In the wake of what is assuredly the largest media purchase in history, new parent company Disney is dropping the ax on several Fox projects that were already in various stages of production. This follows hot on the footsteps of the House of Mouse shuttering the long-standing studio subsidiary Fox 2000.
News has broken that several projects have been canceled, including Mouse Guard a film based on the popular independent comic series by writer-artist David Peterson. Also getting the plug pulled on them are the Woody Harrelson vehicle Fruit Loops, along with News of the World, set to star Tom Hanks. This news doesn’t mean certain death for these projects, just that Disney has decided to release the films to find homes at other studios, in obvious financial moves.
Mouse Guard, for example, was deemed to be too expensive for a non-franchise film, so it was jettisoned, but it will likely be picked up by another distributor. Other projects have already been picked up by Universal and Paramount.
The list of films that have been spared includes the Kingsman prequel film The Great Game, directed by X-Men: First Class’ Matthew Vaughn, Steven Spielberg’s pet project remake of West Side Story, and Fear Street a low-budget horror flick dealing with witchcraft. West Side Story is among those greenlit films that are still facing some scrutiny, however. One such stumbling block is the choice to have teens in Spielberg’s flick smoke on-screen.
Of course, Disney also acquired James Cameron’s Avatar film franchise with their merger with Fox and surprising to no one, that Avatar 2 will not fall onto the cutting room floor. Disney has already dumped a huge amount of money into it’s Animal Kingdom theme park attraction Pandora: World of Avatar, and so will likely push Cameron’s coming sequels to the forefront. Avatar 2 recently finished shooting and is expected to release in 2020.
One film that has faced much speculation as to its future is the already-completed and perpetually postponed New Mutants film from The Fault in Our Stars’ Josh Boone. It is not on the chopping block and is still planned to be the thirteenth and final film in Fox’s X-Men universe of films before those characters, ostensibly, join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That film is slated currently for an August 2019 release.
There is sure to be additional fallout from this historic merger. Stay with FanFest for further updates.
Rich Davenport graduated from Concordia University in St. Paul Minnesota with a B.A. in Mass Communication. He is a lifelong comicbook reader, a film fan and a hardcore video gamer. He also makes a lot of funny faces in pictures, much to his wife’s chagrin.