09 September 2017

Hollywood Reporter: “Apple, Amazon join Race for James Bond Film Rights”

The tech giants are willing to spend in the same ballpark as Warner, 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 Warner and Sony the most aggressive.

But the emergence of Apple — which is considered such a viable competitor that Warner 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.

Tatiana Siegel & Borys Kit

Expect yearly releases with titles such as James Bond Strikes Back, The Last James Bond and James Bond: Civil War.

James Bond illustration
Illustration by Guy Shield

Speaking more seriously, I wonder how it would play out for the James Bond franchise if Apple or Amazon wins these rights. Would they license new movies to other distributors and launch them in movie theaters like a regular movie producer? Or keep them behind the closed walls of their respective platforms? The latter option seems to be the choice taken by Disney for the Marvel and Star Wars movies. It remains to be seen if this strategy can attract subscribers, but personally I doubt people will start paying for multiple streaming services for each franchise.

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