The worldwide leader in family entertainment is about to get a great deal more entertaining, as the Walt Disney Company agrees to acquire iconic comic book company Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion.
More than 5,000 iconic comic book characters will soon be in the hands of Disney, raising serious questions about the future of Marvel video game titles from Activision, Sega, THQ, and the upcoming MMO from Gazillion Entertainment. Under the terms of the agreement, Disney will pay Marvel shareholders $30 per share for their Marvel stock, plus .745 of a share of Disney stock for each share they own.
"This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories," said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney."
That's Disney's say on the matter, and here is Marvel's, from the official press release:
"Disney is the perfect home for Marvel's fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses," said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel's Chief Executive Officer. "This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world."
Both companies have approved the deal, though it still has to clear the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and various regulatory committees before it can be finalized. Once finalized, Marvel's Perlmutter will continue to oversee Marvel's properties, working with Disney to help integrate the two properties across multiple lines of business.
We're staying on top of the situation, with calls out to Disney, Marvel, Activision, THQ, and Sega for comment on what effects this move will have on Marvel-based video game properties.
I see this as a positive. Iron Man 2, and all the Sam Jackson movies will be good for Disney. Also, I wonder who it will work with all the Marvel rides at Islands of Adventure, Like Hulk, X-men, Spiderman, at Universal parks??????? Now when all the kiddies buy their Marvel branded goods, and I suspect they buy a lot of them, Disney gets good licensee money? Wow!
There's no doubt Disney will rake in the money using the characters, but what will the quality be like? If they distribute the movies, are we ever going to see a "dark" or "violent" take on a Marvel character ever again? Characters like Spider-man and The Fantastic Four could work, but in the future will Hulk ever get angry? Will Tony Stark have a drinking problem? Will Captain America fight Nazis? We could say so long to the Marvel Knights like Punisher, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, and Moon Knight that's for sure. I'm a Marvel reader and I do love Disney, but being together? Only time will tell I guess.
But in the words of every Star Wars character ever...
I don't like this one bit. Disney is going to make Marvel "family friendly", which to some (ie RedeemedChild) is a great thing. But I can't see Tony Stark as an alcoholic under Disney. And forget about heroes like Punisher. It'll basically be Marvel with its balls cut off.
Location: The Host City of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Australia
The content of both companies are two very different extremes. I don't know how this will work. Sure Spidey and Fantastic Four, but beyond that I'm not so sure. Though Disney does have (in the past) some darker side style cartoons (i.e. that one with the Mountain and the demon and ghosts, in Fantasia, though that's more of an operatic darkness than superhero).
Bring on the Baby Einstein and the Avengers Team-up!
I see big issues over whether they take the Quinjet or the Rocket.
Seriously, wondering if there's going to be problems? The history at Miramax may be illuminating.
Since the acquisition by Disney, the Weisnteins had many problems with Disney CEO, Michael Eisner, due creative and financial differences. Eisner was reluctant to give as much creative freedom and financial support for the Weinsteins, who over the years increased the budget for their productions. Disagreements between the two came to the point that negotiations to extend the contract with the Weinsteins in Miramax, were terrible.
Over time, the Marvel characters will go corporate and become Mickey Mouse. You likely won't see another Iron Man. Not a good thing -- but let's hope we get another gate out of it at WDW.
Disney runs companies that make money, period. Unless it has the mouse on it, they do not get to preachy. Remember, Marvel has put out more than thier share of Crappy comics over the years (Powerpak? Kicker inc?) I mean don't worry Marvel will be fine, and Disney will get richer.
Location: Neuchâtel, Switzerland (Canadian from Montreal)
Originally Posted by Violet Indy
Though Disney does have (in the past) some darker side style cartoons (i.e. that one with the Mountain and the demon and ghosts, in Fantasia, though that's more of an operatic darkness than superhero).
"Night on Bald Mountain". Love it! There was also the creepy, "Legend of Sleepy Hollow", short and the live-action, "Dr. Syn Alias The Scarecrow" (aka "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh"), but those Disney days are long gone. The last dark things I can recall are "Something Wicked This Way Comes" and "Return to Oz".
Originally Posted by Doc Whiskey
The Rocketeer was based on a comic. The "idea" has been around since '82. If you mean a new Rocketeer comic, then I agree.
That is true but The Rocketeer was essentialy a re-invention of Commando Cody from the early '50s. You probably know that, though.
Disney has the girls hooked, now it's wants guy's money...
Disney’s acquisition of Marvel is expected to have no effect on Universal Studios Florida, where visitors ride on attractions themed to Spider-Man and pose for photos with the Incredible Hulk at the Islands of Adventure theme park.
“Our agreement with Marvel stands for as long as we follow the terms of our existing contract and for as long as we want there to be a Marvel Super Hero Island,” said Universal Studios Florida spokesman Tom Schroder.
Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, across town from Walt Disney World in Orlando, includes the Incredible Hulk roller-coaster and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man simulator ride as well walk-around characters such as Wolverine and Captain America.
Universal Studios Hollywood, which in the past featured a Marvel stage show, themed restaurant and walk-around characters, ended its relationship with the comic book company in 2007.
Around the world, Universal theme parks planned for Singapore (2010) and Dubai (2012) have no plans for Marvel attractions or characters, officials said. Universal Studios Japan has a Spider-Man ride similar to the Orlando attraction. Universal’s intellectual property rights are limited geographically to the use of the Marvel brand in Orlando and the Spider-Man brand in Japan.
Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger promised to honor existing agreements between rival theme parks and the comic book giant, but expects to “use Marvel where we can on Disney platforms and in Disney places.”
“Marvel characters have already proven to be strong in terms of theme park attraction and we believe there are a lot of opportunities around the world,” Iger told CNBC. “Not in every one of our parks, because there are some existing agreements that we obviously have to honor, but in a number of places for us to use the Marvel characters to basically help us grow our theme park business and better entertain people.”
The Marvel deal adds over 5,000 characters to Disney’s portfolio — including Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk.
Incorporating the Marvel superheroes into Disney’s fairy-tale cast of characters may seem like a storytelling leap, but the theme park giant has pulled off the feat before. Through the years, Disney theme parks have created shows, rides and attractions with third parties (”Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”) and incorporated acquired properties (the Muppets, Winnie the Pooh, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”).
The massive Dubailand development may be the best place to glimpse Disney’s theme park future, where the 100-acre Marvel Superheroes theme park is expected to open in 2012. Off-site testing has already begun on three of the planned attractions: Flying with Spidey, Fantasticar and X-Men: Danger Room.
It's worth more than that! f@ck Disney!!!!
I couldn't agree more. I first discovered this while watching E!'s The Soup (ass-kickingly funny show, BTW. Joel McHale is THE MAN!) as one of those text bars at the screen bottom, and I almost vomited right there. Disney, the studio which has lost pretty much all of the former wit and imagination and soul that was their trademark during the Golden Age and Renaissance, now in control of all the Marvel heroes? ****!!!!!!!!!!!!! Goddamnit, they'lll probably dumb them all down and kiddify them in the name of "mass appeal". And even if they do keep their greedy sausages from twisting the Marvel brand for their uses, it still just sounds wrong:
Walt Disney Pictures Presents...
IRON MAN 3
As Snoopy often says when it isn't suppertime, AAAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!!! Don't get me wrong; I'm fully willing to give Disney the benefit of the doubt (after all, haven't I been championing KOTCS tirelessly for about a year and a half, not making a bit of difference by the way? I've already proved myself to be more willing than most to buy even the looniest concepts!), but seeing as how WDP has become a totally commercial entity that has to stay clear of Christianity's wrath (see: the appalling increase of Christian elements in the Narnia films) and constantly churns out fare that is deliberately softened and neutered and made as clean and sugar-sweet as it can be (remember Little Mermaid? Beauty and the Beast? Hunback of Notre Dame? Those films had genuine menace and danger and horror! Now compare it to stuff like Chicken Little and Home on the Range...I know, it's sickening how far they've fallen, right?) that I am very hard-pressed to be optimistic whatsoever about this news.
If Disney slams the brakes on that badass WWII-period-film Captain America to make it less "controversial" (remember the blatant replacement of the word "Nazis "with "Germans" in SOK?), my fury will be greater than that of Severus Snape after Harry calls him, for the second time, a coward. Believe me, I will be a very unpleasant person that day.
Ugh, I'm so worried about this I can't put it in words. Crap......