Amazon may be shelling out more than $8 billion to purchase MGM, but James Bond is going to stay on the big screen. This, according to producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, who have been the longtime shepherds of the iconic franchise. While Amazon may well have access to the library of Bond movies once the deal closes, the producers have assured that future installments will still be released theatrically worldwide.
After several weeks of rumors, it was confirmed that Amazon is indeed buying MGM. The deal is valued at $8.45 billion. It's a streaming play that gives Amazon access to a vast library with more than 4,000 movies and thousands upon thousands of episodes of TV. But Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, in a joint statement released after the news broke, made it clear that James Bond is not moving to the streaming world in the future. Here's what they had to say about it.
"We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience."
This, in many ways, won't come as a surprise to those who have followed the franchise for a long time. But it does illustrate the complicated nature of the relationship that Amazon and Eon Productions might have moving forward. MGM retains the rights to finance and distribute the Bond movies. However, Eon, led by Broccoli and Wilson, have final say on just about everything. This includes marketing, distribution and other major decisions. As such, even after the acquisition is complete, Amazon won't be able to just produce a James Bond spin-off movie and release it directly to Amazon Prime Video, for example. Eon is going to have to sign off on all major decisions in regards to the franchise still.
James Bond is arguably the crown jewel of MGM's library. The studio is also home to the Rocky franchise, Legally Blonde, Stargate and much more. But James Bond is a global property that has endured for decades. It's easy to see a streaming service such as Amazon wanting to expand the scope of the franchise. TV shows, spin-offs. Create a whole universe. But they can't do that as simply with Bond as they can with other properties involved in this acquisition. If Eon wants to keep 007 as a big screen franchise, they can seemingly overrule the brass at Amazon.
This is not to say that James Bond doesn't carry tremendous value. It does. Amazon can keep the entire library of Bond movies exclusively on Prime Video. They can get movies like No Time to Die, Daniel Craig's fifth and final Bond movie, exclusively after its run in theaters. They very well might be able to explore other projects if Eon can get on board. But in an era when so much is moving to the world of streaming, it seems that Bond will remain what it has been since the very beginning, a blockbuster theatrical event. No Time to Die is set to hit theaters on October 8. This news comes to us via Variety.