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Disney Buys Marvel For $4B 423

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the wolverine-with-mouse-ears dept.
whisper_jeff writes "Disney has announced they will be purchasing Marvel. 'Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.'"
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Disney Buys Marvel

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  • Bye bye marvel... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRiMSON (3495) <crimson.unspeakable@org> on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:29AM (#29260361) Homepage

    It was a nice run while you had it, Enjoy doing princess disney stories forever more now.

    • Yes.

      Bad news for anyone who like mature-themed comics and movies.

      The Marvel line-up:
      X-Men. Ironman. Punisher. Spider-man (already sucked).

      Thank god Batman is DC comics.

      • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:40AM (#29260541) Homepage Journal

        Thank god Batman is DC comics.

        DC Comics is part of Time Warner. So is Porky Pig.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by szo (7842)

          I'll take Porky, Bugs Bunny and especially Animaniacs over anything from Disney thanks all the same.

          • Fox and New Corp (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mollog (841386)
            I hate Fox and Rupurt Murdoch, but they were the ones to push the envelope with media. It's too bad Fox didn't have the foresight to buy properties like Marvel so that the seriously adult themes in comics can be fully developed.
            • by Mix+Master+Nixon (1018716) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:17PM (#29262103)

              Did you SEE the movies Fox made based on Marvel properties? Other than the first two X-MEN films, it's been wall to wall dogshit. If Fox had bought Marvel instead of Disney, the pathetic whining and moaning from people who don't know what the hell they're talking about would be far worse and far more justifiable. Fox never met the property that they couldn't micro-mismanage into oblivion. They're the ones who hired Brett Ratner to make X-MEN 3. Disney will let Marvel do what Marvel wants to do because Disney likes money. Interference with Marvel would poison the brand and with it Disney's massive investment in it. Disney releases of Marvel films will be through a subsidiary company, most likely Touchstone.

              Last time Marvel was owned by a movie studio it was the short lived post-Roger Corman incarnation of New World Pictures. This couldn't possibly turn out any worse than that did.

              Also, Marvel/Pixar = WIN.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by bobcat7677 (561727)
              No, with Fox's history of scuttling anything Sci-fi, I would not want them touching any comic book stuff. That being said, it frightens me alot that Disney is doing this. I can't imagine future movie adaptations of Marvel comic stories/characters will be all that good now. If ever I was to support anti-trust action, now would be the time.
            • Re:Fox and New Corp (Score:5, Informative)

              by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:48PM (#29262627)

              I hate Fox and Rupurt Murdoch, but they were the ones to push the envelope with media. It's too bad Fox didn't have the foresight to buy properties like Marvel so that the seriously adult themes in comics can be fully developed.

              Disney bought Miramax in 1993. That's the studio that has released just about every Quentin Taratino film as well as titles like Priest and the Crying Game. I'm not saying Miramax is perfect, far from it, but even under Disney they've released many movies with adult themes.

            • by leftie (667677) on Monday August 31, 2009 @01:09PM (#29262973)

              Fox News potentially getting it' hands on the Captain America property!?!

              Nonono. That must be prevented at all costs.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:58AM (#29260873)

            Gargoyles was produced by Buena Vista Television. A division of Disney.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Requiem18th (742389)

              Nice you mention that because Gargoyles (and to a lesser extent, Pirates of ...) is the only good thing to ever come out of Disney.

        • by Chelloveck (14643) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:13AM (#29261125) Homepage

          DC Comics is part of Time Warner. So is Porky Pig.

          And I, for one, am still waiting for the Batman/Porky Pig The Brave And The Bold team-up issue! Come on, Time-Warner, where's the fan service?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Forge (2456)
        If Disney has 1% of the business sense I think they do they will keep the Marvel brand separate and use it as the vehicle for any mature or violent content that come into their possession.

        Of course they could all be drooling idiots over there, in which case, expect to see an Iron-man who never drinks, Wolverine who never kills and Mephistopheles who is just a male version of Cruela Devile.

        However, everything I have seen so far suggest that Disney is run by the same kind of stone cold business men who
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by hazydave (96747)

          Disney doesn't destroy (or even Disni-fy) everything they touch. Some of it, maybe.. though I don't know if they necessarily made ABC any worse than it already was.

          Keep in mind, they have a number of different studio names for film releases. Sure, if it's a kiddie film, it's put out under the Disney label. If it's a smart kiddie film, it's probably from Pixar, whom they seem to have left pretty much alone. They also own Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, older releases by Dimension Films, and Miramax

      • by eln (21727) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:53AM (#29260775) Homepage
        Just wait until Spider Man 4, in which Peter Parker is involved in a love triangle with Hannah Montana and Nick Jonas. Will Nick and Peter be able to work out their differences through song and dance numbers before the big prom? Or will their constant bickering cause Hannah Montana to fall into the arms of the local bad boy, Wolverine? And if she does, will she learn the error of her ways before he tries to kiss her before they're even married at Tony Stark's big alcohol-free party? And will Zac Efron be able to save her and teach her that the only way to true happiness is dating nice boys, abstinence, and wearing knee-length or longer skirts?

        The possibilities are endless!
      • by AmigaMMC (1103025) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:56AM (#29260831)
        I don't think anything is going to change on that aspect. I worked for Disney for 5 years and they're not likely to change a winning formula.
        • I worked for Disney for 5 years and they're not likely to change a winning formula.

          The beauty of Disney's model is that they sell to six years olds; six year olds with literally no memory and no experience of having seen their product before despite its being over 50 years old. It's as if Disney, as a company, is selling into a market with mass collective amnesia. They never need to innovate.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ajs (35943)

            Let's be clear about what Disney has put out through their other labels through the years (I'm not holding up any of the following films as anything but examples of diversity in genre):

            • Pretty Woman
            • Dead Poets Society
            • Who Framed Roger Rabbit
            • Good Morning Vietnam
            • Con Air
            • Armageddon
            • The Nightmare Before Christmas
            • Clerks
            • Pulp Fiction
            • Trainspotting
            • Amélie (nothing I can do about Slashdot's failure to deal with Unicode that it displays just fine in the text window)
            • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
    • by Dyinobal (1427207)
      It's a shame the Marvel universe is awesome. Oh well though, lets try to stay positive maybe everything they produce won't suddenly utterly suck beyond belief.
      • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:38AM (#29260521) Homepage
        Marvel used to have a good universe, but it has just been mined and re-mined and used up. It is nothing that Marvel did wrong, just eventually fictional universes run out of steam. When you have to "reboot" or "reimagine" your titles every few years you know you're pretty much done.
        • by Narpak (961733) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:42AM (#29261575)
          Which is why Disney-Marvel crossovers, like Phantom Duck teaming up with Wolverine to stop Magneto from stealing Scrooge's money, is going to be such a breath of fresh air.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ultranova (717540)

          It is nothing that Marvel did wrong, just eventually fictional universes run out of steam.

          No they don't, at least those as big as Marvel, it's simply that writers come and go. Fictional universes become popular if they have good writers making interesting stories for them, so any that's remembered has had a "golden age" at some point. And then the good writers leave or become lazy, and the golden age is over and people say that the universe has "lost steam". It hasn't, the coal guy has simply fallen asleep

    • Re:Bye bye marvel... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SputnikPanic (927985) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:34AM (#29260425)

      I doubt that Disney will interfere much with Marvel's comics, I just hope they give Marvel's movie-production division as much autonomy.

    • by jean-guy69 (445459) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:44AM (#29261617)
      Touchstone Pictures is nothing more than a brand of Disney.
      Under this brand, Disney produced :

      Starship Troopers, Revelations, Ladykillers, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Apocalypto, The Prestige,The Royal Tenenbaums,Dead Poets Society,The Nightmare Before Christmas ..

      See the complete list. [imdb.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sebilrazen (870600)
        Don't forget Shining Excalibur Pictures, it was a one off production company created to release KIDS [imdb.com] when Disney didn't want the Miramax name on it.
  • great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:30AM (#29260367)
    Does this mean that we can expect to see unending series of cash-in sequels, like Spiderman 3, Fantastic Four 3, Iron Man 2, X-Men 4, etc?!? Oh wait...
    • Re:great! (Score:5, Informative)

      by FooAtWFU (699187) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:38AM (#29260495) Homepage
      Sounds like it....

      10:32: Disney: Cost savings were not the big driving reason for the deal. What really drives is synergies over time. It will create enhanced growth rate for Disney over time.
      10:33: Iger: Even with DVD sales slowing, movies with strong, brand name characters such as Marvel characters will hold up better than others. "It's not bulletproof"

      -- WSJ coverage of investor call (ongoing) [wsj.com] emphasis mine

    • Re:great! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CodeBuster (516420) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:49AM (#29260691)
      Yes, except now Disney-fied [wikipedia.org] and sanitized (look no blood!) to assure parents that little johnny won't be lead astray by those no-good comic books. If you thought that the Comics Code Authority [wikipedia.org] was bad, just wait until Disney sinks their claws into the Marvel brands. I do not see how this can be considered to be good for comics in general and Marvel in particular. In fact, it will probably hasten the decline of American comics in favor of edgier manga and graphic novels coming out of Japan (a trend which was already clearly evident even before this latest deal).
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)

        Considering Marvel has had many owners, I doubt this will make any difference. Heck, Disney is probably buying this because its suddenly extremely profitable to make movies based on comic book characters, not because they feel there's a need for a Disneyfied Thor or Dr Strange.

        I know this is slashdot and we're supposed to see every change as being a corporate conspiracy against us, but frankly, Marvel could use some direction from Disney. A lot of the artwork in Marvel comics is terrible. Its a company th

  • Epic Fail.

    Maybe we can get a retcon. Marvel does it all the time anyhow...

  • A good fit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:32AM (#29260393) Homepage Journal

    Marvel... The company that sued NCsoft [slashdot.org] for making a game in which superheroes could be constructed because some of them could be made to look like Marvel characters? And then it turned out that the most egregious violators were actually Marvel employees [slashdot.org]?

    Sounds like a good fit to me, I'm sure the companies will be really happy with each other.

  • by elh_inny (557966) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:32AM (#29260403) Homepage Journal

    Finally...

    Those clashes between Marvel characters and DC Comics ones got boring so now it's time for:
    Daisy vs Wolverine
    Pinocchio vs Spiderman
    Cinderella vs Juggernaut

    If they film any of those I am soo going to see this..

  • An obvious brand extension: Hey, Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman can both sing, right? Kidding aside, Disney execs would be well-served to remember that "with great power, comes great responsibility."
  • They could have bought DC Comics.

  • Oh goody... (Score:2, Funny)

    by gregg (42218)

    Now we get to look forward to Donald Duck and Howard the Duck crossovers.

  • All I can say is, if this opens the door for a sequel to Marvel vs. Capcom 2 including all of the famous Disney characters I am all for it. It would be a lot of fun to whoop some Mickey Mouse or Snow White azz with characters from the Marvel roster. You know you want to, just admit it.
  • by dorkbot (764414) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:34AM (#29260445)
    Universal uses Marvel trademarks in one of their Theme Park (Universal's Island of Adventure) in Central Florida. Will Universal continue to pay for these Likeness rights when they are to a rival company?
    • Unless they want to be sued, as well as losing some popular attractions, they'll stick to their contract - I.E., yes they will continue paying. Why is this even a question?

  • Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world

    that's a stupid strategy. what a dumb idea. It reminds me of Mr Burns - "Strawberry - hit a home run!"

  • Translated as: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:35AM (#29260455)

    We've finally given up thinking of our own ideas and as soon as existing licensing deals run out we are going to squeeze the Marvel universe for everything we can get out of it, by giving it the "Disney" treatment".

    Although... Pixar doing Marvel comics? Could be good.

  • Doctor Strange against the Beagle Boys !

    And Donald Duck will go rafting with wolverine...

    And of course "Moovies": Xmens the clueless episode !!!
    And Marvel theamed movies will always end "cute"

    Somehow this does not seem a good news

  • Or at least not very interested in mainstream American costumed super-hero books. Otherwise I'd be dying inside right now. I feel that way every time EA buys up another studio.

  • by prgrmr (568806) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:38AM (#29260503) Journal
    Thought comic books were expensive now? Wait until Disney ups the price to help recover some of that 4 billion.
  • Universal Orlando (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ken Hall (40554) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:40AM (#29260539)

    Wonder how this will affect the licensing for the Comic Book area at Universal Orlando long term. It's ALL Marvel, including the "Hulk" roller coaster.

    I suppose it'll just continue for a while though, the whole thing is pretty incestous.

  • Meh (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Pitr (33016) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:46AM (#29260657)

    Marvel has been going downhill for a long time. So much so that I consider this deal to be part of a natural progression. Between poor writing and poor management, I haven't seen anything good from Marvel Comics since the late 90s, or maybe early 00s. Some of their movies have been good, some have been horrid. I know "continuity" is optional at best, but you can only "re-imagine" a plot so many times before it becomes complete drivel.

    This deal will ruin Marvel like old mayonnaise ruins a dog crap sandwich.

  • by 8127972 (73495) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:53AM (#29260757)

    ... But doesn't Universal Pictures own the rights to many Marvel comic book movie properties? How's that going to work?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iamjoltman (883526)
      Not Universal (they had Hulk, but that went back to Marvel) but there is still Sony who owns Spider-Man rights and Fox who own X-Men rights (not sure about the other characters that were done before, such as Fantastic Four and Daredevil at Fox and Ghost Rider at Sony).

      Anyway, I believe any current deals will stay, but then when they expire it's assumed that they won't Marvel/Disney won't renew them.
  • by JoshDM (741866) on Monday August 31, 2009 @10:58AM (#29260869) Homepage Journal

    Not the movie, the Marvel character. Now Howard the Duck will finally be able to admit he's from the same universe as Donald. My inner geek is sated!

  • by OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:11AM (#29261095)

    I'm just going to repeat what pretty much everyone is saying; f*ck Disney and RIP Marvel

  • by Uteck (127534) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:41AM (#29261569)

    Now we can rest assured that the Marvel characters will never fall into the public domain and live as part of the Disney brand for the rest of time.

  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:50AM (#29261705)

    "Like the toupee on a fading fame
    The final whistle in a losing game
    Thick lipstick on a five year old girl
    It makes you think it's a plastic world

    A plastic world and we're all plastic too
    Just a couple of different faces in a dead man's queue
    The world is turning Disney and there's nothing you can do
    You're trying to walk like giants
    but you're wearing Pluto's shoes

    And the answers fall easier from the barrel of a gun
    Than it does from the lips of the beautiful and the dumb
    The world won't end in darkness, it'll end in family fun
    With Coca Cola clouds behind a Big Mac sun "

    Surely this must be a sign of the Apocalypse...?

  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Monday August 31, 2009 @11:52AM (#29261731) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps Marvel will help Disney with their "anti-two parent home" rage. Disney has always HATED two parent families.

    Don't believe me?

    Where are Donald's nephews parents?
    Ariel's mother?
    Goofey's Wife?
    Scrooge's Parents?
    Mickey's?
    Miney's?
    That little brat from Tailspin?
    Jasmine?

    I mean holy crap they hate parents apparently they are either dead or MIA!

    Marvel has plenty of Parents, Kids, Grandkids, hell whole genetic lineages running through the ages.

    Perhaps, just maybe, Disney will learn from Marvel... we can hope some day for an answer to the anti-parent obsession the Disney corp has...

    Stop teh h8 Disney! Stop teh h8! :)

    • by Isaac-Lew (623) <isaaclew&gmail,com> on Monday August 31, 2009 @02:32PM (#29264231)
      I hope you're being sarcastic:
      • Spider-man (no parents, father-figure/uncle dies violent death)
      • Hulk (abusive father who beats mother to death)
      • Wolverine (possibly illegitimate, most of family kills each other)
      • Daredevil (mother abandons him at an early age, alcoholic father dies a violent death)
      • Professor X (father dies, abusive step-father, his son & step-brother become super-villains)
      • Storm (parents die, grows up on the street)
      • Cyclops (loses parentsat a young age, grows up in an orphanage, daughter is from another timeline, son taken from him & grows up in the future)
      • Cable (see Cyclops)
  • by Jason Levine (196982) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:10PM (#29261983)

    As he web slings around town he shouts "AHH-HOO-HOO-WEEE".

  • 75 of what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by 3247 (161794) on Monday August 31, 2009 @12:53PM (#29262721) Homepage

    "Disney Buys Marvel For $4B" - That's 75 in decimal. But 75 of what?

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday August 31, 2009 @04:52PM (#29266283)

    Wow. Marvel has sucked at controlling its rights. They fling their lawyers around like idiots with dice. Remember "Marveloution" back when they tried to buy up all the comic book distributors and have their own little "Marvel" stores?

    Fail. They were too inept. Bit off more than they could chew. The screwed up the comics industry but good so that it took nearly a decade for everybody to get back on their feet.

    Now Disney, on the other hand. . .

    They know how to suck the soul out of a property and employ slave labor in China to make toys in a manner only Todd McFarlane could fantasize about! Oh yes indeedy! --The seedy beginnings of Marvel, (Didja know it sprang from the same family publishing um. . , 'empire' from which the classy skin-mag "Hustler" grew? Now you do. You're welcome.), all the way through their never quite taken seriously by 'real' publisher trajectory. . , that's what makes Marvel Marvel.

    And that's why Marvel has always felt edgy and honest, (if adolescent and stupid half the time) and all kind of held together with spit and. . , well, staples. It's been run by a long succession of people who don't fit into respectable society and who don't really understand business, --and who had a lot of fun (and a lot of burn-out) as a result. For all its warts, I love Marvel. --While Disney is pretty much an evil entity; It has no character and no soul except the practiced gleaming smile of a charming sociopath. --Hopefully they'll catch whatever Marvel has, get the shakes and die. But I'm not holding my breath on that.

    I hope comic shops don't change too much. Comic shops are one of the few paper media outlets which don't feel like they've sold out. (They would have if they could, and heaven knows they've tried, but the truth is, they've never had any capital the rest of the world really wants or understands, and so selling out hasn't been a serious option until these movies started coming out. Until then they had nothing to sell but adolescent power/sex fantasies and the occasional gem tagging along for the ride. If Disney gets its teeth in, do we really think that people like Jeff Smith and Dave Sim could have done their thing?) Hopefully Manga will keep things creepy and weird enough to prevent the grown ups from tidying up.

    After all, there's a dark and a light side to everything. Maybe Disney won't screw it up.

    Heh. Yeah. . . You gotta have a dream.

    -FL

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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