Quick recap of Eon non-007 projects

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

Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson of Eon Productions

It’s not easy to get a movie made. Studios make fewer and more expensive films.

Even when producers with a good box office record aren’t guaranteed of seeing their projects become reality. That includes Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the co-chiefs of Eon Productions, which makes James Bond films.

The Eon leaders have been working on a number of film projects away from the world of James Bond, even as it continued work on the 007 film series.

Here’s a list of Eon projects that have been formally announced but are still in development.

Remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Referenced in this APRIL 2009 PRESS RELEASE issued by Sony Pictures.

The 1968 film musical, based on an Ian Fleming novel for children, was the final non-007 movie produced by Albert R. Broccoli co-founder of Eon Productions. Technically, it wasn’t made by Eon Productions but another Broccoli production company, Warfield. The movie’s crew included a number of 007 film series veterans.

Dana Broccoli, widow of Albert R. Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli produced a London stage production that opened in 2002. A Broadway production opened in 2005.

So, Sony, following the release of 2008’s Quantum of Solace, announced that the studio was developing a new film musical to be produced by Eon.

Film adaptation of REMOTE CONTROL NOVEL: The main subject of the same APRIL 2009 PRESS RELEASE. 

Here’s how the press release began:

CULVER CITY, Calif., April 14 /PRNewswire/ — Building on their successful collaboration on the two most recent and highest grossing James Bond adventures in the history of the franchise, Sony Pictures Entertainment has acquired the motion picture rights to REMOTE CONTROL, a thriller novel by Mark Burnell, to be produced as a feature film by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli’s Eon Productions, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad and Matt Tolmach, presidents of Columbia Pictures. Ileen Maisel will join Wilson and Broccoli in producing the project. Burnell will adapt his novel into the screenplay.

Edward Snowden movie: Announced in May 2014 and reported widely, including this REUTERS STORY that appeared in The Huffington Post.

Sony acquired the film rights to a book by journalist Glenn Greenwald. The studio said Eon Productions would produce the movie, and that Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli would be producers.

A competing Snowden movie, simply titled Snowden and directed by Oliver Stone, and is scheduled to be released on Dec. 25. The Stone movie is based on two other books.

Eon has worked with Sony for the past decade. Sony’s Columbia Pictures has released the last four Bond films, including SPECTRE, due out this fall. Sony’s contract to release the 007 series expires with SPECTRE. Also, Sony executive Amy Pascal was forced out of her job earlier this year following controversies related to last year’s hacking at Sony. Whether any of that affects these projects isn’t clear.

 

007 Magazine examines SPECTRE’s script issues

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No spoilers in this post. You’re on your own if you click on the links.

Graham Rye’s 007 Magazine has posted A LENGTHY STORY about SPECTRE, including A PORTION about script issues involving the 24th James Bond film.

The story by Luke G. Williams is split into two parts. The first sums up production developments involved with SPECTRE. The second part delves into the hacking at Sony Pictures, which caused at least some SPECTRE script drafts and numerous executive memos about the film to become available.

Some of the information about the scripts has been written about by other outlets, but 007 Magazine goes into further details.

The movie’s initial writer was John Logan, who was brought in to rewrite the efforts of Neal Purvis and Robert Wade on Skyfall. With SPECTRE, Purvis and Wade were brought in to revamp Logan’s efforts.

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE for part one, and CLICK HERE for part two. Spoilers are in part two.

SPECTRE and Public Relations 101

SPECTRE teaser poster

SPECTRE teaser poster

It’s been a rough year for Sony Pictures. It got hacked. A lot of its corporate secrets got exposed.

And it has shown Sony (and/or its James Bond partners) are not very good at basic public relations, at least where SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film is concerned. It has trouble effectively communicating basic information such as release dates.

Here’s a step-by-step analysis.

July 11, 2013: The release date is first announced in THIS STATEMENT FROM SONY. It reads in part, ” The film is set for release in the UK on October 23, 2015 and in the US on November 6, 2015.”

So far, so good. But on Dec. 4, 2014, when announcing the movie WILL BE CALLED SPECTRE, Sony adds this detail: ” SPECTRE begins principal photography on Monday, December 8, and is set for global release on November 6, 2015.”

There is no mention of a separate release date for the U.K. Based on this release — put out by the studio releasing the movie — fans conclude there is now a worldwide release date of Nov. 6, 2015.

July 17, 2015: The announcement goes out the movie will have its world premier on Oct. 26, 2015.  The movie will also be available for watching in the U.K. and Ireland the very same day.

That’s different than what was announced in December, but things change. However, the MI6 James Bond site put out this tweet in response to a comment this blog made on Twitter:

In other words, Sony was aware there was a problem, but did nothing publicly to deal with it.

But don’t worry. One James Bond fan site comes along and says Sony isn’t to blame. It’s the fault those who read the Dec. 4 press release and took it at face value.

And to double down, the same fan site makes this remark, letting everyone know of its insider knowledge:

On top of everything else, some time back, the Canadian arm of Sony put out a tweet that gave out a possible SPECTRE spoiler. (Don’t click on the link if you don’t want to know.)

This may all be academic. Sony’s contract to release Bond movies ends with SPECTRE. It’s possible another studio may cut a deal with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to release future 007 films.

SPECTRE world premier set for Oct. 26 in U.K.

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The world premier for SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond movie, has been set for Oct. 26 in the United Kingdom, according to A STATEMENT ON THE OFFICIAL 007 WEBSITE.

Here’s the text of the brief statement:

SPECTRE will have its World Premiere in London on Monday October 26. For the first time ever, the film will open on the same night in cinemas across the UK and Ireland. SPECTRE will then begin its theatrical roll out in territories around the world, including the US, on November 6, 2015.

That’s a bit of a change from before. On Dec. 4, it was announced that SPECTRE would have a worldwide premier date of Nov. 6. Now, the U.K. will get its traditional advanced look at Bond ahead of U.S. audiences.

UPDATE: The folks at the MI6 James Bond website said via Twitter that Sony Pictures told them the U.K. premier was always going to be Oct. 23, despite what Sony said in the December press release (linked above or you can view it again BY CLICKING HERE). That means that the U.K. premier has actually been delayed three days instead of being moved up.

It would seem that Sony could use a PR refresher course: it either sent out incorrect or deliberately false information. Either way, that’s bad PR form.

UPDATE II: For the record this is what Sony said on Dec. 4.

LONDON, UK, December 4, 2014 – 007 Soundstage, Pinewood Studios, London. James Bond Producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli today released the title of the 24th James Bond adventure, SPECTRE. The film, from Albert R. Broccoli’s EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, is directed by Sam Mendes and stars Daniel Craig, who returns for his fourth film as Ian Fleming’s James Bond 007. SPECTRE begins principal photography on Monday, December 8, and is set for global release on November 6, 2015. (emphasis added)

SPECTRE concludes filming, MI6 site says

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SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, concluded principal photography this weekend, according to a story on the MI6 JAMES BOND WEBSITE.

The website said production officially ended on Sunday, July 5, the MI6 site said. Principal photography began Dec. 8, 2014.

The film is the most costly 007 film and one of the most expensive movies ever, with a budget of $300 million or more. It follows 2012’s Skyfall, which had worldwide box office of more than $1.1 billion. The new movie features a revamped version of the SPECTRE organization featured in the early James Bond films.

The end of filming was referenced on social media. Here’s a July 4 tweet from Donald Mowat, a makeup artist:

On July 5, he sent out another Tweet:

SPECTRE is scheduled to be released in early November by Sony Pictures.

Recap of ironic SPECTRE statements

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As SPECTRE is ready to wrap up principal photography, here’s a look back at some statements laden with irony and hidden meaning that weren’t evident at the time.

“John Logan and Sam Mendes have come up with an extraordinary follow up to SKYFALL and we, along with our partners at MGM, can’t wait to share this new chapter with audiences all over the world.” Sony executives Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal in a JULY 2013 PRESS RELEASE.

At the time, there was no script. A treatment arrived in the fall of 2013. Logan didn’t deliver a first draft until March 2014. Because of the hacking of Sony Pictures, it’s now known that studio executives were less than thrilled with what Logan (who always said he was working closely with Mendes) delivered. Logan would later be replaced by veteran 007 scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

A side note: bad publicity from the hacks caused Sony to fire Pascal (something she has publicly acknowledged).

“At the end of the day, it came down to the story…It was a story I wanted to tell.” This was Sam Mendes speaking on Dec. 4, 2014 to ENTERTAINMENT NOW.

At the time Mendes said that, rewrites to fix the last third of the story were being done right up to the Dec. 4 media event that the director hosted. Again, that’s only known because of the hacking at Sony Pictures.

“More pressure.” Mendes again on Dec. 4, on how SPECTRE would have a bigger budget than Skyfall and how it would affect him. With the Sony hacks, it’s known the budget had gone past $300 million, making the 24th James Bond film one of the most expensive of all time.

Sony shows new SPECTRE footage, THR says

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Sony Pictures showed some new footage from SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, at the CineEurope event according to THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Here’s an excerpt from the story as it relates to SPECTRE. Warning: There aren’t many details.

“Who can forget the last James Bond?” asked Sony Pictures president of marketing and distribution Josh Greenstein to the CineEurope crowds at the studio’s presentation on Wednesday.

Skyfall, as he pointed out, earned over $1 billion dollars, but to get the excitement rolling for the 24th 007, Spectre, he introduced Miss Moneypenny herself, Naomie Watts, to debut new unfinished footage that featured the entire top cast of Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Ben Whishaw, Ralph Fiennes and Dave Bautista. “For your eyes only,” she told the assembled audience of EMEA exhibitors.

Presumably, The Hollywood Reporter meant Naomie Harris, rather than Watts, but that’s what the story says.

Users on Internet message boards have speculated this may mean a new SPECTRE trailer could be released soon.

So far, a teaser trailer has been released as well a one-minute commercial during ABC’s telecast of the NBA Finals.

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