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Published on September 1st, 2009 | by Niall


Spidermouse, Spidermouse…

Disney LogoSo Disney is all set to buy Marvel for four billion dollars in cash and stock, but what does that mean for the future of these two entertainment goliaths?

Both sides appear to be gushing over the future possibilities which of course means Marvel characters, and there are some 5,000 of them, should start popping up on Disney’s TV networks, movies and theme parks. But is it really that simple?

Marvel Logo

Currently Paramount hold a 5 picture deal for Marvel intellectual property which includes Iron Man and the Avengers.  Universal retains contractual rights over the Hulk. 20th Century Fox has the current movie rights for X-Men, with 3 movies in the pipeline X-Men Origins: Magneto, Deadpool and Wolverine 2. Oh, and Sony Pictures has the rights to a certain web-slinger. Getting out of these deals to give Disney exclusive ownership and distribution will prove nigh-on-impossible so it’ll be a few years before any of the big guns are prefaced with the Disney arch and castle.

Nickelodeon and Fox Kids currently have the cartoon rights for the X-Men, Spider-man and the Avengers but these should be much simpler to switch onto Disney’s ABC based network. The Disney deal would also see the chance for a cross-over between Disney characters and their Marvel counterparts. Speaking as a gamer I loved Kingdom Hearts on the PlayStation which allowed the player to interact with the world of Disney and Final Fantasy. A Marvel/Disney version would be fantastic.

Away from the visual medium the move will allow Marvel characters to start popping up in Disney’s many theme-parks around the globe allowing Disney to target a older audience for these cash generating enterprises.  Quite how this will pan out with Universal promises to be interesting as they currently have Hulk, Spidey and Dr. Doom rides in their Orlando based Islands of Adventure and elsewhere.

Disney currently has a whole range of comics, with almost all being exclusively aimed at kids and tweens. The Marvel purchase will see them grasp a a large hold in the key purchasing power demographic, 18-35 year olds.  Gaining access to Marvel’s distribution outlets wil also prove a major boon.

This is of course Disney’s biggest purchase since they acquired Pixar for $7 billion a few years ago and the potential pairing of these two creative forces could be electrifying. On the whole I’m of the opinion that this should work. How about you?

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About the Author

The proverbial man lost in La Mancha. Sports aficionado and all-round scoundrel. Über-geek to boot. I run the movie website Scannain.com and can usually be found twittering away as @niallxmurphy.

7 Responses to Spidermouse, Spidermouse…

  1. I think it’s one of the most sensible purchases since AOL/Time Warner. It’s consolidating resource, sharing talent and promoting creativity. They were both, in their own way, floundering before the merger – this will only serve to assert their expertise and dominance on the market and in that space.

    I reckon we’ll be seeing some pretty amazing stuff in the next few years.

    And I always thought that Donald Duck would make a great sidekick for Spiderman.

  2. Will Knott says:

    AOL/Time Warner wasn’t all that sensible…

    After the Namco vs Marvel gaming titles, I’m looking forward to Disney vs Marvel… Wolverine vs. Goofy and SheHulk vs. Daisy Duck.

    Practically, Disney is viewed as being for kids. (You do wonder why they didn’t do a Disney based Club Penguin. The Mousekateers could rise again). Well kids grow up.

    Marvel appeals to teenagers (and older, Hello Emma Frost). I don’t know how well the two will blend, but they are complimentary.

    And I’m looking forward to the Wolverine Rollercoaster at Marvel World.

  3. hugo fitzpatrick says:

    I fear that the lesser characters could be ruined in television cartoons, but then again im an adult i don’t watch them so it doesn’t hurt anyone.

    The print and movie franchise’s for the 5,000 characters will be relitively untouched.

    Although who want’s to take their picture beside Spiderman in Disneyland?

    Can we punch him for free?

    I would asume it was a human right after the 3rd instalment.

  4. Sweary says:

    Kingdom Hearts confused the bejaysus out of me. Goofy assisting the mighty Squall Leonhart in battle? It simply didn’t compute. Especially seeing as I stopped playing after the Tarzan level.

    I’d pay good money to see Gambit kick seven shades of shite out of Minnie Mouse, mind.

  5. Ronan says:

    So what happens if there’s an Iron Man 5 or something like that?

  6. Niall says:

    More than likely Disney will cut a deal with Paramount to divide the production costs and the distribution. This may even happen with the current contracts.

    The biggest potential problem is having one studio producing all the Marvel IPs. This leaves them vulnerable if one of them flops badly. Disney may be inclined to start playing it safe with the tentpoles. We may be talking Pirates of the Caribbean 3 territory.

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