Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight

Fox, Fox Searchlight and FX Networks will keep their names as production entities once the Disney-Fox merger closes, The Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Bob Iger said on Thursday (7).

Iger delivered the news to shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, adding that he expected the $71.3bn Disney-Fox transaction to close soon.

The executive said he expected to “hit the ground running” once all the 21st Century Fox entertainment assets were under the Disney roof, and explained the company had spent the best part of last year planning for integration.

Iger also delivered news on the anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme parks, which will open earlier than scheduled on May 31 in Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Similarly, the attraction will open its doors at Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida, on August 29.

He described the attractions as Disney’s most ambitious feat on that side of the business. The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run ride will open in Disneyland on May 31, followed later in the year by Star Wars: Rise Of The Resistance, which Iger called the most technologically advanced and immersive ride the park has ever housed. The 14-acre park at Disneyland will include shops and restaurants, and full-scale droids.

Turning to the Disney+ streaming platform set to launch towards the end of the year, Iger said it will encompass the entire Disney library.