Spectre is the 24th James Bond film to be released in the major franchise. The previous three films, starring Daniel Craig as the lead, have all been released under the Sony Pictures banner, but Spectre will be the final Bond film that they will distribute. On that note, you know full well that it will be open season for studios trying to seal a deal with MGM and EON to get distribution rights on the franchise. More on the story below.
According to Variety, there will be a huge bidding war for the rights to distribute James Bond. The trade says that Warner Bros. may be the one who gets the deal because of Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has a close relationship with MGM chief Gary Barber. The pair have worked together on the recent Hobbit trilogy and are partnered up to release the Rocky spinoff Creed.
However, Sony isn’t exactly taking themselves out of the running just yet. In 2011, the studio co-finance and distribute Spectre and Skyfall, and gave the rights for MGM to invest on Sonyâ€™s remake of Total Recall, 21 Jump Street, and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This deal may have an influence on who MGM and EON gives the distribution rights to.
Sony CEO Tom Rothman acknowledged that it won’t be an easy battle, and told Variety,
â€œThe reality is that Sonyâ€™s had a fantastic run with the Bonds,â€ said Rothman, adding, â€œSure weâ€™re going to compete for (the rights), but letâ€™s be honest, so is everybody in the business.â€
Another factor that may influence MGM’s decision is the fact that Skyfall grossed over a $1 billion worldwide in 2012. If Spectre is able to repeat that same success, it may be all the more reason for Sony and MGM to make the deal.
One thing is for sure, this won’t be a quick decision. Every major studio will do what it takes to have a lucrative franchise like James Bond under their name.
Spectre opens in theaters on November 6, 2015. It is directed by Sam Mendes.