A new report suggests the rights to the James Bond franchise could be up for sale. The Bond series is one of the longest-running in cinema, having started with 1962’s Dr No. Both the character and the franchise have gone through many shapes and forms since then, retaining classics tropes – exotic locations, cool gadgets etc – while updating Bond himself for new generations.
It seemed like current Bond Daniel Craig was getting ready to hang up his Walter by the end of Spectre, but the actor has since committed to a fifth and final adventure. The Craig era will have lasted 13 years by the time it ends, making him the longest-serving actor in the role. While he was still deciding if he wanted to return, there were no end of rumors over which actors could replace him – including Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, and Charlize Theron.
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MGM has distributed all the James Bond movies – including unofficial entries like Sean Connery’s Never Say Never Again – but now it seems the rights are up for sale. A new article from THR states that since MGM CEO Gary Barber was suddenly fired in March, there’s been talk the studio and its entire back catalogue are up for sale. The Bond series alone is valued somewhere between $1 and $3 billion and is being used as bait to attract studios like Sony and Warners Bros.
While these rumors have yet to be confirmed, they sound credible. Such a sale comes in the aftermath of the Disney/Fox merger, with the latter studio selling the rights to huge properties like Alien and X-Men for over $50 billion. The rights to Bond alone would make buying MGM a seriously attractive proposition for potential bidders, and with James Bond 25 set for a 2019 release, it shouldn’t take long for offers to roll in.
In the meantime, Danny Boyle is currently attached to direct James Bond 25. No story details have been revealed yet, but apparently, a script is being developed based on a concept he pitched the studio. Craig has also said he wants to end his time as Bond with a great movie, so producers are taking the time to properly develop the project.
It’s unknown if the potential sale of MGM could affect the next James Bond movie, but considering the release date is currently set for November 2019, the film would need to start ramping up for production soon.
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