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It's an interesting time for the James Bond film series. Following Spectre's release in 2015, Daniel Craig has decided to reprise 007 one last time. However, the 25th James Bond movie also coincides with the distribution rights for the franchise being up for grabs. Earlier this year, it was reported that five studios were engaged in a bidding war for James Bond, including Sony, which has been releasing the suave British spy's adventures since 2006's Casino Royale. Now Apple and Amazon have joined the pursuit for the property.
Apple and Amazon now find themselves competing with Sony, Warner Bros, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna to convince MGM and EON Productions, which own the James Bond franchise, that they're the right home for distributing the spy's movies. According to THR, both Apple and Amazon are willing to drop about as much money as Warner Bros would for the property, if not more. Considered one of the last untapped brands, the James Bond franchise has been described as a "game-changer," and it would be a major score for either Apple or Amazon, which are both newcomers to the movie-making game.
From Apple's side of things, the company may be trying to secure a bigger rights deal or even full ownership so it could bring James Bond to TV. However, some sources indicate that EON producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson re primarily concerned with keeping James Bond as a traditional theatrical franchise. It's also noted that Chinese companies may also join in the chase for the James Bond rights, potentially turning this into a deal worth billions of dollars.
WithJames Bond 25 acting as the final installment of Daniel Craig's run as the gun-toting British operative, there's a lot of pressure on MGM and EON to make sure that this movie is one for the ages. So finding a good home for the franchise, be it remaining at Sony or traveling elsewhere. Having Apple and Amazon join the quest for James Bond is a surprising development, though understandable. While both companies are making progress with their movie endeavors, neither have a major franchise to call their own. Having the James Bond franchise under the figurative roof would be a good way for either one of these studio divisions to take things to the next level. As of right now, the new James Bond deal is only for one movie, though presumably if James Bond 25 performs well, MGM and EON will almost assuredly want to stay in business with the studio that ends up releasing it.