Bob Iger Talks Disney's Purchase of Marvel at D23 Expo
It's been almost two weeks since the industry was abuzz with talk about Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. There's been speculation of Pixar adapting Marvel properties, to Disney dulling down some of the edginess that Marvel contains in is extensive catalog of stories and characters. Needless to say, in a purchase of this size, there's bound to be plenty of loose ends to tie up and concerns to address. Disney President and CEO Bob Iger tried to quell some of those concerns in a surprise appearance at the D23 Expo, but he just might have raised a whole new set of concerns for Disney and Marvel fans.
Iger compared the Marvel relationship to the one they have with Pixar, which is quite good news. "It’s definitely analogous in terms of how we plan to manage Marvel. We recognize in Pixar a culture and a way of doing business that is really impressive, that we felt in many ways was the essence of what Pixar was, between the filmmakers, animators, etc." He also added, in regards to Marvel, this tidbit:
"As you'd expect, due to the nature of Marvel, it’s a business we’re very familiar with. Well known characters and weird stories and a product that transcends gender and age and geographic territories," Iger said.
"When you look at it as part of the Walt Disney Company and the application, the presence of Marvel is virtually in everything that we’re in. You can expect that over time, that’s what you will see. We became impressed with the talent of Marvel as we got to know them better. Once the the deal closes their is expected integration, but we plan to keep Marvel as an entity and and to respect both the talent that is there, working as one and also respect what Marvel is and what the essence of Marvel is. There will be no Disneyfication of Marvel."
Everything seems great, until Iger went on to mention: "There are also some legacy agreements that Marvel has in a variety of ways to the theme park with Universal to the distribution of the live action films. So until some of these things work their course, or until we get a better sense when the deal closes, there isn’t much planning that can be done, until we reach an agreement." So what it sounds like is there's still a lot of red tape to get through, as can be expected, but the bad news is this might hinder any immediate progress of new projects that Marvel and Disney might develop under this new banner. And with fast track projects like 20th Century Fox's Fantastic Four reboot, which seems to be green-lit only to keep the intellectual property from reverting to Disney, there's sure to be many more hiccups along the way.
When it comes to the theme park aspect of things, I personally can't wait to see what Disney does with Marvel in their theme parks. While the Marvel part of Universal Studios is fun, in my opinion, it doesn't even come close to the magic and wonder that kids and adults alike feel when they go to Disneyland. Everyone remembers their trip to Disneyland or Disneyworld. And while there are some interesting Marvel ties at Universal Studios theme parks, I just know in my heart that Disney can do it much better. That's all Iger said for now. Do you guys still have any concerns about Disney's purchase of Marvel?