With recent developments, including bankruptcy filings and intriguing reports in the entertainment trade press, it’s time to revise our odds for spy movie projects in development once more.
Bond 23: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer filed for bankruptcy but is hoping it’s a quick trip and the company will shed that status next month. As part of its filings, the company said it wants to have the next Bond movie out in November 2012 and resume an every-other-year schedule after that.
For Bond fans, that’s been the best news in some time. Still, Eon Productions, which controls the other half of the Bond franchise that MGM doesn’t, hasn’t commented publicly. Eon’s hiring of screenwriter Peter Morgan apparently didn’t work out. We don’t really know how far along Bond 23 is and whether Eon could get a film ready for the time MGM envisions.
PREVIOUS ODDS: 10-1
NEW ODDS: 5-1 (mostly for uncertainty about time frame)
Mission: Impossible 4: When last we visited this subject in July, things were firming up, with Brad Bird confirmed as director and Tom Cruise returing to star. Filming is now underway and the filming of a stunt got a lot of publicity. Here’s a video by the Associated Press:
PREVIOUS ODDS: 3-2
NEW ODDS: Prohibitive. It would take an utter disaster for it not to happen. Paramount has targeted the film to premier in late 2011.
The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: In the past couple of weeks, the entertainment media has reported that Warner Bros. is negotiating with Steven Soderbergh to direct and George Clooney to star in a film version of the 1960s spy show.
At face value, that would indicate there’s some momentum building. But there also appears to be some manipulation going on. Earlier this year, there were reports that Warners was supposedly enthusiastic about a script by Max Borenstein. But under the Soderbergh-Clooney scenario, they’re starting all over on a new script. As Jerry Seinfeld said famously, “What’s up with that?”
Also, some U.N.C.L.E. fans aren’t so keen on the idea of 49-year-old Clooney playing U.N.C.L.E. ace agent Napoleon Solo. Clooney was quite fit in The American but do you want to build a multi-film franchise around him? Robert Vaughn turned 31 during filming of the U.N.C.L.E. pilot (that birthday was the same day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas). Vaughn turned 50 during production of the 1983 TV movie The Return of the Man From U.N.C.L.E., which had Solo being coaxed out of retirement.
Until Soderberg and/or Clooney sign on the dotted line, we’re still wary.
PREVIOUS ODDS: 25-1
NEW ODDS: 15-1. Where there’s smoke, there’s (sometimes) fire.
New (serious) Matt Helm movie: There hasn’t been any news or even rumors for months. Usually, there’s at least some buzz before a project becomes reality.
NEW ODDS:15-1. This is basically a hunch admittedly, given lack of news.
Filed under: James Bond Films, The Other Spies | Tagged: A movie version of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.?, Bond 23, Bond 23 to come out in November 2012?, Brad Bird, Eon Production Ltd., Eon Productions, George Clooney, HMSS odds on spy movie projects, Matt Helm, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM's financial troubles putting Bond 23 in limbo, Mission: Impossible 4, New Matt Helm movie?, Paramount, Robert Vaughn, Steven Soderbergh, The Associated Press, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, Tom Cruise, TV spy shows, Warner Bros., When is Bond 23 coming out? | Leave a Comment »