MGM watch: creditors may be asked to vote on debt restructuring, bankruptcy: Bloomberg

Creditors of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which controls half of the 007 franchise, are going to be asked to approve some major movies, according to a Sept. 10 story by Ronald Grover and Michael White. Highlights:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. creditors will be asked to approve a restructuring and pre-packaged bankruptcy plan for the studio within the next week or two, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Under the plan, MGM would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after obtaining creditor approval, with the goal of emerging from court protection by the end of the year, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. Susie Arons, an MGM spokeswoman, declined to comment.

All of this is tied in with a plan where the top management of Spyglass Entertainment would take over control of MGM. If you want to read the entire Bloomberg story, here’s a SECOND LINK YOU CAN CLICK ON.

If the Bloomberg story is correct — and IF the plan actually gets executed as described — that suggests the *earliest* Bond 23 development can resume is sometime in early 2011. Presumably, the new MGM regime would want to get to know Eon Productions bosses Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. Also, the new MGM leadership would have to establish which studio would actually release Bond 23 once its made. Finally, there’s also the work schedules of actor Daniel Craig and would-be Bond 23 director Sam Mendes to consider.

Again, that’s just our reading of the tea leaves. It’s our guess the earliest Bond 23 would be released is 2012, but we stress that’s only a guess.

Michael G. Wilson says Bond 23 to happen ‘soon,’ IGN UK reports

IGN UK, in a story you can view BY CLICKING HERE, quotes Michael G. Wilson, co-boss of Eon Productions along with his half-sibling Barbara Broccoli, as saying the following:

“Both Barbara and I are convinced that we’ll be bringing you another Bond film soon.”

No details, no comments about the on-going financial saga of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., which controls half fo the Bond franchise along with the Broccoli-Wilson family, not much of anything else. But it does mark the first comments of any sort since Eon Productions said in April that development of Bond 23 had been suspended.

(Shoutout to, where we saw it first. You can view that Web site’s story by CLICKING HERE.)

ITN calls Bond 23 `cancelled’

ITN, on its Web site, has a video dated July 4 that refers to Bond 23 as being “cancelled,” saying it may be “several years” before another 007 movie hits the screen. “It’s goodbye, Mr. Bond, as time has been called on the latest installment of the 007 series,” it begins.

You can view the video by CLICKING HERE.

(July 10 modification of this post) OR: ITN uploaded the video on YouTube, so we can embed it below:

A few caveats:

ITN doesn’t cite how it learned this. The report just says “the money situation” at MGM (which isn’t named, just referred to as “the studio”) hasn’t improved so “the plug has been pulled indefinitely.”

ITN doesn’t cite a July 2 report in the U.K. newspaper Daily Mirror that kicked off this latest round of media reports saying the Bond 23 delay announced in April had become more serious. The Daily Mirror cited a “glum insider” it didn’t name. Thus, by implication, ITN is passing this off as their own reporting while not being very transparent about the details.

Finally, ITN presents no evidence it actually sought either MGM or Eon Productions out for comment before sending out the video.

In short, fans convinced this is all tabloid rubbish (as some are doing on message boads of 007 fan Web sites), probably won’t be convinced otherwise by this.

UPDATE: The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. is now getting into the act. In an entry in the newspaper’s FILM BLOG, WHICH YOU CAN READ BY CLICKING HERE, the Guardian provides pros and cons whether the 007 film series should even continue or not.

The start of that blog entry writes of Bond 23 being cancelled as a given while providing no hard information:

Bond 23 – the Sam Mendes Bond, the Peter Morgan Bond, the Bond that was going to right all the wrongs of Quantum of Solace – is no more. Although its status had been set to “indefinitely delayed” since April, the continuing financial mess at MGM means that the film has now been cancelled altogether. It also means that we’re back in a situation where the next 007 movie could feasibly be several years away.

We’ll give a shoutout to “danslittlefinger,” who posted the link on the MI6 fan Web site message board.

Another Telegraph writer pleads to keep Craig as 007

You have to give the U.K. newspaper The Telegraph credit for one thing: it presents a variety of views related to James Bond.

We previous noted how one writer for The Telegraph said the film series needs to lighten up from Daniel Craig’s two 007 movies. But another Telegraph scribe, JoJo Moyes, thinks Craig is doing just fine, thank you very much.

I admit that when he (Craig) was first mooted for the part, I was less than enthusiastic. How could festering Geordie Peacock from Our Friends In The North inhabit that iconic tuxedo with grace and élan? How could that thuggish visage expertly seduce women with ridiculously suggestive names? For this was a man apparently known even to his friends as “Mr Potato Head”.

Fool that I was! For even as he emerged from the shadows in the opening scenes of Casino Royale I was a lost thing. By the time he broke the waves in those little blue trunks I may have inadvertently – and for the first time in my life – uttered the phrase “Hubba hubba”. When he held Vesper Lynd brokenly in his arms, it was frankly a bit embarrassing being in the same room as my actual husband. And I know there are women nodding as they read this, because they have told me.

It takes a serious dose of raw machismo to remain the object of female desire even while having one’s testicles flayed from under a chair, but Craig managed it. Men liked his rough quality, the slight coarsening of the Bond franchise. Women just… yes, well. I think we’ve covered that.

To read the entire column JUST CLICK HERE.

Telegraph prediction: 007 will defeat MGM

In a commentary on the Web site of The Telegraph, writer Simon Heffer says James Bond will eventually triumph over Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. The author was prompted by last week’s news that Bond 23 is being delayed until MGM sorts out its financial future.

However, while Heffer describes himself as a fan, he also raises questions about the film series, including Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Still, it is hard to imagine even the bankruptcy of MGM killing off James Bond on celluloid, something the world’s leading villains have completely failed to do in nearly 50 years: he and his adventures are always going to be a most marketable asset for anyone strapped for cash. But perhaps the pause in normal service is an ideal moment for those who might shape the next Bond film to ponder on what it ought to be.

What I felt was missing from the last two Bond films – Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace – were jokes. Craig, as I have said, was believable as an MI6 agent; but that raised the question of how believable James Bond is supposed to be. He is a complete fantasy figure, and that is his appeal. In the real world, people do not jump out of aircraft at 30,000 feet, have a fight on the way down, and survive. They do not consume strong drink (and, in the old days, cigarettes) with the abandon that Bond does without ending up on a mortuary slab fairly early on. They do not drive performance cars round multi-storey car parks, while being shot at, using their mobile telephones to keep the thing on course. They don’t jump from one building to another and inevitably land safely. Also, when most villains tell someone that they are going to be killed, they normally get killed pretty sharpish, and not after a theatrical delay that allows them to overpower their captors and make an escape.

That’s just a taste. To read the entire commentary YOU CAN CLICK HERE.