While we might not see Wolverine and Captain America on screen together any time soon, the merger between Fox and Disney is already leading to some collaboration between the two studios. The Hollywood Reporter says that there are a lot of movies being shifted on the schedule as to not interfere with each other anymore.
This means that Kenneth Branagh’s Death of The Nile will now come out on October 2, 2020 instead of on December 20, 2019 where the star-studded Murder on The Orient Express sequel would’ve competed with Star Wars: Episode IX.
Also shifted was Brad Pitt’s Ad Astra, which is shifting from January to May of 2019, and Dave Bautista’s action-comedy Stuber has jumped from May to July of 2019.
THR does mention something interesting: They say they technically can’t coordinate things before the merger is official:
“Federal regulations prohibit Disney and Fox film executives from directly coordinating their efforts during the merger process, but the proverbial handwriting is on the wall. Soon — providing there are no eleventh-hour glitches — Disney will begin releasing titles from a scaled 20th Century Fox proper, Fox Searchlight and Fox 2000, further expanding its ever-growing market share.”
So for all intents and purposes, Fox is shifting these release dates because it’s what is best for them. Nudge nudge. Wink wink.
This merger has many, many implications outside of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four joining the MCU. Disney has a ton of new franchises now, but there is also a downside.
The downside is more for industry people. Writers and filmmakers now have one less place to pitch things. They can’t go to one after the other says no. It makes the market a tad bit smaller for filmmakers to get their projects made.
But for fans, the positives will outweigh the negatives. There is no one better at marketing than Disney. No one. For the Fox properties to have Disney’s marketing machine behind them will vastly improve box office numbers. For the films that do get made, it will be a good thing to have Disney behind them.