Disney has officially purchased most of Fox, marking one of the biggest changes in the entertainment landscape in history. Disney is purchasing all of 21st Century Fox, save for the news and sports elements of the company, in a $52.4 billion deal. And The Simpsons predicted that this very thing was going to happen in 1998.
Over the nearly 30-year run of The Simpsons, the series has managed to predict some rather crazy events that actually happened in real-life. Donald Trump's presidency, Siegfried and Roy's tiger attack, Lady Gaga performing at the Super Bowl and now, the biggest entertainment story of the year. Darren Rovell, a sports reporter for ESPN, a company owned by Disney prior to the Fox purchase, pointed this out on Twitter, with a screencap of the prediction from the 1998 episode, When You Dish Upon a Star.
"Disney announces it has reached a deal to acquire 21st Century Fox, as predicted by a Simpsons episode that first aired on November 8, 1998."
In the episode of The Simpsons, Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard heads to Fox studios to pitch producer Brian Grazer on an idea. Once at the Fox studio lot, there's a sign that can be seen, which reveals the company is now "A Division of Walt Disney Co." In 1998, this was clearly nothing more than a preposterous joke. But now it's a reality. Disney is the most powerful studio on the planet, assuming this deal is eventually approved by antitrust regulators. Instead of the six major studios that currently exist, once the deal is finalized and approved, it will be just five, with Disney sitting atop the mountain.
Disney has always been a major entertainment brand, but in 1998, Disney hadn't even started making their major acquisitions yet. In the years since, the Mouse House has purchased Pixar, Lucasfilm, ESPN and Marvel. Now, with Fox, Disney will control the X-Men, Avatar, Alien, Die Hard and yes, The Simpsons franchises. How is it that The Simpsons could have possibly predicted this radical merger long before Disney started swallowing up franchises and major entertainment companies? It's pretty impressive. This isn't the first crazy thing they put on the air that came true, and it probably won't be the last.
Now that Disney owns Fox, there's the question of what will happen to The Simpsons? Will the sitcom still continue under the Disney umbrella? There's a lot to consider with this acquisition. Does the show really fit with Disney's plans? Also, maybe now we'll actually get to see the movie Ron Howard pitched on that Simpsons episode. In case you don't remember, Howard pitched a movie about a murderous robot driving instructor from the future who travels back in time and is forced to choose whether or not his best friend, who happens to be a talking pie, dies. Make it happen, Disney.