James Bond is an iconic franchise, an important part of entertainment culture. No matter who embodies the role or who crafts the story, audiences love to get more of the super suave spy and his crazy adventures. Sadly, though, ever since the release of Spectre in 2015, the franchise has been in a strange state of limbo.
With Sony's distribution rights to the character having expired in 2015 and #DanielCraig hesitant to return, fans have had a lot of questions, mainly, when would we see the iconic 007 return to the big screen? Most importantly, who would be cast?
Well, a new piece of information has surfaced that gives us an indication about not only the future of the franchise but also - believe it or not - a glimmer of hope for Craig reprising the role. Turns out that, with Sony's distribution deal done...
Studios Are In A Bidding War For The Distribution Rights Of 'Bond 25'
The New York Times is reporting that five studios are currently in a stressful bidding war to attain the distribution rights to Bond 25 (which is currently in development) along with Sony. They are Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna.
In a great example of life imitating art, this battle is a lot more crazy that you might have imagined. Reportedly, MGM and Eon Productions have also been attending presentations created by the studios who want Bond's distribution rights.
Sony, for example, made a presentation partly given by chief executive, Kazuo Hirai, inside a recreated set from 1963's Dr. No. There, the case was made about the company's understanding of the character and the expansion it wants for the franchise.
But hold on, it gets even more complicated. MGM and Eon are only offering a one-movie deal, which is why I specified the deal being for #Bond25. That's considerably smaller than the four-picture deal they struck with Sony.
It's worth mentioning that the excitement to snag the rights of the property is a bit surprising, monetarily speaking. When Sony was in charge, for example, the studio was forced to cover 50% of Skyfall's budget (so, approximately $100 million) and the marketing campaign.
Once the movie was released, not only did the studio receive a mere 25% of the profit made by the movie, it also had to give MGM a cut of the profit for its non-Bond films, one of them being 22 Jump Street.
So, if this deal will give studios the chance to distribute just one Bond film and almost certainly make them lose money, why is there so much excitement to get them? It's all about the bragging rights. The saga has earned over $6 billion at the box office and much more in home media releases and merchandise. So essentially, it's a guaranteed hit, something movie studios are looking for now more than ever in our blockbuster-obsessed society.
Who will end up gaining the character? That's a mystery, but the effort that's been put into achieving that tells us something important: Bond 25 could be with us or at least begin official development really soon. Now, with that said, I bet you're wondering...
What About The Casting?
NYT reported casting for the iconic role was not discussed during these heart-pounding meetings. But studios are still very much interested in Daniel Craig to continue his run as #JamesBond.
According to NYT's sources, producers are hopeful the actor will return to the role for at least one more movie. Which gives the one-picture deal MGM and Eon are looking for make way more sense. Basically, they're most likely trying to get one more movie out of Craig without having to be tied to any given studio for a longer amount of time than necessary.
Could Craig actually return? It's possible, as the report states, producers are hopeful that an already confirmed gap in the actor's schedule will persuade him into taking the job once again.
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Would he actually be willing to take it? Who knows?. It was rumored earlier in April that the actor was about to say yes to Bond one more time. But it's all up in the air.
Well, that's all we know about this new development on the franchise. It's very interesting to get an insight into the kind of effort that goes behind getting these deals done. Let's just hope that, regardless of whichever studio ends up taking the reigns of the new film, we get another amazing Bond adventure.
Would you like to see Daniel Craig return as Bond?
[Source: The New York Times]