In one of the more surprising announcements to happen along for a while, the Walt Disney Company has just bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion.
While the full terms of the deal have not been announced, it gives the Mouse House ownership rights over more than 5,000 Marvel characters, including Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, Thor and the X-Men.
But don't go expecting things to change overnight, though - the studios that Marvel already has existing partnerships with (Sony for Spider-Man, Paramount for Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers) are staying in place until their contracts run out.
It does mean, however, that Disney will likely be distributing Marvel movies in the future - and giving the company its full marketing weight, similar to the DC/Warners deal.
And in a conference call to announce the big signing, Disney president Robert Iger mentioned that Marvel honchos had had excitable early meetings with John Lasseter, which might point to Pixar/Marvel collaborations down the line. Exciting stuff...
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