Amazon has held preliminary talks to buy MGM, Forbes says

Amazon logo

Amazon has held “exploratory talks” about acquiring Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, James Bond’s home studio, Forbes said as part of a broader story about MGM.

The Forbes story had few additional details about Amazon’s interest. Amazon and MGM declined to comment to Forbes.

Instead, Forbes went into detail about how it will be difficult for MGM to get the kind of price ($10 billion) it wants. A key excerpt of interest to Bond film fans:

The problem is that MGM’s collection of great movies is dated and losing value by the minute. Barbara Broccoli and her half brother Michael G. Wilson, who maintain an iron grip over the Bond franchise — a deal initially hammered out decades ago by Broccoli’s father, producer Albert “Cubby” Broccoli — have the final say over casting decisions, dialog and promotional materials related to 007 — adding complexity to any deal talks. 

In 2017, The Hollywood Reporter said that Amazon and Apple Inc. were seeking the Bond film rights. Nothing ever came of that. Forbes, in its story, says Apple “remains a speculative wild-card” in terms of buying MGM.

In general, movies have been turned upside down by Netflix’s streaming service. Walt Disney Co. and AT&T’s Warner Bros. are orienting themselves toward streaming and de-emphasizing their traditional theater-released movie model.

Netflix, AT&T’s HBO Max, and Disney’s Disney Plus all feature in-house content. (MGM films before 1986, such as Ben Hur, Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and Mutiny on the Bounty, are part of the Warner Bros. film library that’s included with HBO Max.)

MGM doesn’t have a streaming service. But both Amazon and Apple have such services.

MGM is owned by a group of hedge funds led by Anchorage Capital. They took over following an MGM bankruptcy in 2010.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of MGM’s dysfunctional relationship with the Bond franchise. MGM acquired United Artists, Bond’s original studio, in 1981 after insurance conglomerate Transamerica Corp. decided to get out of the movie business.

MGM has the 25th Bond film, No Time to Die, on hold until October, the latest in a series of release dates. The movie has been pushed back since April 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eon, studios launch No Time to Die podcast

A No Time to Die poster

Eon Productions and its studio partners are starting a No Time to Die podcast on Sept. 30 to promote the 25th James Bond film.

The production company announced the podcast in a post on Twitter. That included a short video promising “unrivalled behind-the-scenes access.”

The new podcast has an Apple podcast page that went live last week. According to that page, the No Time to Die podcast will be a six-part affair.

Here’s the description:

No Time To Die: The Official James Bond Podcast is a new and exclusive podcast to accompany the worldwide release of the 25th Bond film, No Time To Die. Hosted by James King, the six-part series features exclusive interviews with Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Jeffrey Wright, Naomie Harris, director Cary Joji Fukunaga, producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and a host of key behind the scenes crew from casting director to special effects supervisor.

Each of the six episodes focusses on a different aspect of the franchise. Learn everything about Bond from guns, gadgets, locations, stunts, costumes and cars.

No Time to Die: The Official James Bond Podcast is produced by Somethin’ Else in association with Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Universal Pictures International, United Artists Releasing and Eon Productions.