It has been an interesting 24 or so hours since Eon Productions put out a press release that it was indefinitely delaying Bond 23 because of uncertainty about the fate of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
Here was part of the take of Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming on the Deadline Hollywood Web site:
So what’s really going on? Well, given that MGM is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and at the mercy of its creditors, EON may have the right to take Bond elsewhere. So it stands to reason that the producers wouldn’t want to do anything now that further complicates ownership of Bond #23 or binds them to MGM during this precarious period during which the once storied studio may now be in its standalone swan song.
(Eon boss folks Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broocoli) have been watching the current MGM auction proceed with a mixture of dismay and curiosity. Dismay because Bond’s longtime home is a mess. And curiosity because Broccoli and Wilson would love to move Bond to a fully functioning studio. Like Sony, where Amy Pascal is dying to keep the famous franchise. Or Fox, which handles Bond’s DVD distribution. “It feels like EON is sending a message to MGM,” one source tells us. “If they try to continue as a stand-alone studio, don’t expect to be making any Bond films.”
Broccoli and Wilson very deliberately have made certain they don’t do anything on Bond #23 which ties the movie further to MGM.
That’s an interesting premise. However, it overlooks how MGM controls half the Bond franchise because it picked up the half that Harry Saltzman sold the former United Artists studio in the 1970s when he was in financial trouble. Essentially, Eon makes the creative decisions (while MGM sometimes exert influence) while MGM supplies the financing. Now, it’s possible IF MGM files for bankruptcy, that Eon’s links to MGM may be broken in bankruptcy court. But that hasn’t happened yet.
Meanwhile over at The Wrap Web site, another prominent entertainment site, the focus was on would-be Bond 23 director Sam Mendes in a short article by Jeff Sneider:
It looks like “American Beauty” director Sam Mendes will have to wait to make his action debut, as “Bond 23″ has been delayed indefinitely.
James Bond is the longest running franchise in movie history, so don’t expect this delay to derail a 23rd installment in the series, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Mendes chooses to turn his attention toward other projects in the meantime.
Meanwhile, on the Commander Bond Web site, there’s a fan consenus IN THIS VERY LONG THREAD that a very cagey Wilson and Broccoli are putting the pressure on MGM and that Bond 23 will be out sooner than the skeptics think.
In short, there’s a lot of buzz. Unfortunately, it’s not about an actual James Bond adventure but rather the intrigue behind the intrigue.
To read the entire Dateline Hollywood post, CLICK HERE.
To view the entire post at The Wrap, just CLICK RIGHT HERE.
Filed under: James Bond Films Tagged: | Barbara Broccoli, Bond 23, Bond 23 delay, Bond 23 delayed indefinitely, Dateline Hollywood, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, MGM's financial troubles putting Bond 23 in limbo, Michael G. Wilson, Nikki Finke, Sam Mendes, The Trouble With Harry Still Affects 007 franchise, The Wrap