What does the Fox say? “Peace out!” It’s the end of an era, as Disney is scratching the name “Fox” from its newly acquired subsidiaries. 20th Century Fox Studios will now simply be called 20th Century Studios, while the more artsy Fox Searchlight Pictures will become Searchlight Pictures.
‘Downhill’, an upcoming comedy film starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus will be the first to be released under the banner of Searchlight Pictures. Promotional posters have already been released featuring the new logo. ‘Call of the Wild’ will be the first movie released bearing the 20th Century Studios banner. On a more inside level, Searchlight employees have already been given new email addresses, swapping out “fox.com” with “searchlight.com.”
Traditionalists shouldn’t worry too much, as it appears the old Fox fanfare will still sound the start of each movie, complete with crisscrossing spotlights, just minus the word “Fox.”
Why the shortened names? Disney’s buyout of 21st Century Fox last year did not include the FOX television network or Fox News, because that would have led to possible monopolies. FOX and Fox News are part of Fox Corp. under CEO Lachlan Murdoch. This appears to have led to a little confusion, but per Variety, Fox Corp. “has no reason to change its name.” So it was on Disney to differentiate its properties from Fox Corp.’s.
And it is rather important for Disney to draw the line. The family-friendly conglomerate will do anything to avoid offending people. We all remember the James Gunn debacle of last year. Fox News has a tendency to draw controversy due to its right-wing political style, but as if that weren’t enough, the outlet has also been hit with a number of sexual harassment charges.
Once again, Disney doesn’t own it, but some people don’t know that. With this name change, hopefully, Disney can avoid the confusion.
But as an aside, shouldn’t they have changed the “20th Century” part? It’s about 20 years out of date.