Deal Between MGM And Sony May Result In The Release Of Red Dawn And Cabin In The Woods

By Eric Eisenberg 2011-02-08 20:38:14discussion comments
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With MGM finally achieving financial stability, nearly all of the headlines have been focused on the studio's two biggest breadwinners: The Hobbit and James Bond. But while those two projects have been greenlit and given shooting schedules, questions remain about the Joss Whedon-scripted Cabin in the Woods and the remake of Red Dawn. Both projects have been completed and in the can for months, but due to MGM's issues their theatrical future has been up in the air. Today we learn that they may finally be coming.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Sony and MGM are currently closing in on a distribution and co-financing deal that would link the two companies for both old projects, like Cabin in the Woods and Red Dawn, and new projects, like the next two Bond films. The agreement would see Sony provide 50% of the budget for Bond 23 and 25% of Bond 24 (presumably because MGM would actually have some money of their own by then). The deal would be similar to the one struck by the two companies for both of the previous two 007 movies, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Sony would also take distribution control of the aforementioned completed titles as well as MGM's 4,000-title library on DVD (Fox currently holds the rights to the DVD library, but the contract expires in September).

Though the report says that the two are finalizing the deal, there is some concern that it may not all play out, as a source close to the negotiations said, "there are a number of complex terms still to be hammered out and that it's not certain a deal will be completed." Sony isn't the only company interested in handling distribution for MGM, particularly the Bond franchise, with Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. (who are handling the distribution for The Hobbit) talking to the classic studio at one point.

Another aspect to the deal is that MGM wants to have a piece of films already in production. Because MGM was struggling for so long, the studio won't have a movie ready to be released until late 2012, which is a long time away. One project in particular that has peaked the studio's interest is David Fincher's adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. While discussions are on-going regarding that title, MGM also inquired about a piece of Marc Webb's upcoming Spider-Man reboot, but were turned down.

It's all very technical, but if the deal works out we might be able to see Cabin in the Woods and Red Dawn before the end of the year. For those wondering, that's a good thing.
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