There are few (if any) franchises in movie history that have been around as long, or are as highly revered as the aura that surrounds James Bond; and apparently both Amazon and Apple won’t a piece of the Walther PPK action. Agent 007 first took the silver screen in 1962’s Dr. No and has returned every few years since, with the latest installment being 2015’s Spectre.
Back in 2015, Sony’s agreement to distribute Bond films expired, and MGM has been on the lookout for a new partner. Sony has thrown its hat back in the ring for another go at distributing the films, while Universal and Fox have also reportedly shown interest. The overwhelming favorite, however, is Warner Bros., which has the financial might and clout to make the deal.
But two tech giants are also allegedly in the hunt — and they should be immediately familiar with our readers. Both Amazon and Apple are said to be angling to land the rights to the film. This news comes courtesy of inside sources that have spoken with The Hollywood Reporter.
According to the publication, former Sony Pictures Television execs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht (newly transplanted in Cupertino), are leading Apple’s efforts to close a deal. Amazon has a considerable war chest (that is loaded with cold, hard cash numbering in the hundreds of billions), so if the company were to lose its bid, it likely wouldn’t be for financing reasons.
Amazon’s part in the ongoing discussions is also interesting, but not surprising. The online retail giant has been bolstering its streaming lineup and has many original TV shows and movies to its name. Landing the Bond franchise would just give Amazon more ammunition in its dogged fight with Netflix.
Many see the Bond franchise as an untapped goldmine (or perhaps, Goldfinger) with the potential for spinoffs and possibly even a TV series. To this day, 007’s travails have been primarily been consumed on the big screen. But if companies are willing to drop billions on distribution rights, they are likely to want to milk the franchise as hard as possible, just as we’ve seen for Lucasfilm and Marvel properties.
The Bond franchise is reportedly valued at anywhere from $2 billion to $5 billion.
Image courtesy Mike Mozart/flickr