SciFi Weekend: Disney Buys Marvel; Fantastic Four Reboot; Jack Bauer on Health Care Reform

Iron Man Mickey

Will the next blockbuster movie be Iron Man versus Cinderella? Will Spider-Man dump Mary Jane to date Hanna Montana? Is the next High School Musical to be preformed at Dr. Xavier’s school for mutants?

The big news of the week is that Disney has acquired Marvel. I know some Marvel fans are upset  but there is no reason to worry that the Marvel characters will become Disneized. Disney is far more than Mickey Mouse and the Disney princesses. Disney owns ABC, meaning that Lost is part of Disney. Disney owns Pixar which has produced films such as Wall-E. Disney also owns Mirimax, which has put out movies such as Pulp Fiction.

Disney’s strengths are in marketing and cross promotion of its properties, between television, movies, books, merchandise, and the theme parks. Disney can help Marvel continue to take advantage of its characters in ways beyond comic books. Current licensing arrangements will leave some of movies in the hands of other studios for some time, but ultimately there will be no need to compromise with other studios to develop movie versions of Marvel characters.

Disney might be able to market some aspects of Marvel to girls, the market where it is weak, but the more important aspect of the deal is to increase interest in Disney’s characters among boys. Disney does well with young children and girls, but Marvel characters would be far more attractive to older boys than Cinderella and Snow White.

The Disney theme parks have added some thrill rides, but Disney’s strength has been with the more elaborately themed rides which lack the thrills which teenage boys might prefer. I can imagine adding some superhero themed rides at some of the existing parks. There has been speculation for years over a possible fifth park at Walt Disney World. I wonder if the Marvel characters might even provide the theme for a new park.

Currently many Marvel characters reside at competing Universal and reportedly that arrangement will continue as long as Universal desires to continue its current contract. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney either finds a way to bring over their own group of Marvel superheroes, or if Disney simply continues to profit from Universal paying for the rights to the characters.

Fantastic_Four_Promo

The other Marvel news of the week involves 20th Century Fox rather than Disney. They are planning to reboot the Fantastic Four movies with a script by Michael Green, who has worked on Lost and Green Lantern. There is no word as to whether they will use the cast of the previous movies or whether they will start with a new origins movie. There is also talk of rebooting the Spider-Man movie series.

Conservatives often cite Jack Bauer and 24 as if they were real sources to justify terrorism. It is a shame that instead they don’t quote Jack Bauer’s views on health care as seen in the above video. It even turns out that Keifer Sutherland has a real connection to health care.

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