Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson issued a statement to scotch rumours that the 25th James Bond film — Daniel Craig's final outing as 007 — would go straight to Prime Video, Amazon's streaming platform, instead of cinemas.
“We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience,” Broccoli and Wilson told Variety in a statement.
In acquiring MGM for $8.45 billion, Amazon has become partners in the James Bond films with Eon Productions, the company run by half-siblings Broccoli and Wilson. The relationship dates back to 1975, when original producer Harry Saltzman sold his half of the rights to United Artists after making nine films with Albert R 'Cubby' Broccoli.
The deal gives MGM, the company that United Artists became part of in 1981, the rights to finance and distribute the James Bond films. They then split the profits with Eon. In turn, Eon retain creative control over the film series, including marketing, distribution plans, and the casting of key roles including the next James Bond.
One thing that remains unclear however is how long No Time To Die will stay in cinemas before it becomes available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. The concept of the theatrical window, which gives cinemas exclusive rights to show new films for a fixed period of time before they arrive on home video, has been changed forever by the coronavirus pandemic.
Studios have been hammering out deals with cinema chains to reduce the average three-month window in order to get their films of streaming platforms quicker than ever before. MGM recently negotiated a deal with CBS/Paramount to have No Time To Die debut on its new streaming platform Paramount+ first, but that seems likely to change in the wake of the new ownership.
Getting No Time To Die be on Prime Video in time for Christmas would be a canny move for the retail giant, so watch this space.
Watch the trailer for No Time To Die