Don’t even think about it.
Eon bosses Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson released a statement Wednesday saying, “We are committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience.”
As Deadline already told you, the 2021 MGM slate, being released through distribution and marketing joint venture United Artists Releasing, is safe from being jettisoned to streaming — meaning the rest of this year’s openers will get a theatrical release. That includes Eon’s No Time to Die on October 8. Universal has overseas on the film.
While MGM/UA has released a majority of the Bond movies during their nearly 60-year history, Sony handled distribution and marketing on most of the Daniel Craig-starring movies including Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. Skyfall was the highest-grossing title ever in the 007 franchise making $1.1 billion. No Time to Die reps Craig’s final turn as Bond.
The upside here for Amazon in regards to Bond, in addition to gaining access to the $7 billion-grossing feature franchise for its streaming service, is that it will get to reboot the series with a new star, which after its theatrical debut can ultimately appear on Prime Video. Currently, it’s not clear how entangled the streaming rights will be with the older Bond films.
Broccoli and Wilson’s U.S.-based Danjaq LLC co-owns, with MGM, rights to existing Bond films and controls the right to produce future Bond pics. The duo makes all the creative decisions on Bond, including marketing and distribution, and MGM foots the bill.
Broccoli and Wilson have held off on capitalizing on Bond spinoffs in the past, keeping it a pure franchise centering around the main protagonist. There was an attempt after 2002’s Die Another Day to have Halle Berry’s Bond girl Jinx appear in a stand-alone movie, but MGM nixed the project as it was too expensive at the time.