Disney to buy Marvel! Pixar to develop superhero films?!

source: nytimes.com

The Walt Disney Company has made a surprise deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in a move that will shake the foundations of Hollywood.

Disney announced yesterday that it would pay cash and stock for the comic book publisher and (previously) independent movie studio.

This means Marvel’s 5,000+ characters, including Spiderman, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America and the X-Men, will now be marketed and distributed by the Mouse House.

Disney CEO Bob Iger answered some questions on the acquisition via conference call and responded to the possibility of Pixar developing future Marvel films.

“We’ve talked about this internally. Pixar boss John Lasseter talked to the Marvel guys about this and they all got excited about it. We think there’s ultimately some exciting product that come of that. Sparks will fly!”

With the exception of Pixar films and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, recent brands to emerge from Disney such as Hannah Montana and High School Musical have been embraced almost exclusively by young girls.

We’d like love to attract more boys, and we think Marvel’s skew is more in boys’ direction. Although there’s a universal appeal, we think, to a lot of their characters and a lot of their story. Just look at Spider-Man and Iron Man films. This is a great fit. But we obviously know Disney has a lot of products that are more girl-skewed than boy. And we’d like the opportunity to go after boys more aggressively,” said Iger.

Disney’s acquisition will not interfere with Marvel’s already-existing deals with Paramount, Sony and 20th Century Fox.

Paramount will still distribute five more films for Marvel Entertainment, including The Avengers, Iron Man 2, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America, and possibly one more unannounced film (potentially an Edgar Wright-directed adaptation of Antman or a sequel to The Avengers). Fox still holds onto X-Men and potential Origin spinoffs, while Sony still has the upcoming Spiderman sequels.

However, once each of these deals expires, Disney will claim sole-distribution.

It’s hard to know whether or not this deal is good or bad until we start seeing some Disney/Marvel releases. For the most part, I can’t imagine it will make too much of a difference to the final products. It WILL certainly make a lot of rich people richer. And hey, a Pixar produced Marvel film??? That’s worth A MILLION awful Disney/Marvel crossovers.

Discuss: What are your thoughts?

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