A few days ago, Disney’s proposed purchase of vast swathes of 21st Century Fox—including its film and TV studios and the X-Men properties, plus FX, National Geographic, and more—seemed like a done deal, just waiting for the cash (a reported $52.4 billion) to be delivered, and the Wolverine-shaped keychain to be handed across. But then, yesterday, a judge ruled in the positive on the long-simmering merger between telecom giant AT&T and Time Warner, and now it’s looking like an acute case of merger envy might derail the big cartoon mouse company’s plans.
Specifically, Variety reports today that AT&T’s biggest rival, Comcast, has just stepped in to top Disney’s offer on the Fox properties, promising $65 billion in cash for the whole lot. (Although, as with the Disney deal, Fox would maintain ownership of Fox Sports, Fox News, and the Fox network itself.) If it goes through, the deal would easily cement Comcast’s status as one of the biggest media companies in the country (and a pretty good claim for biggest in the world); besides all its phone and internet properties, the conglomerate already owns NBCUniversal and all of its assorted IP, networks, and brands. But Disney has the contractual chance to top the offer, which could lead to a ridiculously massive financial bidding war between the two media rivals.
And while we’re all hypothetically bummed at this strike against some future potential X-Men/Avengers crossovers—the sole silver lining in a media landscape where everything is owned by fewer and fewer megacorps by the day—it’s not like Comcast doesn’t have its own wide array of crossover friendly properties to tap into. Who doesn’t want to see Magneto hanging out on a Bravo reality show, say, or the Ice Age characters wander into Jurassic World? And boy, oh boy can we not wait for Wolverine to slice and dice his way through our favorite movie monsters in that tapestry of gritty elegance we call the Dark Universe. “You’re a mummy, huh?” he says in our imaginary screenplay, claws slowly snkting out of his hands as he simultaneously lights a cigar. “Well Daddy’s home now, Bub.” (Note: The Daddy’s Home cinematic universe is distributed by Paramount, a subsidiary of Viacom/CBS, meaning it can’t technically be a part of this exciting crossover event.) (Yet.)