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The latest developments on the MGM front have been surprisingly positive when you consider how dire things have looked for most of the last year. After months of speculation and delays for both The Hobbit and the next James Bond film, a deal is currently in the works between the classic film studio and co-financing company Spyglass Entertainment. Since then, there has been a dedicated effort to have Martin Freeman as the actor to play Bilbo Baggins and production for both stagnant films is rumored to start next year. But, of course, things are never easy in Hollywood.
Bloomberg reports that Indian conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar has made an offer for the studio, according to an inside source. A bid of $2 billion, negotiations are still at a very early stage, though it's being reported that Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, producers of the Bond franchise, are involved with the deal and would receive and equity stake in the studio should the deal go through.
Conflicting with the report, however, is an internal memo that was sent out by MGM management today which suggests that the deal isn't being looked at too seriously. Found on Deadline, the document, signed by executives Bedi A. Singh, Stephen F. Cooper and Mary Parent, says that the company is about to sign a non-binding letter of intent with Spyglass Entertainment executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum that would make the Barber and Birnbaum co-chairmen and co-chief executive officers of the studio. Without directly mentioning Sahara India Pariwar, them memo stresses that employees should not be distracted by "speculation about the Company’s future in the media.".
Before any deal goes through, MGM has to restructure their debt, which is currently a work in progress. One of the industries oldest studios, formed in 1924 when Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer teamed up, it would be strange to see it owned by an Indian company. Whatever way it shakes out, though, let's just hope it happens quickly.