When it was announced last year that Disney was going to spend over $70 billion to purchase Fox, pundits and film fans were shocked. Not just because the deal turned Disney into a megastudio, but also that Fox was so quickly absorbed by another studio. Fox had such a long history in Hollywood, that it was almost sad to see it go. But according to a new report, that legendary studio has been nothing but a pain in the ass for Disney.
According to a new report from Variety, Disney is finding that some of the Fox projects that film fans are going to be super excited for are providing more headaches for the studio. The Mouse House is used to scheduling big-budget superhero films, “Star Wars” films, and family-friendly fare. But one of the films that is proving to be a bit of a head-scratcher for the studio is the Fox Searchlight satire “Jojo Rabbit.”
Taika Waititi’s World War II satire featuring the filmmaker starring as an imaginary version of Adolf Hitler isn’t the typical Disney movie. Sure, this awards contender is being released by indie-focused Fox Searchlight, but now that Fox exists under the Disney banner, the higher-ups are starting to wonder how films like “Jojo Rabbit” can affect the Mickey Mouse brand.
Variety is reporting that during a “Jojo Rabbit” screening for executives at Disney, one person not-so-subtlety made his/her worries known by saying that they were concerned about how the film might “alienate” the core Disney audience. As you might expect, Waititi’s film isn’t something that executives at the megastudio are used to releasing and the biting satire of one of the most infamous villains in human history isn’t what people who buy theme park tickets expect from Disney.
Of course, this isn’t to say that Disney is going to force Fox Searchlight to change anything about the film or marketing, but it does paint the picture that the executives at the Mouse House are probably going to think twice about this sort of film in the future. Or at the very least, find a way to further push these films away from their core audience.
So, it would seem that the peaceful harmony that Disney was probably hoping for when it purchased Fox is leading to some unforeseen issues and second-guessing. Hey, at least we’re still getting “Jojo Rabbit” in theaters on October 18.