Walt Disney Co. is removing the Fox name from future films 10 months after completing the $71 billion acquisition of the 20th Century Fox entertainment assets, dropping a brand closely tied to the Rupert Murdoch media empire.
Future movies from that studio will be branded as 20th Century Studios, and the Fox Searchlight art-house division will become Searchlight Pictures. Employees in those divisions have already had their email addresses switched to the new monikers.
While Disney had made cuts in staff at the former Fox studio, it is still releasing the acquired company’s films. Disney is expected to continue to use the 20th Century and Searchlight brands, particularly for R-rated films like “Deadpool” that wouldn’t be appropriate for the family-friendly Disney label.
The new branding will appear on upcoming releases “Downhill,” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell, and “Call of the Wild,” starring Harrison Ford. Variety reported the name change earlier Friday.
Fox Corp., a separate business controlled by the Murdoch family, continues to operate the Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network and other media businesses.
The branding change is something of a restoration: 20th Century Fox was formed from the merger of Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film Corp. in 1935.