MGM watch: Studio CEO is cagey about Bond 24 release date

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The top executive of MGM Holdings Inc., parent company of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was cagey about a release date for Bond 24 during an investor call on March 19.

“The timetable is not set yet,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber said in response to a question. “We’re hoping within the next three years it will be released.”

When MGM was in bankruptcy court in 2010, part of its business plan was to get the 007 movies back on an every-other-year schedule, with Bond 24 coming out in 2014. Barber said nothing about a 2014 release date during the March 19 call.

Referring to Bond 24, Barber also said, “We’re currently developing the screenplay and we’re working with our partners at Danjaq. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director in the near future.” Danjaq LLC is responsible for copyrights and trademarks of the 007 films which are produced by Eon Productions, run by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli.

Barber was also asked why Sam Mendes, the director of Skyfall, wasn’t returning for a 007 encore.

“He did an amazing job on Skyfall. We’re very thankful for the work he did. He decided to pursue other interests at this time. We look forward to announcing a director soon. We’re very thrilled about where we’re taking the franchise.”

A replay of the investor call is on the INVESTORS RELATIONS SECTION OF MGM’S WEB SITE. Barber’s comments about Bond 24 came during the question-and-answer session, which begins about half-way through the call. Barber, on a November investor call, confirmed that John Logan was writing the scripts for Bond 24 and Bond 25.

MGM owns half the 007 franchise with Danjaq/Eon. MGM co-financed Skyfall with Sony Pictures, which actually released the movie. MGM and Sony will repeat the arrangement on Bond 24.

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3 Responses

  1. [...] HMSS has published more about the call here. [...]

  2. Hello HMSS. Long time reader here (I used to be a regular on afjb back in the late-90s) and I love the blog.

    Just a point of clarification on MGM still owning 50% of the Bond rights.

    The rights have always been wholly owned by Danjaq. Saltzman sold his rights in Danjaq to MGM in 1975.

    I did a bit of digging recently and it came to light that the Broccoli bought MGM’s shares in Danjaq in 1986 (apparently by Dana Broccoli but I can’t be sure on this)

    Thus, the Bond film rights are now wholly owned by the Broccoli family.

    I’ll be happy to give more information if you’d like it.

  3. Sir James: We absolutely would like to hear more. Over the past few years, we’ve gotten responses that say MGM owns 51 percent, not 50 percent. So anything you could provide would be appreciated.

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