Details are still coming out about the deal that will see Disney buy up a large portion of 20th Century Fox. CNN has a list of what’s being exchanged, including 20th Century Fox, the studio with the X-Men rights. What will the effect be, especially for the adaptations?
The immediate effect is none. The movies that have been produced will still come out; they’re too far down the pipeline to change at this late date. Deadpool 2 won’t be delayed as a result. Disney is also not going to impose changes right away. Take a look at what happened when Disney bought both Marvel and Lucasfilm. There were immediate hues and cries in both cases, fans assuming the worst. The reality, though, was far from the disasters expected. Following the takeover of Marvel, Marvel Studios came out with The Avengers, blowing away fan expectations. Likewise, when Disney took over Star Wars, the same dire warnings came from fans. The company released Star Wars: Rebels, The Force Awakens, and Rogue One.
Longer term, this may help Marvel Studios. Because Fox had the rights to the X-Men and related characters, it created a situation where Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, who were members of both the X-Men and the Avengers in the comics, had to have their backgrounds hidden in the Avengers: Age of Ultron. The word “mutant” could not be used. With Disney having access to X-Men and The Fantastic Four and the associated characters, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will expand. The crossover potential has increased. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. dealing with a plot masterminded by the Hellfire club. The Avengers take on a proper Doctor Doom. Kingdom Hearts 3 with Mickey, Rey, and Deadpool saving the world from C. Montgomery Burns.
One thing that may change is where the Marvel streaming series, such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher wind up. Disney is picking up 60% of Hulu, so they may move the Marvel line up there to drive demand for the service. Current contracts won’t be changed; the effort needed and the costs to make the change won’t be worth the end result. New series, though, once the deal with Netflix runs out, may appear on Hulu instead.
The other side of the deal involves Fox’s non-Marvel franchises, including the long running TV series The Simpsons and Modern Family. The nature of Hollywood is that an incoming executive tends to clean house of everything the previous exec did. That sort of move led to the problems John Carter had. However, long running TV series last as long as they do because the audience keeps tuning in. The Simpsons may be long in the tooth, but the big problem the series has is that the only thing it has left to parody is itself. The change in ownership will give writers for the show new material for its bite-the-hand humour, plus allowing for a few last jabs at Fox. Again, nothing will happen immediately. The new owners need to see how their properties are behaving. If anything, expect Disney to capitalize on the merchandising end. The Mouse knows merchandise. Try not finding anything Star Wars right now.
The deal isn’t complete. American regulators still have to examine the deal and make sure that the market is still competitive. Disney will grow if the deal is approved. Given the Mouse’s clout. it is unlikely that copyrights will be allowed to expire. “Steamboat Willie” will never be in the public domain.
Right now, the best approach is to wait and see what happens. There’s no sense in saying the world’s about to end just because Disney has taken over a beloved franchise. The Mouse exists to make money and alienating fans is a sure way to not do that. The current record shows Disney providing to fans what they want. The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars are showing what will happen.
Marvel Comics had several big announcements since the last news round up. Let’s get to what’s being adapted and by whom.
Marvel and Sony come to a deal over Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is moving into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, joining the likes of the Avengers. Sony Pictures still has the rights to create movies with the character, but the deal should allow Marvel to use elements from the Spider-Man comics such as the Daily Bugle in its own releases. Marvel has shuffled its release schedule to bring the next Spider-Man movie out without competing with the Marvel Studios releases.
X-Men TV series in the works.
Fox has confirmed an X-Men TV series is in development, pending Marvel’s approval. Little of what the series would entail has been revealed.
Casting for AKA Jessica Jones announced.
David Tennant joins the cast as the villainous Zebediah Killgrave, also known as the Purple Man. Tennant joins Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones and Mike Colter as Luke Cage.
Who you gonna call?
Meet the new Ghostbusters for the gender-flipped remake. Melissa McCarthy has signed on while negotiations with Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon are ongoing.
Fushigi Yuugi gets stage treatment.
The manga and anime, Fushigi Yuugi is making the transition over to the stage. Fushigi Yuugi, which translates as Mysterious Play, follows the adventures of Miaka as she falls into another world filled with magic and danger.
Indiana Jones reboot may be in works.
Disney bought the rights to the Indiana Jones franchise and are looking at Chris Pratt as the eponymous hero. Pratt is going to be busy…
Chris Pratt in talks for The Magnificent Seven remake.
The remake of The Seven Samurai is being remade. Denzel Washington has already signed on for the remake.
Harper Lee releasing a follow up to To Kill a Mockingbird.
The sequel, Go Set a Watchman, features Scout Finch as an adult. The novel had been written during the 1950s, but was set aside on the advise of Lee’s editor at the time. The new novel will hit bookstores mid-July.
LEGO announces next licensed set, featuring Doctor Who.
Everything is more awesome in LEGOland as the Doctor and his companions join the massive LEGO line up. The project just left the judging phase, so it may take some time before the LEGO TARDIS hits the shelves. Also announced, a LEGO Wall-E set, with the submission made by one of the movie’s crew members.
Stargate reboot movie signs writers.
Roland Emmerich’s reboot/remake of the original Stargate movie has signed Nicholas Wright and James A. Woods as screenwriters. Emmerich will direct and co-produce, along with original co-writer Dean Devlin.
The Man from UNCLE trailer now out.
The first look at Guy Ritchie’s take on the TV series, The Man from UNCLE, is now out. The movie stars Henry Cavill as Napoleon Solo, originally played by Robert Vaughn and should be out in August. Armie Hammer is on board as Illya Kuryakin, previously played by David McCallum.
A change of plans this week. I’ve been holding on to some items too long and I realized that I hadn’t had a round up last month. On with the show!
A Game of Thrones, the Movie
With the TV series catching up to George R.R. Martin’s writing, something needs to be done. One potential fix, feature-length movies. The movies would be prequels, set 90 years prior to the start of the books. This should give Martin the time to finish or at least pad out the series long enough to prevent the TV series from overtaking.
Jem and the Holograms to get film treatment.
Truly outrageous! The movie has a webpage set up where fans can make suggestions on plot and casting and submit audition video. However, Christy Marx, the creator of the original series, is not involved. How this will affect the movie remains to be seen.
No more Inspector Morse adaptations?
Creator Colin Dexter has added a clause in his will that will prevent other actors from playing Inspector Morse. He feels that the performances of both John Thaw and Shaun Evans cannot be surpassed. The clause can be challenged, but it is likely that Dexter’s estate will agree with him.
Left Behind movie series to be rebooted.
Nicholas Cage will star in the remake of the adaptation of the first of the Left Behind books. Release date has been announced for October 3. The first adaptation was by Kirk Cameron in 2000, with the sequels released direct-to-video.
Fox to spin-off a Mystique movie while Sony does the same with the Sinister Six.
While Marvel Studios is busy with the Avengers, the licensees aren’t content to be left in the dust. Fox has plans for a Mystique movie to go along with the Wolverine series. Over at Sony, the Sinister Six, Spider-foes each and every one of them, has signed on director Drew Goddard. The movies mean that Marvel will have more characters on screen than rival DC Comics, despite the latter’s owner, Warner, having not licensed any character to another studio.
New Sailor Moon series to debut July, broadcast includes Internet streaming.
The Pretty Soldier-Sailor is returning and can be seen through Niconico Douga, a video streaming site similar to YouTube. An account will be needed to watch but the new Sailor Moon will be available internationally. The build up has been kept low, with very little hype to create expectations.
Cracked.com lists the five adaptations that are overdone.
Beyond just naming, Cracked looks at why the movies don’t work well. The key appears to be the creativity ends with the original idea and doesn’t continue through the actual production.
Mrs. Doubtfire sequel being written.
Chris Columbus, the director of the original, has been signed, as has Mrs. Doubtfire himself, Robin Williams. The original movie hit theatres in 1993, and a sequel was attempted in 2001 but never got past pre-production. Given the age of the original movie, it may be Williams’ name that proves to be the draw.
Princess Jellyfish to get live-action adaptation.
The manga Princess Jellyfish, aka Kuragame Hime, will be getting the live-action treatement. The official site is now up. Release date is December, 2014.