21st Century Fox president Peter Rice addressed employees today in a meeting to discuss how the upcoming Disney merger would affect them, and also revealed that it will take place sooner than some expected. According to Variety, the deal is set to close January 1st, and will lead to employee layoffs regarding jobs that would straddle both companies. But the meeting was also to bolster the spirits of those who will be staying on with New Fox (which is keeping the assets not picked up by Disney) and those who will “move under Disney’s umbrella.”
The article went on to say that,
Handling a question about the potential for culture clash, Rice noted that Disney has successfully absorbed multiple organizations in the past. Acquisitions of Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm notably kept the unique cultures of those organizations largely intact. Rice also touted Disney’s creative bona fides — calling it the only media conglomerate founded by an artist rather than a telephone or cable company.
The reference to a telecommunications company was a nod perhaps to Comcast, who was a late bidder in the process, making a play for Fox but ultimately losing out.
As we reported last week, the impacts for Fox’s upcoming slate of superhero movies isn’t being much affected by the deal, at least for now, with Dark Phoenix writer/director Simon Kinberg saying:
“The status [of the deal] I won’t speak to because that’s above my pay grade, but we’re just continuing to make movies that we make and developing movies that we’ve been developing for years now, like Gambit, or finishing movies like New Mutants and Dark Phoenix and Deadpool, that comes out this Christmas, and others, Multiple Man, other movies we’ve been working on we continue to work on.”
Producer Hutch Parker added,
“Until the deal is completely finished—which has in principal terms been agreed to by the two boards but it hasn’t yet gone through the final approvals that go through the government. But until that’s done, Fox has to remain Fox and perform as it would as if it wasn’t up for sale. So for all intents and purposes you proceed as business as usual.”