Disney Buys the Vatican, Declares Crusades Non-Canon

by Drew Thomas-Nathan

Burbank, CA — After two decades spent purchasing beloved storytelling institutions, the Walt Disney Company has managed to outdo itself by buying the Vatican. The company also announced Sunday that the niche “Crusades” stories will be struck from the continuity.

The exclusive commercial rights to Catholicism and relevant characters such as Saint Peter, Pope Francis, and the Romans join a long list of acquired intellectual property including the collected works of Disney Animation, Pixar, Marvel Comics, LucasArts, 20th Century Fox, ABC, the Muppets, a little bit of Hulu, and every other part of your childhood.

Disney has also decided the bloody, fan-favorite Crusades series, which left off at the ninth installment, will be considered non-canon going forward. CEO Bob Iger said in a press release, “We have plans for future releases to wade into that epoch of our new Intellectual Property’s history and have chosen to prioritize creative freedom and surprising our audience over repeating the same old ongoing wars for Jerusalem.”

This decision comes as a blow to the arc’s fans, who refer to themselves as “Crusaders.” Within hours they flooded social media with disappointed speculations on how the crusades will be “Disney-fied” or watered down for general audiences. One 4chaner wrote, “They’re probably gonna take out all the mindless pillaging in the name of God just to make it more PC.”

The behemoth announced a slate of upcoming movies utilizing the property to hit theaters as soon as 2021. The list includes a new animated musical about the crucifiction, a CGI-filled Old Testament prequel trilogy, and a gritty live-action spinoff simply titled David. The moves shall be connected in a sprawling Bible Cinematic Extended Universe (BCEU).

Regardless of threats from riled Crusaders, Disney has hopes higher than the Tower of Babel for their investment. Sources heard the $66.6 billion for the purchase described as “pocket change,” even so soon after the Fox purchase. Chairman Alan Horn believes the hefty expenditure is wise. “You know Warner Brothers wanted to buy this property too, but we can’t let Solomon fight Batman,” declared Horn. “We need Solomon to fight Iron Man! And WALL-E! And Kermit!”

Disney has announced the BCEU will keep to hard “R” ratings, after the standard set by “The Passion of the Christ.”