Amazon-MGM Deal Likely Won’t End James Bond Franchise’s Theatrical Run

Today, it was announced that Amazon is going to purchase MGM Studios for an impressive $8.45 billion, which includes co-ownership of the James Bond franchise alongside EON Productions. However, as mentioned by The Hollywood Reporter, this won’t impact the release of No Time To Die’s October release and might not overturn the franchise’s box office dominance or future theatrical release.

As they point out, the deal likely won’t close and the distribution for No Time To Die will most likely stand as is.

On the theatrical front, it’s unlikely that MGM and United Artists Releasing would change plans for their remaining 2021 theatrical releases — including the James Bond pic No Time to Die — particularly since the deal is likely to take months to close. UAR is a subsidiary of MGM and handles domestic distribution duties for MGM titles (Universal has international on No Time to Die).

They also highlight that EON wouldn’t be terribly keen to pull James Bond from theaters for streaming only as the franchise is best known for a big screen presence and given Amazon won’t have full ownership they’ll have to play nice. Given the amount of money Amazon would be giving up to make Bond a streaming property wouldn’t make a lot of sense from a business standpoint, as it could be just as lucrative to make Prime Video being the streaming home for the franchise.

The Bond franchise has always been a marquee theatrical franchise that’s well known around the globe. And Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson, whose U.K. production company EON is 007’s home, are especially keen on the big-screen experience. (EON and MGM share rights via a holding company.)

Daniel Craig is expected to retire from the Bond role, allowing a new unnamed actor to step in for the untitled Bond 26, which is said to be developed by No Time To Die screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

No Time To Die will hit theaters on October 8.

The cast will include Daniel Craig as James Bond, Lea Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, Rami Malek (Bohemian Rapsody) as a new villain named Safin (Dr. No?), Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) as Felix Leiter, Ralph Fiennes (The King’s Man) as M, Christoph Waltz returning as Spectre’s Blofeld, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel) as Nomi aka the new Agent 007, Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) as Paloma, Ben Whishaw as Q, Billy Magnussen, Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, David Dencik, and Dali Benssalah.

NO TIME TO DIE – Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. 

SOURCE: THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

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