Look away, this could get ugly.
22 Apr – Five studious are currently having the ultimate death match (well, it's not as bloody as that...not yet, at least) for the rights to "James Bond".
According to the New York Times, the contenders are Sony, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox and, unexpectedly, the relatively new Annapurna, financed and led by Megan Ellison, the heiress of Oracle.
Sony was the last to produce a James Bond film, "Spectre", which was released almost 2 years ago, thus marking the end of their four-film deal. And it's been a while since they've been able to brag about a film that was a hit both domestically and internationally.
Warner Bros. maybe only need James Bond as a safety net, in case one of their current big franchises (i.e. "Fantastic Beasts", "LEGO", "King Kong/Godzilla" and the DCEU) doesn't measure up or drops along the way.
For Universal, the franchise would just be the cherry on top of their already very big and delicious layered cake of franchises that the entire world seems to want a piece of. With the success of "Jurassic World", "Pitch Perfect" and "Fast And Furious", the addition of James Bond could have them giving Disney a run for their money, franchise-wise.
Fox has recently made its mark with hard-core (or at least, PG-13) films, like "Logan", "Alien: Covenant" and "Kingsman". A PG-13 James Bond movie would fit in perfectly.
And lastly, for the ambitious Annapurna, landing a Bond would be transformative and an outright show of force. They're already a force not to be messed with in their own right, with hits like "Her", "American Hustle" and "Sausage Party", but having James Bond in their docket would really kick things off for them.
So which one of you is taking me home tonight?
Meanwhile, the studios that are not stumbling over themselves for 007 are Paramount, probably because they want to focus on getting itself in order since it hired a new chairman; the Walt Disney empire, which has recently been hitting goldmines with their remakes and really isn't in desperate need of another big name franchise; Lionsgate and Netflix.
At the moment, the controllers of the James Bond franchise, MGM and EoN Productions, are putting a one-film deal up for grabs.
Honestly speaking, a one-film contract for a franchise really isn't much but it's a James Bond one-film contract.
In the modern movie business, with record breaking blockbusters coming out year after year, competition is at an all-time high and studios have focused more on producing films that can make it big globally.
And Agent 007 is a globally recognised name, with the franchise generating an average of USD226 million after adjusted for ticket price inflation, as calculated by Box Office Mojo.
At the very least, the winning studio will get bragging rights for being the next studio to release the next James Bond film that is practically guaranteed to be a hit, because James Bond.
Though there have been rumours that people are already hunting for the next James Bond, but no concrete plans have been made or can be made until the rights are in order.
Cinema Online, 22 April 2017