This development will undoubtedly make headlines globally if it were to come to fruition.
Reportedly, Disney is in advanced stages of negotiations to buy out 20th Century Fox. This would not be just another acquisition. After all, Disney was the number one film studio in the world in 2016 and Fox a healthy number three. So, should this buyout go through, we would have a mega-gigantic film studio in the shape of Disney – not bad for a production house that started off with cartoons about a mouse!
While this is still a work-in-progress and will have massive repercussions in Hollywood, if and when it happens, there’s plenty at stake here from an Indian perspective too. After all, both studios have a substantial presence in our market. We need to bear in mind that this is not a merger i.e. two companies joining hands, but a buyout i.e. one party (Disney) acquiring another (20th Century Fox). Logically, then, should this global deal take place, Disney India would hold the reins of what is now Fox Star Studios.
That raises some very interesting questions.
Will Fox Star retain its identity or will it be fully subsumed under the Disney brand?
Given Disney’s philosophy of making family-friendly films, what happens to the mature subjects that Fox Star may be working on?
What happens to the staff at Fox Star, especially those in functions where Disney already has employees?
Even if there are no lay-offs, what will the dynamics be like for employees of Fox Star who were earlier at Disney?
Given Disney’s much publicised decision to suspend film production in India once Dangal and Jagga Jasoos released, would that plan still hold true after the buyout? If so, what happens to the projects that Fox Star is developing or in discussions for?
Questions, questions…. so many questions! You’ll have to watch this space for the answers!