A Sony Pictures executive, in an interview with THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, said the studio hasn’t started talks with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer concerning whether Sony will distribute future James Bond films.
Tom Rothman, who heads Sony’s movie group, didn’t say much more than that. Sony has released the past four 007 films, starting with 2006’s Casino Royale and running through 2015’s SPECTRE. Sony’s most recent two-picture contract expired with SPECTRE.
Here’s the exchange in the interview:
Where do discussions stand on the next James Bond film?
I’m not going to comment on that, other than to say that we remain very interested in continuing that excellent and important relationship. And I think we have certain advantages as the incumbent. No discussions have started yet.
MGM emerged a smaller company after exiting bankruptcy in 2010. It has no distribution organization and cuts deals with other studios to release its movies. Under the Bond deal, MGM and Sony co-financed the movies but Sony’s cut of the profits was small.
Rothman assumed the Sony job after Amy Pascal — the Sony executive who negotiated the Bond film deal — departed the studio although she has a producer’s deal at Sony.
In March, MGM CEO Gary Barber said on an investor call, “There’s no rush” to negotiate a new 007 deal with Sony or another studio. “We’re evaluating all of our options. We will advise on the deal when we actually make it.” Based on Rothman’s comments, that hasn’t changed.
Rothman, in The Hollywood Reporter interview, also commented on Sony’s relationship with Marvel Studios concerning future stand-alone Spider-Man movies.
“Sony has the ultimate authority,” the executive told the entertainment website. “But we have deferred the creative lead to Marvel, because they know what they’re doing.”
Sony released five Spider-Man films from 2002 through 2014. Under the agreement with Marvel, Spider-Man is now part of Marvel’s film universe. The character made his Marvel Studios debut with last month’s Captain America: Civil War.