The Walt Disney company this morning announced a deal to buy Marvel Entertainment. Disney says it will pay about $4 billion for the company that brought us Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man.
The official press release quote from Disney:
"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."
Under the deal, Disney will own all 5,000 or so Marvel characters, Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter will stay on to oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney's global lines of business to "build and further integrate Marvel's properties." The deal will be complete once it is approved by Marvel shareholders (but I'll bet they're pretty happy with this turn-of-events) and is pending approval by the government.
Obviously, this merger has huge implications in the worlds of video games, film, television and popular culture in general. We'll be bringing you updates throughout the day, as well as expert commentary and reaction, so keep checking back! For now, I'm just going to let this news sink in, and encourage you to respond in our comment section!