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Friday, August 30, 2019 

Disney is the bad guy in fallout with Sony

In this op-ed on Bounding Into Comics, the writer makes the case Sony's not one to blame in the split between them and Disney over the Spider-Man movie deals:
So the consensus is Sony is wrong and foolish and should come back to the table, right? No, not entirely. Because there are dissident viewpoints of the situation, like that of the usually private daughter of Spidey co-creator Stan Lee, Joan “JC” Lee. She accused Marvel and Disney execs of not respecting her father, his legacy, or his family and added there should be checks and balances over “Marvel and Disney seeking total control” here.

I for one think she has a point and I agree. JC Lee is right
and it doesn’t end with Spider-Man. Disney is unchecked and it’s out of control. They are getting too big, too fast. Never mind “too big to fail,” Disney is so big now they think they can’t fail and can do whatever. That’s a discussion we should be having. Think about how big the Disney Corp. is compared to a decade or so ago, back when they didn’t possess Star Wars or Marvel. They now own over 30% of the market share in entertainment. Remember how it got to that point?

Disney did another thing this year that made headlines. They acquired 21st Century Fox, only one of the major studios dating back to Hollywood’s Golden Era. Fox is still one of the biggest names in town and the world. After close to a century of existence, Disney just went ahead and gobbled it up in their merger spree of the last few years. Where’s the outrage? In any other industry, heads would turn and there might be calls for Senate hearings, but I digress.

The House of Mouse initiated the sale to get at Fox’s vast catalog of IP’s which contained the X-Men and Fantastic Four film licenses. Add to that other renowned and valuable properties such as Alien, Predator, and The Simpsons (yeah, the Mouse owns The Simpsons now too). Nothing is out of their reach and nothing is too expensive.

Imagine, if you will, Disney buying another competitor: Warner Bros. What would the reaction be? Tremendous, right? Even shocked and maybe even a little disturbed (given the foundation-shaking change that hypothetically takes place). That purchase would bring DC Comics, Harry Potter, and more into the Disney empire. Should that happen? No. Does Disney need either DC or HP in its portfolio? Absolutely not. Nothing of the sort has to come to pass regardless of how exciting the idea might be.

Just because they are a conglomerate doesn’t mean they can or ought to own everything. Granted, there is an exception to the Webhead. It’s Marvel’s stuff and they want him back. Only fair, I know, but JC Lee said something else that hit me: “Whether it’s Sony or someone else’s, the continued evolution of Stan’s characters and his legacy deserves multiple points of view.” Can we say with complete certainty back home at Marvel is the best place for that to happen?
Judging from the way they're handled now, both by Marvel-based staff and Disney by extension, both the comics and now the movies under Kevin Feige, the answer is "no". Not that Sony's a great place for Spidey either, because even their adaptations haven't been free of political correctness and SJW pandering, but then, it's not like Marvel's done anything to deserve the rights to the movie productions themselves. And Disney is way too big already, probably worse off than Time Warner at this point, if only because TW sold off a few of their properties (but not DC, unfortunately). I believe it would help if Disney sold off some of the properties they currently own, and once, they actually did part ways with AOL, which they once had a stake in. They're not handling a lot of these things well, because they're putting social justice above entertainment merit, and sooner or later, it will bring them down.

More important than the Marvel movies is the comics, and that's something I've advocated in the past that they sell off to a business that actually cares. Same with TW and DC. Corporations and conglomerates, as I've argued before, are becoming the worst thing that could happen to any once-acclaimed entertainment product, and the best way to send a message is to avoid corporate-owned showbiz items.

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What's the dif? They both make lousy comic book movies.

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