In 2019, Disney expanded its mammoth universe of fictional characters when it acquired 21st Century Fox, which meant that now Marvel Studios has creative control over the earlier inaccessible members of the X-Men. Since then, fans have been busy concocting theories and possible scenarios which can allow the studio to usher in these beloved Marvel characters. But now we have something new to obsess about- the possibility that Disney might, one day, end up owning DC’s Superman as well.
In 2018, the multinational mass media and entertainment conglomerate Time Warner turned into WarnerMedia after AT&T fought tooth and nail to acquire it for a whopping $85 billion. But apparently, this was a temporary partnership as recently AT&T made a $43 billion deal with Discovery to merge it with WarnerMedia. While AT&T shareholders will be holding a 71% stake in the merged company, Discovery will hold the remaining 29%. This WarnerMedia-Discovery company is currently expected to helmed by Discovery’s current CEO David Zaslav. But might it be that Disney could one day end up owning Superman and other DC characters?
As per a report by CNBC, where the publication made some pretty plausible predictions backed by solid figures, the possible future chief executive of the merged company, David Zaslav is planning to set Discovery sometime in the future. The publication proposed the possibility based on the fact that John Malone, who had supervoting shares in Discovery, decided to give it up to allows the company’s merger with WarnerMedia. Malone had 6.2 million Discovery Class B shares, which is more than what is owned by the other owners of the company. He took the big step of turning his shares into common equity because he wanted the merged WarnerMedia-Discovery the future of being sold to a major technology company, like Amazon, Apple, or possibly Disney. This scenario would mean that whoever acquires it would have access to all the DC characters starting from Batman and Superman to Green Lantern and more.
But as of now, the current trajectory of the merger is definitely not to get ready for a future sale, especially not to transfer Superman to Disney. As per Neil Macker, an equity analyst, the merger is a well-thought business deal. WarnerMedia and Discovery have been brought together to combine and increase both sides of the business and “creating a more compelling direct-to-consumer offering for HBO Max or Discovery Plus.”
This will allow the merged company to give stiffer competition to its contenders, i.e, Disney+ and Netflix. Reportedly, Discovery is ready to spend big bucks (around $20 billion per year) to allow WarnerMedia to make content that allows it to match and hopefully beat its rivals. This is definitely a set goal for Discovery as Zaslav recently shared with Bloomberg that the acquisition “makes us a real formidable global IP business to compete with the best in the business.” There have already been rumors that the former head of Disney Plus, Kevin Mayer, is currently one of the top contenders for run the merged company meaning he’d have control of the fate of Superman from there.
But no matter how many years it takes, there is still every chance that Disney could end up acquiring this WarnerMedia-Discovery combo, and maybe, just like it saved Spiderman, it can help the DCEU to properly adapt Superman too.