Five Studios Wrestling Over James Bond

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli attend 'James Bond Spectre: The Auction' at Christie's King Street on February 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Michael Wilson and Barbara Broccoli attend 'James Bond Spectre: The Auction' at Christie's King Street on February 18, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images) /
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The New York Times is reporting that five studios are in contention for the distribution rights to Bond 25.

The release of Spectre ended Sony Pictures’ four-film deal with EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), which began with Casino Royale in 2006. However, Sony is still in the running to retain those rights.

According to the Times article, Sony stepped up its game. The studio presented its pitch on a recreated set from the 1962 film, Dr. No. This indicates just how important James Bond can be for a studio, even without an actor or director attached to the project. Sony’s four Bond films (Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre) earned a combined $3.5 billion worldwide (in inflation adjusted dollars).

Other studios in the running are 20th Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. Relative newcomer Annapurna, under the leadership of Megan Ellison, is also in the running. In recent years, Annapurna has become a major Hollywood player, with the release of films like Her, American Hustle, and Joy.

Neither Paramount nor Disney has expressed interest in the distribution rights, for different reasons. Paramount is undergoing leadership change. Disney already has a successful franchise in Marvel.

Unlike their previous deal with Sony, EON and MGM are seeking distribution rights for one film only: Bond 25. The Times suggests that MGM’s future is uncertain and that a long-term commitment to a studio isn’t in their best interests.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson run EON Productions and have overseen the last eight Bond films, dating back to Golden Eye, in 1995. There is no set timetable for when they and MGM will select their distributor for Bond 25.

Keep checking eyeonbond.com and @eyeonbond for updates.

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