Fox President Peter Rice Says Disney/Fox Deal Will Close January 1

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It looks like Disney is ready to celebrate New Year’s Day 2019 with a bang. Well, with a massive expenditure, at least.

READ MORE: Disney-Fox Merger: What Does It Mean For The Big Film Franchises?

According to Variety, Disney is set to close the massive deal to acquire 21st Century Fox earlier than expected. While most people speculated that the deal would take until mid-2019 to close, officially, Peter Rice, the current Fox president and future Disney TV executive, says the deal will be done by January 1, 2019.

READ MORE: Drew Goddard Updates ‘X-Force’ And Hints At Complications Due To Disney/Fox Merger

The report comes from an internal meeting that happened earlier today with Rice and members of his staff. Obviously, the big question surrounding the merger is “What the hell is happening with the ‘Gambit’ film?” Kidding. The obvious question is how the merger affects thousands of jobs that are said to be up for termination. Rice didn’t get into specifics but did say that layoffs were going to occur.

Unlike other mergers, Disney and Fox share a staff that is filled with duplicate positions, leading many in the entertainment industry to assume that hundreds of people will be out of a job when the contracts are all finalized.

READ MORE: Fox Pushes ‘X-Men Dark Phoenix’ To Summer 2019 Just Days After Its Trailer Debut

As for the fanboy questions, who knows what this means for the slate of Fox superhero films that includes “Dark Phoenix,” “The New Mutants,” any potential “Deadpool” sequels (including “X-Force”), and of course, “Gambit” (spoiler alert – it was dead before and will stay dead). Obviously, we’ll find out more as the deal becomes closer to finalization, but we can safely assume that 2019 is going to be a year for massive change for Disney.

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