To which I respond, and forgive my French, poppycock.

This is the same argument comics snobs (looking at you, Comics Journal) make about superhero comics. they seem to feel that publishers are emphasizing superhero comics to the detriment of other genres or topics.

And they are wrong. If those other genres or topics SOLD, publishers would be falling all over themselves to publish them. The problem for the snobs is, they don't sell well. Even if all publishers stopped selling superhero comics tomorrow, the kinds of comics that TCJ loves would still sell poorly. There simply is no market for My Dinner with Andre comics, except the 5 or 10 people who work at The Comics Journal.

But superhero comics do sell. In the Golden Age, there were all kinds of genres, because all kinds of genres sold. In the '50s, superhero comics did not sell, and they were dropped in favor of ones that did. In the '70s (and later), as a mass medium became a boutique item, all the other genres dropped one by one until only superhero titles were the last man standing. 

Periodically, the Big Two try something other than supeheroes. Inevitably, they are canceled. Not because the publishers hate them, but because they don't sell. Only superhero titles sell well enough to stay in business.

You can argue cause and effect, in that comics fans are largely superhero fans because they've been trained to be superhero fans. Or you can argue the reverse, as I do, that only superhero fans were willing to put their money where their mouth was for decades -- to actually buy the books, and keep the publishers in business. The fans of Westerns, horror and other genres did not.* 

To my mind, the readers lead the publishers, not the other way around. If we wanted My Dinner with Andre comics in sufficient numbers, the publisher would give them to us. But we don't want them, so the publishers don't make them.

I feel the same way about movies. Critics want Great Movies, the definition seeming to be high-minded, philosophical material with Great Actors emoting. Honestly, I like that too -- now and then. But Hamlet starring Laurence Olivier didn't make very much money, and Wonder Woman did. Of course the studios are going to make a lot more Wonder Woman-type movies than Hamlet-type movies, because they want to make money.

And again, I am not blaming the studios. They are giving us what we want. They'd make Shakespeare movies by the dozens if we went to see them in Wonder Woman numbers. But we don't. 

So, really, when critics bash superhero movies, we ought to offended. Because they're really criticizing us. They're criticizing our taste in movies -- because the studios are giving us exactly what we, through our ticket purchases, have told them we want. Those movie snobs are insulting US.

So I say the heck with 'em. Let's enjoy what we like, and when the critics complain, let's laugh at them. That ought to REALLY make 'em sore.

* This also brings up another argument I like to make, in that the true breakthrough made by Stan Lee wasn't "heroes with problems," but that he wrote all kinds of genres -- the kind he'd been wanting to write -- but gussied them up in superhero drag. Spider-Man was soap opera (with superheroes). Thor was high fantasy (with superheroes). Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. was espionage (with superheroes). And so forth. My argument is that Lee, almost unintentionally, transformed superheroes from a genre into a platform, in that any kind of story could be told with superheroes -- and that by putting Shakespeare or whatever in colorful costumes, he made even the corniest soap opera bigger than life, and therefore more exciting. 

In other words, comics aren't dominated by the superhero genre. Instead, comics just use the superhero motifs and visual imagery to tell every kind of story -- because superhero motifs and imagery elevate every story with visual excitement.

But that's another argument for another day.

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