Apple, Amazon seek 007 rights, THR Reports

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Tech companies Apple Inc. and Inc. are seeking James Bond film rights, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER SAID.

They’ve joined traditional film studios, including Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures seeking a deal to distribute Bond 25, according to the entertainment news website. The Bond franchise is controlled by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Danjaq, the parent organization for Eon Productions.

The THR story raises the possibility that Apple and Amazon could expand 007’s reach beyond theatrical films.

Here’s an excerpt:

But the emergence of Apple — which is considered such a viable competitor that Warners is now pressing MGM hard to close a deal — and Amazon shows that the digital giants consider Bond one of the last untapped brands (like a Marvel, Pixar or Lucasfilm) that could act as a game-changer in the content space. Apple’s and Amazon’s inclusion in the chase would indicate that more is on the table than film rights, including the future of the franchise if MGM will sell or license out for the right price.


Two former Sony Television executives, Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, are leading Apple’s effort, the Reporter said. The move suggests “Apple is interested in cutting a larger rights deal or acquiring full ownership to exploit Bond’s largely unmined TV potential,” according to the story by Tatiana Siegel and Borys Kit.

Studios have scrambled to acquire “intellectual property” that can be the basis of movies, television and other outlets as well creating merchandising opportunities. Walt Disney Co. spent billions to buy Marvel and Lucasfilm Ltd., which originated Star Wars. Disney’s Marvel and Lucasfilm operations now account for much of Disney’s film output.

The Reporter says the Bond franchise could be worth anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion. Apple and Amazon both have the resources to make that kind of deal.  Each is among the largest companies in the world. Amazon recently spent more than $13 billion to acquire Whole Foods.

In July, Eon announced a U.S. release date of November 2019 for Bond 25. But no distributor has been announced. Sony has released the last four James Bond films. MGM doesn’t have a distribution operation.

3 Responses

  1. This quote especially worries me:


    This news ties in with some of the other news articles that were saying Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson are willing to sell off Bond in its entirety. Which I wouldn’t like to see happening. It also shows that those companies in the race to distribute the next Bond films, don’t want to be be treated the way Sony was:


    And that means that the negotiations for the distribution rights could take much longer than previously anticipated. It also shows that companies involved, like Warner, Universal and now Amazon and Apple, are asking much much more from both MGM and EON Productions, potentially risking the fate of the EON family business. Not to mention the fact that Bond could be ‘Disney-fied’ like Star Wars, meaning that new distributors want more, want spin-offs, want more marketing, want TV, want more China, basically act like Elliot Carver.

    Because make no mistake, in the world of Lucasfilm and Marvel, I prefer Bond to stay heavily underdeveloped.

  2. Gert, I honestly wouldn’t mind a Bond TV show. I thought that since Bond has been done on an epic scale, it would interesting to reduce his world and focus on more character driven stories. Still, there is the horrific prospect of one of these studios changing Bond’s gender and sexuality in order to satisfy the SJWS. Yeesh.

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