Misney? Darvel? Spider-Mouse? Mickey-Man?

So, Disney is buying Marvel Entertainment for $4 Billion.

Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

“This transaction combines Marvel’s strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney’s creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories,” said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. “Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney.”

“We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation,” Iger said.

“Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses,” said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney’s global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel’s properties.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.

The wave of intensely worried comic book fans hit the internet with their ramblings of fear and confusion this morning in response.

I have to admit that I, too, am a bit worried. Not about the comic book side of things, as Disney would have to be idiots to buy one of the most successful comic book companies in the world and then try to tell them how to make comic books. I’m far more concerned about the film ventures from here on out.

Granted, the prospect of a Pixar/Marvel cross over is staggeringly awesome. But I can’t help but look at DC/Time Warner and their track record of films being tied up for years in legal/studio mumbo jumbo, only to be shelved and forgotten.

Marvel has had a rocky history with films based on their properties up until recently. The X-Men franchise did well, the Spider-Man films are considered blockbusters. But overall, many fans felt the films left much to be desired. Iron Man was the first Marvel film in a very long time that pleased seemingly everyone. Incredible Hulk followed and, while I feel it was greatly under appreciated, it still served as a piece to a much larger puzzle (read: The Avengers).

Luckily, if we’re to believe the news we’re hearing about the Disney/Marvel merger (or “crossover”, if you will), it seems that all the film properties currently in development will remain on their current tracks. This means that Kenneth Branagh can continue to direct Thor unfettered, whoever ends up helming the subsequent Captain America and Avengers films (respectively) will be free to do so with minimal studio interference. Likewise, Spider-Man and X-Men properties will remain under the control of Sony (Spidey) and Fox (All Things X).

But what of future productions? What of anything that may come around after these films are finished? I’d really hate to see Marvel’s films suffer the same fate as DC, which is to say having their characters lost in pre-production limbo.

Overall, this is a wonderful enterprise for both companies involved. Disney is bound to make a shitload of money and Marvel now has connections to one of the single most powerful business entities in the world. I just hope Disney is smart enough (and certainly they are, right?) to play a silent big brother role in all of this.

Now for something completely different.

This movie trailer has it all: George Clooney telling Ewan McGregor that he’s a Jedi Warrior, Jeff Bridges playing some sort of military hippy, and goats.

I’m contemplating picking up the book, as the synopsis (and this trailer) makes it sound hilarious. Anyone read it?

Apparently this has been making the rounds for years now, but it’s only now reaching me. Like some sort of signal travelling through space.

I fucking love this:

You’re absolutely fine, your lips are taste of wine, I like to think you’re mine.

God bless the Swedish.

Published by Rob Kaas

Biographical information? I was born 37 years ago. I've lived a little here and there since then. I do not look forward to death. Biographical enough for you?

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