C'mon Hollywood #220

...Disney and Marvel?
by J.A. Hamilton

Now I’m not trying to beat a dead horse here, but this has been the talk of the town for the past few days and I simply wanted to throw in my two cents. I must say this came as a bit of a shock to me. I know Marvel went bankrupt back in 1996, a horrible time for comic book fans as a lot of their favorite titles went from issue number “xxx” back to zero, starting over from scratch. Soon after, Marvel began heating up theater seats and reaping phat sums of cash in the movie biz. Marvel’s film library however, is anything but consistent. Some people love these films, while others have simply lost faith and feel we’ll never get a truly “epic” Super Hero movie. And then this bomb hits, throwing people’s already mixed emotions/opinions into a tangent. I too, tilted my head in confusion when I read the news. Good? Bad? Well, lets look over some of the facts.

Our heroes face their greatest challenge yet...new management

First we have Stan Lee, who comes out with a grande speech about how great a day it is for the two companies and the entertainment community as a whole. Everyone wins, he says. Well, here’s the thing. How can there be any validity to a person’s words in regards to business and money when the person in question stands to gain by set merger. Even if what he said IS true, and that’s exactly how he feels about the issue, it would be like Disney putting up four billion dollars for the rights to all things Harry Potter and then having J. K. Rowling come out with a big smile saying “This is best thing for the characters and series, I couldn’t be happier. Everyone wins.” I was more interested in what Lee had to say in September’s issue of Maxim. “I was always saying, we should be another Disney! And now we’re getting close.” That statement could be taken any number of ways, but how many of them are good?


Speaking of money, four billion dollars is no small piece of change. I mean, sweet Jesus, the only other time I can recall hearing the word “billion” being used in reference to actually buying something was in regard to all the economic bailout talk. With a number like four billion, one would have to assume there were some major negotiations going on (a theory reinforced by Stan Lee’s Maxim comments it would seem), and that in the end, Disney wanted Marvel something fierce. Some people tried comparing this news to Warner Brother acquisition of DC comics, saying it’s not a big deal. Well, no, it wouldn’t have been a big deal if say, Paramount Pictures bought Marvel, because like Warner Brothers, Paramount isn’t a company built on a foundation of children oriented cinema like Disney is. So as far as I’m concerned, there’s really no comparing the two.

Something I NEVER thought I'd see, much less enjoy

Disney is honoring all existing Marvel contracts at this time, which is good news, however I highly doubt those contracts will be renewed. That said, if changes are immanent as far as the future of some of our favorite heroes are concerned, we probably won’t see it for at least another five years. It’s hard to say what’s in store for the Marvel universe (theatrically), the only Disney team up I’ve ever seen was in the way of the KINGDOM HEARTS video game series. Disney and Square Enix (the minds behind FINAL FANTASY), teamed up and produced a world where all my favorite FF characters interacted with the many Disney heroes and villains. The result? Admittedly, a fun as hell time. The stories retained the FF intrigue, suspense and seriousness, whilst splashing a little Disney flavor in there for kicks. There’s a vast difference between video game unions and film unions however, but I feel the need to point out that in regard to THIS union, everyone DID win.

If nothing else, this is gonna make for some cool theme park ideas

I enjoyed the hell out of the first two PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN flicks (the third was garbage), but that wasn’t all Disney, I’m pretty sure Jerry Bruckheimer had something to do with it. I even liked the two CHRONICLES OF NARNIA titles. The first one was a bit kiddyish at times, but PRINCE CASPIAN more than made up for it. My point? Though something about this merger does strike me as odd, I strongly doubt ANY company would invest four billion dollars into a sinking ship, or even a broken one in need of serious repairs. I really don’t think Disney’s gonna try to reinvent the wheel here. It’s my hope that this is a sign of Disney’s growth as a company, that acquiring Marvel was a way to explore a more mature venue and as a result reach out to a wider audience. Time will tell, but for better or worse, Marvel has been assimilated and resistence is futile.
Extra Tidbit: Remember in SPACE JAM when Yosemite Sam and Elmer Fudd (pimped out like Vincent and Jules) shot the hell out of one of the bad guys to the theme music of PULP FICTION? Well, Disney also owns (the VERY mature) Miramax studios. Just another something to consider.
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood



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