The combination of Fox and Disney will lead to billions of dollars in "synergies," Robert Iger said in announcing the deal.
The Disney chairman was referring to a wide range of partnerships (and, potentially, cost-cutting). But also among those synergies is the possibility of characters crossing over between the two companies.
Such pairings aren't a certainty, given that Disney has thus far kept its acquisitions somewhat siloed (there's no Luke Skywalker animated Pixar character - yet). Also, licensing being what it is - and internal bureaucracy being what it is - you're almost as likely to see characters making the jump from other conglomerates as within the family. See, for instance, how Sony licensed Batman and all those Warner Bros. properties for its Lego movies.
But there certainly could be some characters making the crossover cut as the company of ABC, Marvel and Lucasfilm brings a whole bunch of new properties into the fold. Here are some beloved Fox characters that could be combined with Disney entities to form a super- group - and some that, for a variety of reasons, you'll never see.
THE SIMPSONS AND MICKEY MOUSE
Two of the most folkloric cartoon creations in history often seemed like they were on a collision course - hence the 1998 Disney-owns-Fox joke (it was in the Alec Baldwin-Kim Basinger episode). And the truth is that, as a satire, "The Simpsons" doesn't need much permission to feature Mickey - hence why they've dipped into Disneyland over the years, on the couch and in the streets.
Still, an in-house ownership might make for some new opportunities - or at least provide an incentive for tweaking. Show creator James L. Brooks was already getting in on the act Thursday with an homage-paying illustration.
AVATAR AND DISNEY THEME PARKS
This one of course already exists, via Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom. That's the result of a deal Disney struck six years ago with director James Cameron's company and Fox to license the theme-park rights to the highest grossing movie of all time.
But here's the rub: Bringing the title in-house means the company has more incentive to promote and build out the world - especially as a lot of sequels are on the way. So look for a lot more Avatar representation in Disney parks - Na'vi tails could soon be as ubiquitous as Mouse Ears.
THIS IS US AND...PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING ELSE
Jack's death on the Fox TV-produced hit has bedevilled fans for months, as clues have been slowly teased out. Maybe Disney properties could hold the key.
Did an attempt at putting on the Iron Man suit go tragically awry? Did Buzz Lightyear inadvertently take him past infinity? Was Kylo Ren involved? This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman doesn't seem like a crossover guy, but you never know what kind of new toys these TV writers might want to play with.
PLANET OF THE APES AND THE DISNEY-VERSE?
The revived franchise, which just brought out its third movie this summer, seemed like it might be winding down. But maybe not. Director Matt Reeves has talked about more, potentially without the signature Caesar.
What other way to jump-start it than with some well-placed Disney characters? Might seem a tad too much. Then again, they said the same thing throwing 20 superhero characters into one movie, and look at how The Avengers turned out.
And if producers want to balance it out with a little artiness, they can always look to Fox Searchlight's prestige catalogue. Juno on Pandora. James Franco from 127 Hours rescued by Anna and Kristoff. Napoleon Dynamite in a galaxy far, far away.
CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE AVENGERS AND THE X-MEN
The mother lode. Marvel has been endlessly plumbing new characters for a long time now. But Robert Downey Jr. needs some new friends sometimes.
Now the company will have them, as a Fox license for Logan/Wolverine, Deadpool and others return to Marvel.
Tough to say how quickly we'll see a full-on crossover movie, given that Avengers: Infinity War already seems to have its cupboard stocked. But Marvel Studios likes nothing more than tucking some new, spinoff-ready characters into a ready-made hit.
A rap battle between the silver-tongued Deadpool and equally fast-rhyming Iron Man?
Expect their ilk soon enough.