It was announced last week that Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, the studio behind all previous entries in the Bond franchise (as well as the forthcoming No Time to Die) is being acquired by Amazon for $8.45bn (roughly £6bn).
MGM does not own the exclusive rights to Bond, however: the deal will see Amazon own a 50 per cent share in the property. Eon productions is another key shareholder, and has the power of veto over everything from casting to dialogue.
John Logan, a writer who previously wrote for 007 on 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre, discussed the merger in a piece for The New York Times.
“With the acquisition of MGM and its movie catalogue, the online retail giant bought into the James Bond franchise. When I heard this news, a chill went through me,” he wrote.
“Having worked as a writer on Skyfall and Spectre, I know that Bond isn’t just another franchise, not a Marvel or a DC; it is a family business that has been carefully nurtured and shepherded through the changing times by the Broccoli/Wilson family,” he continued.
Logan added that the character is not “content” or a “mere commodity”, but “part of our lives for decades”.
“From Sean Connery to George Lazenby to Roger Moore to Timothy Dalton to Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig, we all grew up with our version of 007, so we care deeply about him,” he concluded. “Please let 007 drink his martinis in peace. Don’t shake him, don’t stir him.”
No Time to Die is expected to be released in cinemas on 30 September 2021, having faced a series of pandemic-related delays.