Deadline scribes speculate about MGM, 007

logo for Deadline's pocast with Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr.

Logo for Deadline’s podcast with Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr.

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming, columnists for the Deadline: Hollywood entertainment news website, engage in some interesting speculation about Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Bond 25 in a new podcast.

The title is “Columns We Wished We Didn’t Write.”

In it, Bart recalls a June 9 column he wrote depicting MGM as enjoying a resurgence following its 2010 bankruptcy and ready to acquire other companies.

That was before MGM’s Ben Hur remake flopped in spectacular fashion in August.

“The question is, what does MGM want to be?” Fleming says. “Do they want to be a real studio with distribution?”

When MGM exited bankruptcy, it was a slimmed down company with no distribution operation. MGM cuts deals with other studios to co-finance and release films. Ben Hur, for example, was released by Paramount. Sony Pictures’s Columbia brand released Skyfall and SPECTRE but its contract expired with the latter.

“They do have the Bond franchise and that’s their big draw,” Fleming says. “Maybe MGM is an acquisition target for a studio that does have distribution.”

Bart, a former studio executive, speculates the other way, saying MGM could be in the market to acquire another studio. He specifically suggests Paramount, part of Viacom, would be a good a good fit. “Paramount could use a new corporate parent,” Bart says in the podcast.

Fleming also speculates about Bond 25, saying “I would imagine” Daniel Craig will return as 007 and “I would not be surprised” if the actor convinces Sam Mendes to return as director. Mendes helmed the last two Bond movies.

To be clear, there’s no hard information presented here. “We still don’t know where the James Bond film is going to end up,” Fleming says. In short, the podcast is similar to fan speculation found on 007 internet message boards.

Anyway, to listen, CLICK HERE. The portion about MGM and Bond 25 begins at about the 8:50 mark and runs to about the 13-minute mark.

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