John Calley, studio exec involved with 007 re-launch, dies

John Calley, a one-time Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executive who was involved in getting 007 back on the screen, has died at 81, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Calley worked at MGM from 1993 to 1996, where his duties included being president of MGM’s United Artists brand. When he started, the James Bond film series was in hiatus and 007 film’s future was uncertain. Calley also, by various accounts, pressed for Eon Productions, which produces the Bond fils to recast Bond to Pierce Brosnan from Timothy Dalton. Calley’s name was prominent on the 1994 press release announcing Brosnan was taking over the role in GoldenEye.

According to a 2010 article in the Hollywood Reporter, Barbara Broccoli, co-boss at Eon, wasn’t a Calley fan. This excerpt quotes an unidentified person describing a meeting between Broccoli and Sony executives when that company’s Columbia Pictures was releasing 2008’s Quantum of Solace:

“Barbara said, ‘We generally like studio executives, but we don’t like assholes like John Calley,’ ” the source said.”

Calley also held executive positions at Warner Bros. and Sony, before retiring in 2003, according to the Los Angeles Times obit.