How the Disney-Lucas deal could affect 007

The big entertainment industry news on Oct. 30 was that Walt Disney Co. agreed to buy George Lucas’s Lucasfilm Ltd. for about $4 billion. Mickey Mouse meets Luke Skywalker. But it couldn’t affect 007, could it?

What’s your next move, 007? Bond 24 in 2014 or 2015?

Don’t count on it.

Disney already planned to release The Avengers 2 in 2015. Now, the studio wants to jump start the Star Wars franchise with a new movie that same year.

The question for Eon Productions and its business partners Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (which controls 50 percent of the Bond franchise) and Sony Pictures (which is releasing Skyfall and the next two 007 movies) is when Bond 24 comes out. MGM and Sony want that to happen in 2014. Eon says 2014 or 2015.

Michael G. Wilson, in an interview with the Den of Geek Web site said Bond 24’s schedule depends. “If we’re rapid it’ll be two years, if we’re not it’ll be three,” the veteran Eon co-boss said in the interview.

Here’s what Eon has to consider: Is 2014 sufficient time for the next movie after Skyfall. If not, do you run a risk waiting for 2015, when The Avengers 2 and Star Wars 7 may suck up a lot of the box-office oxygen? If the answer is 2015, can MGM and Sony find the right place in the schedule where Bond 24 won’t get squeezed by two potential Disney blockbusters?

The Ian Fleming character Kronsteen (in his screen incarnation) once claimed to have considered all the possibilities of move and counter move. For that character in the 1963 movie From Russia With Love, things didn’t work out so well. Eon, Sony and MGM have more time on their hands. But they also may want to ponder move and counter move.

9 Responses

  1. I doubt it’ll hurt Bond 24. Bond 24 will probably be released in the fall, and Avengers 2 and Star Wars would be summer releases.

  2. Exactly. EON, Sony, and MGM are well aware they can’t go toe to toe with these other huge franchises.

  3. Disney will next be looking to pick up Bond. Don’t be surprised if they option the Higson books from Fleming Publications. In the past five or so years, Disney has run a cartoon called “Special Agent Oso” which uses mock Fleming titles for each episode.

  4. It is also possible that Disney may not be able to deliver Star Wars 7 by 2015. Bringing a huge SW movie on schedule while all the pre-production is in the incubator stage may force Disney to push it to 2016 or 2017. Too much money is riding on this and Disney wants to get it right unlike their bungling efforts on John Carter (of Mars).

  5. re: Mark Henderson’s comment

    Disney cannot option the Higson books. EON has first right of refusal.

  6. TND opened against TITANIC, no major problem.

    SKYFALL opened in the same year as DARK KNIGHT RISES (which was to be the biggest hyped movie of the year), no ill effect.

    Star Wars will be a summer film, so even in Bond 24 gets pushed to 2015, it won’t be any competition.

    How about looking at it from the other side. All of those ‘competing’ films will look to dodge Bond 24.

  7. It is also possible Sony will not be able to finance the next movie:,0,5840519.story?page=1

  8. Mark – that’s hogwash re: Bond

    “While Sony’s slate for 2013 is already set, the studio is planning to make two fewer movies per year starting in 2014. That means it will typically put out between 18 and 20, rather than 20 to 22.”

    So of the 10% of movies they will no longer green light, Bond is at risk?

    Hummmm. No.

  9. SteveK…the Bonds have always made money. They get delayed over stupidity: lawsuits and studio mismanagement. If Sony is in crisis, and that is the rumor on the street, the next one could be delayed. It only takes one monumentally bad business decision to kill a golden goose, for instance, Heaven’s Gate. That is the intended meaning of my original post, poorly worded as it was. I blame Mitt.

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