In what might be the least gentle gesture of an acquisition process that has already been pretty damn un-gentle to date, Disney announced today that its recently purchased vassals at 20th Century Fox have now been stripped even of their long-familiar names. In an act of frank and obvious vulpine intolerance, Variety reports that the X-Men studio has now been rebranded simply “20th Century Studios,” while Fox Searchlight has been rendered “Searchlight Pictures.”
On the one hand, okay: It was getting a little confusing to parse the various version of the Fox brand now operating in the pop culture ecosystem, what with the TV network continuing to operate under that name (even as most of its TV productions, like The Simpsons, have now been acquired by Disney). But on the other hand, there’s also a matter of Hollywood history to consider; although 20th Century Fox didn’t form until 1935, the original Fox Film Corporation dates back all the way to 1915—before the founding of The Walt Disney Company, if it comes to that.
Still, at least the studio has been gifted with a new, more modern moniker. After all, what says “Hey, we respect this studio and want it to succeed in the fast-paced, contemporary world of 2020!” like keeping 20th Century right there in the name?