As predicted by The Simpsons nearly two decades ago, the Walt Disney Company is acquiring 21st Century Fox. Disney announced Thursday they had entered into a definitive agreement to bag 21st Century Fox for approximately $52.4 billion in stock. Fittingly, The Simpsons is part of the deal.
"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," Bob Iger, who will now stay on as Disney's CEO and Chairman through the end of 2021, said.
The deal includes 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions, FX Networks, Fox21, National Geographic Partners, and more. Disney will also acquire Fox's interest in Hulu, which Variety reported was a 30 percent stake in the Netflix competitor.
Affected shows and franchises include Deadpool, Avatar, X-Men, This Is Us, Modern Family, and The Simpsons. Ahead of the acquisition, 21st Century Fox will spin off its Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, and related properties into a newly listed company for shareholders.
The deal had been rumored for more than a month now. At one point, Ryan Reynolds wondered aloud how such a move might affect the Deadpool family.
In Thursday's announcement, Disney said only that the agreement would provide them with the chance to "reunite the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool with the Marvel family under one roof and create richer, more complex worlds of inter-related characters and stories that audiences have shown they love."