How Bond 26 may be affected by London studio moves

h/t David Leigh of The James Bond Dossier

Willard Whyte was said to play Monopoly with real buildings. Major companies are doing that with London studios and that may affect Bond 26, eventually.

Pre-pandemic, Walt Disney Co. in 2019 signed a deal to lease most of Pinewood Studios in a long-term deal.

Pinewood, of course, was the production home to most James Bond films made by Eon Productions. Parts of studio property are named after Bond titles and personnel. One includes a road named after Eon’s Michael G. Wilson. And there is the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage.

Now, according to The Guardian, Amazon Prime Video has reached a long-term lease deal at Shepperton Studios in London. Netflix also has a big leasing deal at Shepperton.

Both Pinewood and Shepperton are owned by Pinewood Group.

In 2019, there was speculation whether Bond 26 (whenever that goes into production) might be forced to vacate Pinewood.

In 2021, Amazon, the parent company of Amazon Prime Video, agreed to purchase Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Bond’s home studio. That transaction, valued at $8.45 billion, isn’t final yet.

Still all this business dealing raises the question of whether Bond 26 might be based at Shepperton, rather than Pinewood. It’s way too early to tell. But it’s something for fans to keep an eye on.

Bond 25 questions: James Bond Day edition

No Time to Die teaser poster

Another James Bond Day appears to be in the books. But the blog still has some questions about the meaning of the day’s events.

What’s this holiday’s name again?

In 2012, Global James Bond Day debuted. It was the 50th anniversary of when Dr. No had its U.K. debut. The new “holiday” was a marketing move to note the Bond film franchise’s 50th anniversary.

Since then, it’s had the name Global James Bond Day. Until this year.

Eon Productions (via a tweet) as well as Pinewood Studios (also in a tweet), Orlebar Brown (a maker of pricey 007-themed clothing, also in a tweet) and Aston Martin (you guessed it, in a tweet) all called it James Bond Day, with the “Global” taken off.

However, No Time to Die director Cary Fukunaga, in a video on his Instagram page, called it “International James Bond Day.”

The memo didn’t make it to many Bond fan sites that kept referring to it as Global James Bond Day.

What about the teaser poster?

It came out on (Global/International) James Bond Day. But it was a minimalist affair, with an image of Daniel Craig in a tuxedo.

What about the teaser trailer?

That’s an event for another day, apparently. We’re about six months from the debut of No Time to Die. So you’d think it’d be out sooner than later. But not on (Global/International) James Bond Day.

Who was responsible for the teaser poster?

Some fans on social media were inclined to blame studios (either MGM, Bond’s home studio or its distribution partners).

However, in 2015, Eon’s Michael Wilson said Eon does the marketing and studios just execute what Eon devises. If he was correct, Eon has some fingerprints on that poster.

What about those Bond-themed names for new roads at Pinewood Studios?

Pinewood said an expansion area will have a Michael G. Wilson Road and Skyfall Avenue. The announcement came as the future of Bond at Pinewood is up in the air.

Pinewood Group PLC, Pinewood’s owner, and Walt Disney Co. have announced a deal where Disney will lock up the vast bulk of Pinewood facilities in a long-term deal. Shepperton Studios, also owned by Pinewood Group, this summer reached a deal with Netflix that locks up most of that studio space.

It remains to be seen how this will play out. But it raises the possibility that Disney crews will travel on Michael G. Wilson Road and Skyfall Avenue so they can perform their day’s work. Not to mention going to the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage to do a day’s labor.