Amazon to buy MGM

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  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 31,077Chief of Staff

    Side issue- would Bond have remained more "current" if Eon had stuck to a regular release schedule, say one every two years (pandemics excepted) giving us 10 in the last 20 years rather than 5 with long gaps between?

  • CoolHandBondCoolHandBond Mactan IslandPosts: 3,908MI6 Agent

    Definitely so, Barbel. Continuing series need regular new episodes, whether in visual or written format.

    I agree with chrisno1, in that a continuing series for Bond would be a good way to go as Amazon are doing with the Jack Reacher books, one book dramatised every year. I would prefer it to be updated as CR06 was though, that was the perfect example of updating a novel to present times.

    But it has been stated that the films will continue as normal though. I can’t imagine Amazon resting on their laurels though, and I think they will heap enormous pressure on the producers to make a film every 2 years, without their financing the Bond series will be dead in the water, as there is no way the producers would finance the future projects on their own.

    I would like to see spin-off series of Leiter and early days of M - the Starzplay series of the early days of Alfred Pennyworth is superb.

    Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,151MI6 Agent
    edited May 29

    I'm happy with every three years- I feel like two years is perhaps a bit too much pressure for films on this scale. The only film series that I can think of which attempted that recently was Star Wars and everyone moaned about those.

    Not even the Avengers movies did it (the last two were shot back-to-back I think)

    I wouldn't be hugely holding out for a TV series of adaptations- we've had the books adapted largely already save for a couple of exceptions. A version of Goldfinger without the clever bomb plot, laser beam, iconic lines, Connery, DB5, Adam's sets or Barry's music would just seem bland and would get the thumbs down from most fans, let's face it.

    Would people want the gunbarrel/Bond theme in these TV shows?

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,766MI6 Agent

    I agree that a film every two years is probably too often.

    Question: how much will Amazon (Bezos) decide regarding the next Bond actor? Maybe EON chose and Bezos has a veto?

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,151MI6 Agent
    edited May 29

    I think that sounds possible to me. The guys who ran the studio around the time GoldenEye was starting up say that they told Eon they didn't want Dalton, so it seems that sort of thing can happen.

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 2,298MI6 Agent

    a film every two years sounds perfect to me, they should be thinking ahead while still working on the new one. Its actually strange these Craig ones being made so far apart as they're the first ones with ongoing plot threads, they'd have benefited from a tighter schedule.


    I like the idea of a period set teevee series to escape the problem of ever evolving cultural norms. The stories could be unapologetically what Fleming wrote if conspicuously set in a specific time and place. But then that in itself would be a risk, such a retro-version of Bond might play up the sexist/racist/imperialist aspects all out of proportion, just to meet 21st century expectations of how bad things used to be.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,566MI6 Agent

    I think they’ll need to cast someone that both EON and Amazon agree on. And they’ll probably pick an unknown actor and require him to appear in a film every two years for a three-film deal. That way the lead won’t have any leverage to take 5 years off between films. I don’t envision any more waiting around for directors, either. Amazon didn’t pay $8 billion for 2 films per decade.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,105MI6 Agent

    Amazon didn't only buy Bond, they bought MGM's huge catalogue. Bond is part of that and is an ongoing franchise which is why the future of the series is being debated. I do feel that the current long gestation period (even without covid NTTD took an age) means the series has to rebuild its fan base every single time a movie comes out. This becomes a problem when your latest movie is a so-so effort (Spectre, for instance). I'm not enthusiastic for NTTD, never have been, but I might have been if it had followed SP as quickly as QOS followed CR. Even tho' QOS wasn't as good, it didn't matter, I was so excited to get another OO7. I don't think Amazon (or Bezos) is any more interested in Bond than they are in what they can do with the rest of the merchandise. It's about streaming services. I'd be most concerned that Amazon prevents other channels from showing their movies, making them all exclusive to Amazon Prime and nowhere else, not even traditional terrestrial TV. That would be the real issue for me. As I said before, Bond will sort himself out, he usually does.

    In addition to my suggestion of a retro-50s / 60s serial, I wouldn't be adverse to a Young Bond series either, as long as some disclaimer was put forward about them not really being identified as 'canon'. To be perfectly frank, if Amazon does want to influence EoN, I think they'd be better to push for another reboot. After NTTD I suspect there'll be nowhere for this Craig Bond to go except out.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,566MI6 Agent
    edited May 29

    I am aware that Amazon has purchased MGM’s entire library. And most observers believe they vastly overpaid. Bond is MGM’s most viable IP by a long shot. So while it’s an oversimplification when I say they paid $8b for Bond, we all know MGM wouldn’t have fetched anything close to that without Bond.

    I don’t disagree with you that it may, in the short term, generate more interest to do a period adaptation . And I too love Fleming’s original work and would like to see it adapted. But I have zero confidence that it would be done properly. Amazon’s track record with Clancy’s IP is beyond abysmal. So I think the best course is to keep doing what EON has always done: keep Bond in the present day and on the big screen. But they need to go back to what they used to do in terms of making films more often.

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,105MI6 Agent

    That's more than fair, Miles. I think because I keep reading 'Amazon buys Bond' I got a bit frustrated. No one really trusts a behemoth the size of Amazon. They can pretty much do what they want. Unfortunately technology has provided the platform for businesses like this to thrive.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,571MI6 Agent
    edited May 30

    I am guessing that the deal with EON will stay much the same. No question the Bond franchise means huge $$$$ for Amazon.

    IMO, it wouldn't surprise me if Amazon cuts a new deal with EON that will be beneficial to both.

    Regarding Amazon wanting a more consistent schedule of Bond films.

    • Realistically, a production on the level of a Bond film needs three years these days. One of the issues that has caused delays in the past has been MGM's financial issues. That will no longer be a factor.
    • Barbara Broccoli and her beloved small films (that generally don't make a profit) and stage productions between Bond films. I could see Amazon underwriting those films in exchange for a "Bond film every three years" agreement. Plus Amazon Prime would be an excellent platform for EON's smaller films (and Amazon is always looking for material for Prime).
    • Every three years also makes sense from a sales and marketing perspective. EON will still insist on a theatrical release window. EON will probably have to compromise a bit on the length of that window. The new Bond film would then exclusively go to Amazon Prime on a PPV basis and be made available on physical media (4K, Blu Ray, etc) possibly exclusively through Amazon and then free screening of the Bond film to Amazon Prime subscribers.. Amazon is the largest retailer of physical media in the world. Imagine how much more money Amazon would make as the only place you can buy Bond 25 and it's successors on Blu Ray, etc.
    • Amazon at some point would probably take over the sale and marketing of Bond merchandise (nothing like having the world's biggest/most successful online marketer handling your product. Again this is just the musings of someone who knows very little about the "business" and all that.....but it seems to make sense.


  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,566MI6 Agent

    Some good points, Howard. Here’s one other potential upside: when the time comes to do battle in the courts over the coming intellectual property issues, it won’t hurt to have the power of the world’s most powerful company in EON’s corner.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,571MI6 Agent
    edited June 2

    I would have to believe that there is a list of Bond elements separate from the novels that would be considered the intellectual property of EON and its partner. Whether that would be enough to prevent another competing Bond film or TV show is probably in doubt when the rights go into public domain or whatever that is in 2035 or somewhere about. I would imagine EON's legal folks have tried to spin enough of a web of complexities in an effort to scare off the competition with the fear of potential lawsuits and the resultant legal fees which could put the profitability of someone else making a Bond film down the road prohibitive. I know very little about these types of issues, but I have always wondered if another deal could be cut to extend EON/partners exclusive rights to make Bond films, etc.

    As Miles previously said, having the very, very, very deep pockets and power of Amazon an EON's partner can't hurt when that time comes or in keeping it form ever happening.

  • ChriscoopChriscoop Belize Posts: 10,435MI6 Agent

    Yes of course but as a bond fan it had a unique curio nature

    It was either that.....or the priesthood
  • ChriscoopChriscoop Belize Posts: 10,435MI6 Agent

    Whether a 2 year gap is right I'm not so sure, but the problem these days is the fickle nature of us consumers ! Craig's tenure has now been the longest and he hasn't den part of the most films, it's a fine line between remaining relevant and saturation! If we take the Bourne series I personally think the last film was brought out too long after Damon's previous 3, Bourne had left the public's consciousness. Bond is a cinematic institution but times are changing and people are more impatient these days. For me personally there has been an atmosphere of winding down with Bond sadly.

    It was either that.....or the priesthood
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,151MI6 Agent
    edited June 2

    As I've said, as I understand it Danjaq/Eon have the trademark 'James Bond 007' pretty much sown up and they can never lose it unless they choose to let it lapse or sell it to someone else (trademarks and copyrights being two different things). I don't really see how anyone else can make a Bond film with that in mind even after the rights to the novels lapse.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,571MI6 Agent

    Well, if Kevin McClory was still around I'm sure he would give it a shot.☺️

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,566MI6 Agent

    It’s a bit more complicated than that, I think, but you are generally correct. Someone could try to make a film, but it would be met with an immediate cease and desist, and if/when that was not heeded, it would be followed by a motion for emergency injunctive relief in federal court. EON and it’s new behemoth partner could tie up even the largest studio (who would likely never get ensnared in such a mess to begin with) for years. All the while EON would be free to keep making Bond media. Even if a court ultimately determined that some version of a “James Bond” film could be made by someone other than EON, the process to get there would be long, painful, and very costly. With Amazon now backing EON, I can’t see anyone going down that road.

    Of course, all of the above only applies to the US. I have no understanding of how it might play out in another jurisdiction.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,151MI6 Agent

    I think you're probably about right. The name is trademarked in the same way the name Coca Cola is: you could certainly try to make a fizzy drink called 'Coca Cola' but I think you probably wouldn't get very far! 😁

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,766MI6 Agent

    How will the Amazon deal influence how often Bond films are released? I think many assume it'll have a positive impact. But I'm listening to the latest episode of "James Bond and friends" and they're not so sure. What do you think?

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,571MI6 Agent

    As I have said previously, I think Bond films will still remain big "tentpole" theatrical releases that will take advantage of current giant screen premium theater experiences such as IMAX, Dolby Cinema, etc. I also believe that the window of time between the theatrical run and release to home media (PPV, Streaming, Physical Media, etc) will be somewhat reduced as is the present trend. More than likely, I would think that Bond films availability to home media after a theatrical run would probably be exclusive through Amazon media outlets before eventually being licensed to other outlets further down the road.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,766MI6 Agent

    I completely agree. But will Amazon manage to push/help EON to release Bond movies more frequently?

  • CheverianCheverian Posts: 1,114MI6 Agent

    If Amazon can push Eon into a three-year cycle, I expect they will. I haven't seen a convincing argument that these long gaps between movies serve the interests of the franchise. The Cubby days of churning out a film every year or every other year is long gone. (To some extent that kind of content has migrated to its natural format of television.)

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,151MI6 Agent

    Yes three years seems possible, two years seems like it's too tight I think.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,766MI6 Agent

    Yes, about every three years would be ideal.

    I wonder what has been done with Bond 26 so far. Ideally some work has been done on chosing the Bond actor and the director, and at least one or more treatments for a script. Sadly I'm not sure that this has been done.

  • Miles MesservyMiles Messervy Posts: 1,566MI6 Agent

    My guess is they might be messing about with an early screenplay, but that’s probably the most we could hope for.

  • Number24Number24 NorwayPosts: 17,766MI6 Agent

    I chose to be a naive optimist and say they have started work on casting James Bond.

  • HowardBHowardB USAPosts: 2,571MI6 Agent
    edited June 6

    I would guess that EON has an ever evolving list of potential Bond actors, especially given that Daniel Craig is moving on. Unlike what many tend to do, which is focus on the hot name of the moment, I think EON looks at things differently. I would believe they decide what direction they want to take the Bond character/franchise and go from there. I think EON likes to find someone a little more under the radar, who isn't being rumored for a bunch of other big films or roles in other successful franchises that could drive the price up initially on an otherwise relatively unproven actor. I also think that with the Bond films being taken a bit more seriously critically with the Craig films and the bar raised for realistic action scenes, getting someone with acting chops but who can look pull off action and look convincing (unlike superhero films where it's easy to substitute the star with stuntmen in costumes w/ masks or replace them entirely with CGI) is a real issue when it comes to a Bond film.

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