Sony-MGM deal may cover Bond 23 *and* Bond 24, LAT says

Sony Corp.’s possible deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer may include helping to finance both Bond 23, due out in November 2012, and Bond 24, the Los Angeles Times reported in its Company Town blog.

The report is similar to one yesterday on the Deadline entertainment Web site. The LA Times’s report has these additional nuggets:

As part of the arrangement under discussion, Sony would fund half of MGM’s next James Bond movie, which is planned for release Nov. 9, 2012, and 25% of a potential follow-up. Sony co-financed and released MGM’s last two Bond movies, “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” making it a logical home for Hollywood’s longest-running franchise.

Sony would also release all future films made by MGM and the studio’s already completed movies “Red Dawn” and “Cabin in the Woods,” as well as handle sales of its 4,000-title library on DVD and digital platforms.

The Times presented a caveat. The talks are “far along,” the newspaper said while adding “people close to the discussions cautioned that there are a number of complex terms still to be hammered out and that it’s not certain a deal will be completed.”

Sony on verge of Bond 23 deal with MGM, Deadline says

Sony Corp., whose Columbia Pictures unit released Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, is on the verge of striking a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to release Bond 23, the Deadline entertainment Web site reported.

That story, WHICH YOU CAN READ BY CLICKING HERE, starts out thusly:

Deadline hears that Sony Pictures is close to landing distribution rights to MGM’s James Bond franchise again, and specifically for the next untitled Bond #23, even though several studios are still very much in the hunt.

The new (MGM) brass, Spyglass Entertainment co-owners Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum who are now the Co-Chairmen and CEOs of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, are finishing negotiations to co-finance a number of films with Sony.

The story says such a move would please the heads of Eon Proudctions, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. That’s not surprising. Sony cut a check for $230 million for Quantum of Solace’s budget, the most expensive film in the Bond series. Whywouldn’t they be pleased? Maybe Bond 23 won’t face budget cutting after all, which might have occurred if other studios won the rights to distribute Bond 23. Here’s how Deadline puts it:

(Sony studio executive) Amy Pascal in particular has developed a strong personal and professional relationship with (Barbara) Broccoli when they were making the transition from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig. Broccoli and Wilson found Craig among a list of possible 007s, and the choice wasn’t popular at first. But Pascal supported Craig. Also Sony has a reputation for spending big to market Bond: for Casino Royale, Sony spent a humongous sum worldwide to introduce the new Bond. MGM was supposed to distribute the 23rd Bond film itself, until the studio was pushed into bankruptcy.

Sony also isn’t a stickler for continuity in films such as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. So that may also suit Eon just fine, as well.