The Walt Disney Company has enjoyed a squeaky clean image as the preeminent provider of family-friendly entertainment. However, things may get a little less wholesome with the upcoming acquisition of much of 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets, a $71.3 billion purchase that will bring darker brands such as FX and Fox Searchlight into the Disney fold. It also means that Fox, which has reaped big profits making R-rated Marvel superhero films such as “Deadpool” and “Logan,” will now be reunited with the Avengers, a team of heroes that never breaches the PG-13 parameters while saving the world.
On a call with investors, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that Disney will continue to make R-rated Deadpool movies and other adult-oriented Marvel adventures after it absorbs much of Fox.
“We will continue in that business,” promised Iger, adding, “There’s certainly popularity” with those types of films.
Iger hinted that these films won’t be released under the traditional Marvel or Disney banner. The company will make it an effort to ensure it is “carefully branding [R-rated films]…so we’re not in any way confusing the consumer,” Iger said.
That will come as a relief for fanboys and fangirls who worried that the Disney might scrub a certain Merc’s mouth out with soap. However, it probably means that any Deadpool and Toy Story crossovers will have to remain in the realm of perverse pop culture fan fiction.