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Disney kills ‘Fox’ name for film, TV title still in limbo

Disney has removed the Fox name from any film studios inherited in last year’s US$71 billion acquisition, but no decisions have been made on any Fox TV networks.

There was already some confusion, with the acquisition not including Fox News or the Fox broadcast network which remained part of Fox Corp. It is also believed that Disney wanted to move away from the Fox name due to its association with the controversial Murdoch family.

As such, the 20th Century Fox film studio will become 20th Century Studios, while Fox Searchlight Pictures will be just Searchlight Pictures. Email addresses have been changed, and the latter studio’s next film – Downhill – will be the first to be advertised with the Searchlight Pictures branding.

That said, Disney is yet to make a decision on 20th Century Fox Television and FOx 21 Television Studios, with a Variety report saying that “no consensus has emerged”.

The Murdoch family’s News Corporation bought 20th Century Fox in the 1980s, with the company later being split off between News Corp and 21st Century Fox. The latter was acquired by Disney in 2019 for US$71 billion, with the company picking up the licences for hit movies such as Avatar, Alien and Die Hard in the process.