Limited hardback version of The Union Trilogy available

There’s a limited, hardback version of the James Bond omnibus The Union Trilogy available at the Barnes & Noble Web site.

It costs $8.98 and contains three Raymond Benson novels (High Time to Kill, Doubleshot and Never Dream of Dying) and the complete version of the Benson short story Blast From the Past. The latter originally appeared in Playboy magazine but was pared substantially.

For full details, or if you don’t need details and just want to buy it, JUST CLICK HERE.

L.A. Times blog says 007 hiatus is needed

We were catching up on our reading and found this item, written by Patrick Goldstein and originally published on April 20 in the “Big Picture” blog of the Los Angeles Times. Goldstein argued, in effect, that while Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc’s financial troubles forced the production of Bond 23 to be indefinitely delayed, the hiatus would do 007 good. An excerpt:

In fact, if I were at the Bond helm, I’d put the franchise in suspended animation for a while. If you were unlucky enough to see the last Bond entry, the unbelievably awfully titled “Quantum of Solace,” you’d know that it’s time to send the series back into the shop. The 2008 film cost far more than any of its predecessors, but actually made less money (in worldwide grosses) than 2006’s “Casino Royale,” though of course when you still make $576.3 million, it’s nothing to sneeze at.

But the franchise felt tired. In fact, it looked like an aging hipster with a bad face lift, especially when you tried to imagine Bond competing with all of its younger, sleeker offspring, films like “Iron Man,” “Wanted” and “The Bourne Identity” series, which all are deeply rooted in the Bond adventure hero mystique, but have updated both the tone (more irony) and technology (even more gadgets) of the story. With Hollywood in the midst of a torrid love affair with 3-D, it might be a good idea for the Bond folks to sit on the sidelines and see how the 3-D mania plays out.

You can view the entire blog item by CLICKING HERE. Given the way the MGM story is going, Goldstein may get his wish.

MGM watch: studio seeks another debt waiver, WSJ says

The May 8 edition of The Wall Street Journal says Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is negotiating with creditors. The story by Mike Spector and Lauren A.E. Schuker starts like this:

Film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is in talks with creditors to get further leniency on its debt payments as the two sides continue negotiations about a restructuring plan, said people familiar with the matter.

MGM, buckling under a nearly $4 billion debt load, wants lenders to grant a waiver on debt payments until at least the end of June and perhaps longer, these people said, adding that details haven’t been hammered out. MGM’s current waiver expires at the end of next week.

The Journal story notes this is the fifth waiver request since November and matches yesterday’s story about MGM seeking would-be moguls to run the place. There’s also this reference:

The studio released only one new film last year, and a recent release, “Hot Tub Time Machine,” had a soft landing at the box office. The family controlling MGM’s “James Bond” franchise recently shelved production of the next film.

Not much more to add except to say none of this would indicate Bond 23 will get back on track anytime soon.