Media merry-go-round continues with AT&T-Discovery deal

One of the brands affected by Discovery’s deal with AT&T

The media business was shaken up, yet again, when AT&T announced today it’s opting to exit the media business and combining those assets with Discovery Inc.

Not that long ago, AT&T couldn’t wait to get into media as a way of combining “content” (Warner Bros., HBO, TBS, TCM, etc.) with wireless.

It was AT&T management that had Warner Bros. debut its 2021 film slate simultaneously in theaters (those that are open) and on the new HBO Max streaming service.

Never mind. AT&T’s media entities will be combined with Discovery’s, which include the likes of HGTV and The Food Network.

Why you should care: The deal announced today is a reminder that media (including, but not limited to, movie studios) remains volatile.

For James Bond fans, their hero is tethered to a media small fry, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM reportedly is for sale. It would be no surprise if MGM gets gobbled up by a bigger media player.

Why you could care Part II: The AT&T-Discovery deal involves a lot of prominent media properties. Warner Bros. already has been affected by being acquired by AT&T. Who knows what happens next?

What happens next: MGM controls some prominent media properties (the Bond franchise among them). The AT&T-Discovery deal that well encourage additional media deals. MGM is owned by hedge funds so now may be the time to cash out.

We’ll see.

Yann Demange, would-be Bond 25 director, has new project

Yann Demange, repored last year as a contender to direct Bond 25, has a new project, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Demange ” is teaming up with Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams for HBO’s Lovecraft Country,” the entertainment news outlet reported.

“Demange will direct the first episode of the supernatural racial drama and exec produce it as well,” THR said.

Variety reported in July 2017 that Demange was the top contender to direct Bond 25. The Variety story came out two days after Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Eon Productions put out press releases that the next 007 film will come out in the United States in November 2019.

However, last month, Variety and Deadline: Hollywood now said that Danny Boyle was under consideration to direct Bond 25. Deadline’s story said Boyle will direct only if a new story, being scripted by John Hodge, is selected as the way to proceed.

Eon had previously hired veteran 007 film scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade to come up with a Bond 25 story. Eon boss Barbara Broccoli, as recently as mid-December, told a THR podcast that Purvis and Wade were working on the Bond 25 script.