007 questions for 2010

001. Who ends up buying MGM? The studio is partners with Eon Productions in the James Bond franchise. The uncertainty in MGM’s financial future put a stop to writing efforts on Bond 23 until February, according to screenwriter Peter Morgan. So whether a 007 fan cares about business news, this is one financial story that has an impact on Bond fans.

002. Is the current delay in scripting Bond 23 just a speedbump en route to a 2011 release or could it be the start of more delays? This question obviously is related to 001. Still Bond fans have been here before: the 1989-1995 hiatus, which involved Eon suing MGM (which had been bought by an owner that Eon felt was making cheap deals to sell rights to TV showings of 007 films) and the 2002-2006 break that involved the firing of the series’ star and a rethinking about the series’ direction.

003. Will Eon actually get non-007 movies to the screen? Technically speaking, Call Me Bwana is the only non-Bond film that’s an official Eon-made film. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, while produced by Albert R. Broccoli and using many Bond crew veterans, was not an Eon-made film and Harry Saltzman’s various non-Bond films of the 1960s and later weren’t made through Eon, either.

Eon says it’s developing movie versions of A Steady Rain, the minimalist play that recently starred Daniel Craig, and Remote Control. Of course, Eon also had developed a Jinx movie based on the character Halle Berry played in Die Another Day and nothing came of that.

004. Is Eon mentoring eventual successors to Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli? Wilson is now 66 and more than once has talked about how exhausting movies are to make. Barbara Broccoli turns 50 in 2010, younger than her father was when he and Saltzman made Dr. No. Both had lengthy training to take the Eon reins. Gregg Wilson, one of Michael’s sons, was listed as assistant producer in Quantum of Solace. It’ll be interesting to see if the younger Wilson becomes more prominent at Eon or not.

005. Assuming the answers to 001 and 002 fall on the optimstic side, would Bond 23 use a Fleming title? There aren’t many left but then again a lot of fans may not have thought they’d use Quantum of Solace, either.

006. Assuming a 2011 release, who would direct Bond 23? Related question: will it be a director who uses as shaky a camera as Marc Forster did in Quantum?

007. Are there any plans for Ian Fleming Publications to do another 007 continuation novel? We haven’t heard much since IFP came out with the heavily promoted Devil May Care in 2008. Over at Commander Bond.net, there have been reports there may be a new Young Bond novel in 2011.