MGM Holdings is reportedly looking to start a bidding war and consider sale options, meaning that another studio could end up owning the rights to several popular franchises including James Bond and the Rocky series. A new report from The Wall Street Journal reveals that MGM has "tapped investment banks Morgan Stanley and LionTree LLC" to begin the process of a formal sale, with the studio reporting holding a market value of around $5.5 billion. Now, that's a spicy meatball.
MGM has explored the idea of selling up in the past, but this time the company is reportedly hoping to draw attention from "international media companies, private-equity investors and blank-check companies" rather than traditional Hollywood studios, with current circumstances leading to the decision. MGM is hoping that "a bidding war" will ensue "for content to fill a new wave of streaming-video services" with the move to digital releases making their extensive library "an attractive target."
MGM has an epic library of over 4,000 titles, many of them very recognizable, and over 17,000 hours of television programming, including franchises like The Hobbit, as well as popular television shows like The Handmaid's Tale and Vikings. It is not known which, if any, studios would want to purchase MGM and the rights to their various franchises, but ultimately, we could end up with a situation similar to the recent Disney/Fox merger, which has since seen several high-profile projects, including the likes of Alien, go into production under a new umbrella.
Of course, MGM still has several big releases on the horizon, including the 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, 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.
The movie will feature Daniel Craig's final appearance as the iconic secret agent and was originally due to be released back in November 2019. Following several delays, No Time to Die is currently scheduled to debut on April 2nd, 2021.
MGM previously confirmed development on the likes of a third movie in the Legally Blonde series, a sequel to 2018's video game adaptation Tomb Raider starring Alicia Vikander, with the studio currently shooting Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller's new romantic fantasy movie, Three Thousand Years of Longing. The Jordan Peele produced Candyman reboot, which resurrects the horror icon for a new generation, and the GI Joe reboot movie Snakes Eyes starring Henry Golding are also in the pipeline.
MGM has a complicated history and has faced bankruptcy in the past. While they managed to survive, it looks like current circumstances could now bring an end to the well-known studio. This comes to us courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.