MGM expects to be public company in 3-5 years

MGM logo

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer expects to be a publicly traded company within five years, Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber said during a May 12 investors presentation.

“We envision in the next three to five years, within that period, to be a public structure so that we can unlock the value of this great company,” Barber said.

Barber was asked why wait for as long as five years.

MGM chief Gary Barber

MGM chief Gary Barber

“We’re really in the early stages of our growth,” the CEO said. “We still have to go and achieve some of the growth areas…before we take ourselves into a public structure.”

Barber became CEO when MGM emerged from a 2010 bankruptcy. MGM came out of bankruptcy a smaller studio and it currently doesn’t have the resources to release its own films.

As a result, MGM strikes deals with other studios to release MGM films, such as the now-concluded two picture deal where Sony Pictures co-financed and released Skyfall and SPECTRE. MGM has yet to reach an accord with either Sony or other studios to release Bond 25.

MGM controls half the 007 franchise, along with Danjaq LLC, parent company of Eon Productions.

A 4:58 excerpt of the presentation was uploaded to MGM’s investors relations page.

Remembering Cubby Broccoli’s racehorse

Brocco (foaled 1991)

Brocco (foaled 1991)

Saturday was the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby, which got us to thinking about the time James Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli had a horse in the race.

That horse was Brocco, foaled in 1991. The stallion raced in the 1994 Derby, finishing fourth, or just out of the money.

Previously, Brocco had won the 1993 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 1994 Santa Anita Derby. His parents were Kris S. and Anytime Ms.

At the time, the co-founder of Eon Productions had more visibility in his horse racing endeavors. No Bond film had come out since 1989’s Licence to Kill.

Broccoli had been in a legal fight with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which in turn was mired in financial problems. The two sides eventually reached a settlement. However, a new 007 film was still some time from becoming reality when Brocco competed in the 1994 Derby.

Later than year, Eon Productions secured the services of actor Pierce Brosnan, Cubby Broccoli’s final Bond actor choice, as the new 007. Pre-production geared up on GoldenEye, which came out in the fall of 1995.

Like most racehorses, Brocco retired from racing to be a stud horse.

UPDATE: Here’s a video of the 1994 Santa Anita Derby, won by Brocco. After the win, ABC broadcaster Jim McKay notes that Albert R. Broccoli had just celebrated his 85th birthday.

Annette Bening to star in a non-007 film for Broccoli

Annette Bening

Annette Bening

Annette Bening will star in a non-007 movie for producer Barbara Broccoli, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, VARIETY REPORTED.

Here’s an excerpt:

Shooting will begin in the U.K. on June 27 with Paul McGuigan (“Sherlock”) directing. The production will take place at Pinewood Studios and on location in London and Liverpool.

The story is based on the memoir by British actor Peter Turner and follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner and the eccentric Academy Award-winning actress Gloria Grahame. What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover grows into a deeper relationship.

Broccoli, of late, has been accelerating her non-James Bond projects. In February, it was announced Eon Productions formed a “creative alliance” with Cove Pictures to develop television projects.

Meanwhile, Bond 25 can’t really proceed until there’s a studio to release it. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2010, doesn’t have the resources to release a movie. Sony Pictures has released the last four 007 films but its contract expired with SPECTRE.

A footnote about two of Wilson & Broccoli’s non-007 films

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, co-bosses of Eon Productions

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, co-bosses of Eon Productions

We read a debate on a 007-related message board about the non-Bond films of Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson.

Supporters of the Eon Productions co-bosses said it was great they were involved with other projects, it would keep them fresh and invigorated. Skeptics wondered whether this would adversely affect the Bond series.

This post doesn’t take a side in the debate. Rather, it’s to provide additional information. We’ll take it step-by-step.

–Broccoli and Wilson are listed as executive producers on two independent films, Radiator and The Silent Storm.

–What does that mean? “Executive producer” in movies is a secondary, supportive-type title to the producer or producers. On television, executive producer is the title used by the top producer or producers of a show.

On SPECTRE, the 24th 007 film, Broccoli and Wilson were producers (the top producers, naturally) and Callum McDougall was executive producer. McDougall also doubled as unit production manager.

–Put another way, Broccoli and Wilson aren’t the primary producers on either Radiator or The Silent Storm, the same way Callum McDougall wasn’t the primary producer on SPECTRE.

Broccoli and Wilson are among 12 executive producers on The Silent Storm and among eight executive producers on Radiator.

The lead producers of Radiator were Tom Browne and Genevieve Stevens. The lead producers of The Silent Storm was Nicky Bentham.

As for the debate on the message board, the real question is how well Broccoli and Wilson are at multi-tasking.

In the 1960s, there was a tension between Eon founders Albert R. Broccoli (Barbara Broccoli’s father and Michael G. Wilson’s stepson) and Harry Saltzman.

Saltzman pursued a number of non-Bond projects while Albert R. Broccoli (aside from Call Me Bwana and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the latter based on another Ian Fleming novel) concentrated on the 007 series.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, meanwhile, are pursuing the Saltzman model. Besides the independent films, they’re also involved in plays and television projects.

Barbara Broccoli named BAFTA VP for film

Barbara Broccoli

Barbara Broccoli

Barbara Broccoli, co-boss of Eon Productions, has been named vice president of film for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the organization said in a statement.

Here’s an excerpt:

Following the recent appointment of Greg Dyke as BAFTA’s Vice President for Television, Barbara Broccoli will join Dyke in co-chairing BAFTA’s Council, supporting the Academy’s President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, and assuming an ambassadorial role for the charity. …BAFTA can appoint up to three Vice Presidents, one in each of the three sectors of film, television and games, who can serve a term of up to six years.

Barbara Broccoli OBE said: “I am passionate about BAFTA’s role in educating, inspiring and celebrating generations of British film-makers. I am therefore honoured to accept the role of BAFTA’s Vice President for Film”.

Broccoli, 55, and her half-brother Michael G. Wilson, 74, have produced the last eight James Bond movies, starting with GoldenEye in 1995.

To read the entire press release, CLICK HERE.

Is Sony prepared for a post-007 future?

sonylogo

Sony Pictures may have prepared itself for a future without 007 films.

The Deadline: Hollywood entertainment news website has POSTED A STORY BY MIKE FLEMING JR. which outlines the studio’s plans for “franchise” films.

Here’s an excerpt:

Sony’s The Dark Tower is now really real. Days after Stephen King tweeted his blessing and a confirmation that Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are firmed to square off in the leads, Sony Pictures just staked the 2017 Presidents Day weekend for a global launch of the first installment of the Nikolaj Arcel-directed epic fantasy. The studio has also set Bad Boys 3, with Joe Carnahan directing a reteam of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, for June 2, 2017, and it has set Barbie for Mother’s Day weekend, May 12, 2017.

Under Tom Rothman, Sony has been restocking its franchise arsenal, but it didn’t take long. Sony has an enviable 2017 release scheduling.

Rothman replaced Sony executive Amy Pascal, whose reputation took a hit following the Sony hacks in 2014. She’s now a producer working out of Sony and her projects include a Spider-Man movie where Sony and Disney’s Marvel Studios are collaborating.

Sony, through its Columbia Pictures brand, has released the last four 007 films produced by Eon Productions. Sony’s contract expires with SPECTRE. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which co-owns the 007 franchise with Eon and its parent firm Danjaq, is deciding whether to continue with Sony or reach a deal with another studio to release Bond 25.

Until MGM reaches a deal, nothing much can happen with Bond 25. MGM doesn’t have the resources to release Bond movies on its own. Bond 25 won’t have a release date (2018, 2019, whatever) until MGM strikes a deal.

Thanks to @Stringray_travel on Twitter for alerting us to the Deadline story.

 

Eon’s newest non-007 venture

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, co-bosses of Eon Productions

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, co-bosses of Eon Productions

Eon Productions, which produces the James Bond film series, has entered into a “creative alliance” with newly formed Cove Pictures, a new international television production concern, VARIETY REPORTED.

Cove “will focus on high-end drama, comedy and factual programs for the global market,” and will work with Eon to develop “internationally targeted” shows, according to the entertainment news outlet.

The new production company is headed by Heather Rabbatts, who has served with Eon co-boss Barbara Broccoli on the U.K. Film Council, Variety said.

Eon, since the death of co-founder Albert R. Broccoli in 1996, has become involved in a number of stage productions. Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, the other Eon co-boss, were among 12 executives producers of the 2014 film The Silent Storm.

Eon also has worked to develop a movie about Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency documents to reporters. Barbara Broccoli and Wilson also have been involved in an effort to remake a 1957 horror film titled Night of the Demon in the U.K. and Curse of the Demon in the United States.

You can read the Variety story by CLICKING HERE or a story about Cove by The Hollywood Reporter by CLICKING HERE.

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