Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2009 by Peter Sciretta
As you’ve probably heard by now, The Walt Disney Company is in the process of acquiring Marvel for $4 billion. But what does this mean for the future of Marvel Comics and Marvel Films? Disney CEO Bob Iger responded to questions on a conference call this morning, and here is some of the information that you need to know.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said the company didn’t plan on interfering much with any of the in-development Marvel movies, using the term “If it ain’t broke…” All of the creative control will remain in the hands of the people who know the Marvel Universe best: the people at Marvel.
Disney’s acquisition does not affect the deals for movies in place at other movie studios, such as Spider-Man at Sony and X-Men at 20th Century Fox.
Paramount still holds to rights to distribute up to five Marvel films, including: Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America, The Avengers and possibly one more unannounced film.
There are still existing deals in which other studios hold the big screen rights to certain characters.
But after those deals expire, Disney “want[s] to be sole distributor of these films.”
On the possibility of Pixar developing a future Marvel films? “We’ve talked about this internally. Pixar boss John Lasseter talked to the Marvel guys about this and they all got excited about it. We think there’s ultimately some exciting product that come of that. Sparks will fly!” Sounds like Lasseter is very interested at the possibility.
Disney also plans to “exploit more lesser-known characters.”
It is unclear what Marvel’s deal looks like with Universal Studios, but it’s hard to imagine that Disney isn’t interested in the theme park rights to the Marvel Universe.
And I have to include this out-of-context unintentionally funny quote from Iger telling CNBC how they hope to attract more young boys: “We’d like love to attract more boys, and we think Marvel’s skew is more in boys’ direction. Although there’s a universal appeal, we think, to a lot of their characters and a lot of their story. Just look at Spider-Man and Iron Man films. This is a great fit. But we obviously know Disney has a lot of products that are more girl-skewed than boy. And we’d like the opportunity to go after boys more aggressively.”