Apple and Amazon join bidding war for James Bond movie rights

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer

Two unlikely parties have thrown their hats into the ring for the distribution rights to the James Bond series: digital giants Apple and Amazon.

While the rights to Bond have long been held by MGM-UA, that studio’s financial struggles led them to forge a deal with Sony to co-produce and distribute 2006’s ‘Casino Royale’ and its follow-up ‘Quantum of Solace.’ This deal was later renewed for subsequent series entries ‘Skyfall’ and ‘Spectre.’

However, with that contract now completed, just about every major player in Hollywood is bidding for Bond, with Warner Bros reportedly the favourite to land the deal  – but according to The Hollywood Reporter, Apple and Amazon have emerged as “unlikely suitors” who are “willing to spend in the same ballpark as Warners, if not much more, for the rights.”

While Amazon has been moving more into production in recent years with the launch of Amazon Studios and the creation of original content for their Amazon Prime platform, Apple have not historically had too much involvement in that end of film.

This, THR suggest, may indicate that “more is on the table than film rights,” suggesting Apple are “interested in cutting a larger rights deal or acquiring full ownership to exploit Bond’s largely unmined TV potential.”

Still, the report also suggests that long-standing Bond producers Barbara Brocolli and Michael G Wilson of Eon Productions “remain traditional in their outlook,” preferring to focus on the same theatrically released films model that has served Bond so well since the franchise began with 1962’s ‘Doctor No.’

It is estimated that the overall James Bond franchise is worth somewhere between $2-5 billion.

The as-yet untitled 25th Bond movie is confirmed to star Daniel Craig, and scheduled to open in cinemas on 8 November 2019, with Dennis Villeneuve and Yann Demange rumoured to be in contention for the director’s chair.

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