It’s official: The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox announced this morning that they have entered into a definitive agreement for Disney to acquire the vast majority of Fox, including the 20th Century Fox film and television studios, for a whopping $52.4 billion in stock.
“The acquisition of this stellar collection of businesses from 21st Century Fox reflects the increasing consumer demand for a rich diversity of entertainment experiences that are more compelling, accessible and convenient than ever before,” Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said in a statement on Thursday. Iger has also extended his contract with the company through the end of 2021 to help oversee the acquisition process.
“When considering this strategic acquisition, it was important to the Board that Bob remain as Chairman and CEO through 2021 to provide the vision and proven leadership required to successfully complete and integrate such a massive, complex undertaking,” said Orin C. Smith, lead independent director of the Disney board.
Iger says Disney is “honored and grateful that Rupert Murdoch has entrusted us with the future of businesses he spent a lifetime building, and we’re excited about this extraordinary opportunity to significantly increase our portfolio of well-loved franchises and branded content to greatly enhance our growing direct-to-consumer offerings.”
The newly announced deal will place the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool under Marvel control, meaning that they are bound to show up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in one way or another over the course of the next few Marvel films. Disney claims the control of these properties will allow them to “create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love.”
In addition, Disney will also now have control over Fox Searchlight, 20th Century Fox’s sister company specializing in the financing and distribution of independent, art-house, and foreign films. The studio has introduced audiences to films such as Little Miss Sunshine and 12 Years a Slave over the years and is already having an exceptional awards season with The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Though, as Disney continues to integrate the assets it has acquired into its company, the future of Fox Searchlight will remain uncertain.
“We are extremely proud of all that we have built at 21st Century Fox, and I firmly believe that this combination with Disney will unlock even more value for shareholders as the new Disney continues to set the pace in what is an exciting and dynamic industry,” Murdoch said.
He continued, “I’m convinced that this combination, under Bob Iger’s leadership, will be one of the greatest companies in the world. I’m grateful and encouraged that Bob has agreed to stay on, and is committed to succeeding with a combined team that is second to none.”
‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ is being delayed because they need more time to work on his teeth
In a rather hilarious, but not particularly surprising development, Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler made the inevitable announcement via Twitter this morning that Paramount has pushed the video game movie’s release date back by three whole months to February 14, 2020.
As you probably could’ve guessed, the delay has to do with giving the film’s visual effects team some more time to work on the previously announced redesign of the titular hedgehog, whose pearly white teeth and sexy jacked runner’s legs were the subject of a day’s worth of internet clownery last month.
While the discourse that resulted from the release of the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer was fun and all at first, the fact that the VFX team is being forced to go back and do a complete overhaul of the look of the main character is a little insane if you think about it.
The only people who were genuinely upset about the design of Sonic the Hedgehog were deranged fanboys who also probably signed all of those ridiculous petitions to remake the entire last season of Game of Thrones and cream their shorts at the thought of their “creative input” being listened to by the people in charge.
The fact that the team behind Sonic the Hedgehog actually caved to the demands of these people is concerning, to say the least, and I’m sad that we won’t get to see a goofy-looking hedgehog with pearly white teeth and sexy jacked runner’s legs in the final version of the movie anymore. Fuck fanboys.
— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 24, 2019
It’s about time Rotten Tomatoes finally decided to do something about its troll problem
It’s no secret that Rotten Tomatoes has a troll problem. It seemingly began back in 2017 when Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released and thousands upon thousands of (fake) negative audience reviews for the film flooded the site from people who dubbed it “SJW propaganda” or some other dumb shit like that.
Since then, a number of other movies have been review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes, including Black Panther, which was targeted by white nationalist alt-right trolls for obvious reasons, and Captain Marvel, which was targeted by a bunch of very sad men who were upset over Brie Larson saying she wanted the film’s press tour to be more inclusive.
In an effort to prevent any future films from being review bombed, Rotten Tomatoes finally announced today that it will be introducing “verified ratings” and “verified reviews” from users they can confirm actually bought tickets to the movie that they’re either rating or reviewing.
“We believe an Audience Score made up of these Verified Ratings is the most trustworthy measure of user sentiment we can offer right now – one that gives entertainment fans a genuine audience assessment of a movie they’re considering watching, and one which puts significant roadblocks in front of bad actors who would seek to manipulate the Audience Score,” the site wrote in a blog post.
For now, users can only verify their rating or review if they purchased their tickets through Fandango, which acquired Rotten Tomatoes from Warner Bros. in 2016 and will benefit greatly from this change, but the site says theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark “have signed up to participate in our verification program and we plan to introduce other ticket providers as well.”
The new verified ratings and reviews will go into effect this weekend for new releases like Aladdin, Brightburn, and Booksmart, the latter of which you should definitely go see because it’s probably the best thing you’ll watch so far this year.
Linda Hamilton is back and ready to kick some robot ass in the ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ trailer
Gentle reader, I regret to inform you that the long-awaited first trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate arrived early this morning and, as much as I hate to say this, I have an obligation to break it you: this thing just doesn’t look very good at all.
Sure, it’s cool to see Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor firing giant machine guns and rocket launchers at seemingly indestructible robots and tracking down her old buddy T-800 Model 101, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who now lives in a cabin in the middle of the woods for whatever reason.
Beyond that, though, there’s not much to be particularly excited about here. The slowed-down cover of Bjork’s “Hunter” sucks, the set pieces look incredibly lame and uninspired, and the CGI is…well, just take a look at what they did to poor Gabriel Luna in this shot:
It’s a first trailer, so take it all with a grain of salt, but the special effects for ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ are clearly not complete. pic.twitter.com/hlWP3GPxvW
— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) May 23, 2019
That looks pretty fucking bad, right? My dude looks like a straight up cartoon character there.
Keep in mind, Terminator 2: Judgement Day came out in 1991 (28 years ago!) and yet the visual effects work in these movies has somehow managed to get significantly worse since then. I mean, how does that even happen? It’s truly baffling.
Either way, this is a Terminator movie we’re talking about here, so of course I’m still going to Dark Fate when it hits theaters later this year on November 2, but I’m going to do so with great concern. Consider me cautiously optimistic at this point.