Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit, reporting for The Hollywood Reporter:
The James Bond sweepstakes has taken an unexpected turn. While
Warner Bros. remains in the lead to land film distribution rights
to the megafranchise — whose deal with Sony expired after 2015’s
Spectre — a couple of unlikely suitors have emerged that also are
in hot pursuit: Apple and Amazon.
The tech giants are willing to spend in the same ballpark as
Warners, if not much more, for the rights, sources tell The
Hollywood Reporter. MGM has been looking for a deal for more than
two years, and Sony, Universal and Fox also had been pursuing the
property, with Warners and Sony the most aggressive.
But the emergence of Apple — which is considered such a viable
competitor that Warners is now pressing MGM hard to close a deal
— and Amazon shows that the digital giants consider Bond one of
the last untapped brands (like a Marvel, Pixar or Lucasfilm) that
could act as a game-changer in the content space. Apple’s and
Amazon’s inclusion in the chase would indicate that more is on the
table than film rights, including the future of the franchise if
MGM will sell or license out for the right price.
I’ve been saying for years that they should do a spin-off movie starring Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter. Also ripe for spin-offs: the exploits of the other agents in the 00 sector. With Bond, you know he’s going to win in the end. Make some movies or a serious HBO-style limited series about the other agents in the 00 sector and you’d never know who was going to die when. There is a ton of untapped potential in this franchise.
If Apple does win the bidding for these rights, I’m pretty sure we’ve seen the last of Bond using some shitty Sony phone. And, for what it’s worth, Phil Schiller is a huge Bond fan.
★ Wednesday, 6 September 2017