A new tidbit from Variety suggests that despite earlier reports from trades that the Disney-21st Century Fox merger would close in January, it’s now looking like March is the new target month.

The Disney-21st Century Fox transaction is expected to close by early March, if not early February. Disney has to sell the local cablers to comply with the terms of the agreement it reached last year with the Justice Department clearing the way for the $71.3 billion transaction.

It remains to be seen if Mexico will still pose a hiccup for that March date and keep in mind this is just a report from Variety they don’t control when a deal of this size completes finalization on an international scale. Trades had previously reported this merger would be completed in January, now they’re saying March. Things increasingly seem to be influx concerning the dates.

Don’t get too excited.

Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige went on the record to suggest that they couldn’t even start planning or coming up with ideas until the merger is finalized, saying “within the next six months” possibly leading me to believe that June or in the summer will be when they’ll actually sit down to plan stuff out.

I wouldn’t be terribly shocked if Feige ended up revealing their Phase 4 plans at D23 Expo in August (23rd-25th), as Spider-Man: Far From Home will have been released by then. Feige has said that Spider-Man: Far From Home will be kickstarting Phase 4 and will be the next big stage for the MCU moving forward.

With the merger not likely completely finalizing until March (possibly into April), I wouldn’t expect to see any cameos or large Easter Eggs in films like Captain Marvel or even Avengers: Endgame as fans have speculated since the merger news broke. Marvel Studios isn’t rushing things and we all need to take a deep breath and just enjoy the moment that the X-Men are coming home to Marvel, don’t’ get ahead of yourselves thinking we’ll see an entire X-Men roster cast weeks before Endgame is released. That isn’t happening as far as we know.

Fans need to be reminded that the $71.3 billion deal isn’t about Avengers Easter Eggs.

On the 20th Century Fox front.

Our pal Daniel Richtman has shared a rumbling that we’ve all suspected since the merger looked to become finalized in 2019. As 20th Century Fox looks to potentially cancel all the Marvel features in development. Since Marvel Studios would essentially retain the film rights from 20th Century Fox, it was always expected that Dark Phoenix and New Mutants would be the final X-Men outings for the studio before Marvel takes over and reboots the X-Men (excluding Deadpool) for the MCU.

However, what is interesting is that Marvel Studios could do whatever it pleases with those projects. Adam McKay seemingly has his eyes set on making a Silver Surfer movie, which has Kevin Feige interested as well, McKay suggesting to MTVNews that discussions are occurring. Stuff like Noah Hawley’s Doctor Doom and even Gambit could be easily retrofitted to fit the MCU, as they have yet to come together or even link to the Fox cinematic universe.

Multiple Man and Silver Surfer were never actually in any real serious development recently, so that shouldn’t be much of a concern to fans. James Franco’s involvement basically killed it on site when sexual misconduct accusations were made public. Silver Surfer had been in development for ages and didn’t look like they had any current plans to revive it anytime soon.

The fate of X-Force and Deadpool 3 could be a little less sad, as Disney’s Bob Iger has said publicly that they’re interested in continuing franchises like Deadpool and that could hold some hope that those two movies will eventually get made. Even going as far to allude that they’d be fine with releasing R-rated X-Men films if the public were able to tell the difference between those and their PG-13 branded films.

Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Great Game looks to be the first R-rated comic book film Disney/20th Century Fox will be releasing post-merger, as it eyes a November release date later this year. This should give some insight what the rollout for future R-rated movies could be from the new arm of Disney.

I’d personally like to see James Mangold’s X-23 and Tim Miller’s Kitty Pryde solo films get made down the line as Marvel Studios is looking to make more female-centric superhero movies.

I think fans should brace themselves for some awesome news in the coming months or years but need to be very patient as development does take time.

SOURCE: VARIETY & DANIEL RICHTMAN

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