In the wake of the Disney-Fox merger, Disney has decided to shelve all but a handful of the currently in development film projects at Fox. Nearly 300 films have been cancelled, including films based on Mega Man, Magic: The Gathering, The Sims, and Assassin's Creed 2.
Disney will be moving forward with James Cameron's Avatar franchise (of which there are currently 4 sequels in production) as well as a future Planet of the Apes film and the indie-focused Fox Searchlight brand, all others, at least for the time being, will not be moving forward.
The decision appears to be based on Fox's reported $170 million operating loss in Disney's fiscal third quarter. Earnings for the studio where not at all where Disney expected them to be after the acquisition, and much of the blame seems to be on Dark Phoenix, the final film in the X-Men franchise, for under-performing.
Dark Phoenix grossed just $65 million on a budget of over $200 million, less than even the original X-Men from 2000 made. Disney CEO Bob Iger also attributes the operating costs to over-inflated marketing expensive, specifically with relation to the upcoming Ford Vs. Ferrari starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon.
As for the cancelled films, it is unknown how far along these projects were at the time they were cancelled. Rumors of a Mega Man movie first began to circulate in 2014, but it wasn't until this past October that Capcom confirmed the project was in development at Fox. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the team behind Catfish and Nerve, were set to write and direct the film. Now, it seems that won't be happening.
The Magic: The Gathering film was meant to be the start of an entire franchise. Fox announced their plans for the series back in 2014 and tapped Director Simon Kinberg to lead the whole thing. The films have rarely been mentioned since then, but with the Russo Brother's now developing a Magic: The Gathering series for Netflix, it seemed like perhaps this film wasn't ever going to happen anyway.
While The Sims movie has been presumed dead for years, Assassin's Creed 2 was thought to have gone into production shortly after the release of the original. It was planned for a 3 movie franchise, but that may never come to pass now.
Other notable cancelled Fox films include Chronicle 2, Flash Gordon, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and a Die Hard reboot called McClane. It's just too bad Disney can't spare us from that Sonic the Hedgehog movie too.
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