Well, it's happened, Amazon has merged with MGM in a deal that has seen the company pay a reported $8.45 billion for the struggling studio, giving them the rights to several iconic franchise including Rocky and James Bond. Talks have been escalating between Amazon and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. for the last few weeks which has concluded in a billion-dollar deal, meaning that the likes of 007 will now fall under the Amazon umbrella.
"Amazon will help preserve MGM's heritage and catalog of films, and provide customers with greater access to these existing works. Through this acquisition, Amazon would empower MGM to continue to do what they do best: great storytelling," the Jeff Bezos-founded company said.
"MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films-12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many other icons-as well as 17,000 TV shows-including Fargo, The Handmaid's Tale, and Vikings-that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys," said Mike Hopkins, senior VP of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. "The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM's talented team."
"It has been an honor to have been a part of the incredible transformation of Metro Goldwyn Mayer. To get here took immensely talented people with a true belief in one vision. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank the MGM team who have helped us arrive at this historic day," said Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM. "I am very proud that MGM's Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision. The opportunity to align MGM's storied history with Amazon is an inspiring combination."
Rumors that MGM was being shopped around have been circulating for some time, with the iconic movie studio have been experiencing financial difficulties for years. MGM reportedly has around $2 billion of long-term debt, and was valued at around $5.5 billion, including debt, last December. Thanks to the stock price soaring over the last few days, reaching $150 earlier this week, Amazon have had to pay a pretty penny for the rights to MGM's impressive library, which will likely be used to boost their streaming platform, Amazon Prime.
MGM still has several big releases on the horizon, including the long, long-awaited Bond outing No Time to Die. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga from a screenplay by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Fukunaga, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and featuring Daniel Craig's final outing as the iconic spy, No Time to Die picks up five years after the capture of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, with James Bond having now left active service. He is approached by Felix Leiter, his friend, and a CIA officer, who enlists his help in the search for Valdo Obruchev, a missing scientist. When it becomes apparent that Obruchev was abducted, James Bond must confront a danger the likes of which the world has never seen before.
No Time to Die was originally scheduled for release back in November 2019, but after several backstage setbacks, the movie was then moved to February 2020. After being delayed again and again in a repetitive game of release date shuffle, No Time to Die is now scheduled to be released on 30 September 2021 in the United Kingdom and 8 October 2021 in the United States. This comes to us courtesy of Deadline.