Disney and Marvel are two very large but very different companies. One has an image closely associated with entertainment for children and the family, while the other edges towards more kick-ass superheroes which appeal to geeks of all ages.
But today has seen it revealed by Market Watch that two are to become inextricably linked to each other. The Walt Disney Company is set to acquire Marvel Entertainment for the princely sum of $4 billion in cash and stock.
Marvel shareholders will get $30 per share plus Disney shares. The two boards have already approved the deal but it still needs the backing of Marvel shareholders (who would clearly be mad to turn that sort of money down) and antitrust regulators.
What does this mean for the movies based on Marvel comic creations? Dark Horizons suggests that all the franchises made before Marvel Studios was formed will remain where they are. This includes Spider-Man at Sony and X-Men and others at Fox.
There are also five more films due to be made at Paramount – Iron Man 2, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America, The Avengers and one other – but then it seems everything will be exclusive to Disney.
This will inevitably slow down production on Marvel movies because one studio is not going to be able to afford the four to five films we’ve been used to in recent years. But I can live with that so long as the quality of the films isn’t affected too badly.