Happy Friday International Insiders, Tom Grater here with your news rundown. It was the week of Bond, can Daniel Craig’s final outing as the globe-trotting spy breathe new life into the beleaguered exhibition sector? To get this sent to your inbox every Friday, sign up here.
‘No Time To Die’ Comes Alive
Bond is back: After what has been the most dramatic will-they-won’t-they since Ross and Rachel in Friends, MGM/Eon/Universal finally took the plunge and released Bond 25 this week, a move that will be salve to the wounds of exhibitors all around the globe. No Time To Die started rolling out on Wednesday in Korea before adding majors including Germany, Brazil and Italy on Thursday. Also opening yesterday was Bond’s homeland the UK, traditionally a box office haven for the spy. A first glance at the numbers, collated here by Nancy, look promising – the film is tracking in line with previous Bond movies, quite a feat considering the ongoing challenges created by Covid. Another interesting tidbit from Nancy’s report – the Cary Joji Fukunaga-directed pic is enjoying the widest theatrical release of all time in the UK with 772 cinemas playing the film. Nancy also had a report from the glitzy, star-studded premiere in London on Tuesday.
The verdict: “Thrilling” and “emotional” was Pete Hammond’s verdict in his review. He was particularly effusive with his praise for Craig’s final outing as Bond, writing that the actor invests the role with “emotion, power and style”. Pete does also note the film’s epic runtime – 2 hours and 43 minutes – which makes it the longest Bond pic in history. Not that you’d expect audiences to find issue with that after such a long wait.
Who’s next? Craig’s final Bond movie hasn’t even made screens stateside yet, but speculation is already rampant about who will take on the character next. The bookies favour Tom Hardy, with Clive Standen, Rege-Jean Page, James Norton, Henry Cavill and Idris Elba all thought to be contenders, while Lashana Lynch is the only female actor listed by most betting companies. The odds are all fairly close, however, with no clear front-runner at this stage. According to producer Barbara Broccoli, the casting process simply hasn’t begun yet. “We want Daniel to have his time of celebration,” She said on BBC Radio 4 this week. “Next year we’ll start thinking about the future.” In another interview this week with Sky TV, Broccoli discussed the next stages for the series, revealing that MGM’s pending new owners Amazon have assured Eon that the future of the franchise is theatrical.
Big deal: We broke news this week of a major shake-up in the representation business – CAA is acquiring rival agency ICM Partners in a blockbuster deal. The agreement is likely to have repercussions across the global film and TV biz. Read this in-depth analysis of the deal put together by five of our best here.
Living In Exile
Oscar plea: Bahman Ghobadi, the award-winning Iranian filmmaker who lives in exile from his home country, penned a letter this week urging the Academy to consider one film from the community of exiled filmmakers each year. He likened the idea to the Tokyo Olympics, where a team of refugee athletes was able to join the competition. Read his full letter here.
Ofcom Diversity Report
Talent drain: A five-year survey conducted by UK regulatory body Ofcom and published this week painted a worrying picture of diverse talent leaving the TV industry, despite the boom in production. Go deeper.
Reaching The Summit
Debating the future: The annual Zurich Summit, an industry event held during the Zurich Film Festival, took place this week with a host of top executives in attendance (not on Zoom). Deadline had reports from panels with MGM chiefs Pamela Abdy and Michael de Luca, who talked about the Bond studio’s commitment to making original stories, and a quartet of top sales, production and distribution professionals, who debated the future of the global biz [pictured top].
Awards circuit: Quick plug for Deadline’s upcoming Contenders London event next week, which will feature the great and good of this year’s awards season being interviewed on stage by our team of crack journos (plus me). More info here.
New Tube: Also in the world of Deadline events, we launched our streaming site for New Tube this week. The inaugural global TV showcase took place last Saturday with top international distribution chiefs, showrunners and talent presenting some of their buzziest scripted and unscripted content to an audience of global buyers, producers and TV executives. Check it out.
🌶️ Hot one of the week: Apple has ordered a four-part doc series about the remarkable rise and fall of Carlos Ghosn, the former Nissan CEO turned fugitive, from an Emmy and BAFTA-winning team.
🌶️ Another one: Steve Coogan will play sex offender Jimmy Savile in BBC One drama The Reckoning.
🌶️ Another one: A documentary about the making of Ghostbusters, featuring interviews with cast and crew, is back underway after a production hiatus of a few years.
🍿 International box office: It wasn’t just Bond this week, Dune is also doing the business at the global box office.
🚚 On the move: Global TV major Fremantle has promoted Andrea Scrosati to the role of CEO Continental Europe, giving him additional responsibility for Fremantle’s businesses in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Nordics, and Poland. Mike Goodridge left his position as artistic director of International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) after four editions. Former Sierra/Affinity exec Kristen Figeroid is rejoining the company as Managing Director and Executive Vice President.
🎦 Trailer watch: Radu Jude’s Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale this year.
Sad news this week when Vic Reeves, one half of the beloved UK comedy duo Vic and Bob [Vic on the left], revealed on the Adam Buxton Podcast that he has an inoperable brain tumor that has left him deaf in one ear. The comedian did however say it was non-cancerous and apparently not an immediate threat to his life. Deadline wishes him all the best.
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