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Five studios vying for BOND rights, including Annapurna!


Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. We don't often cover the business stuff here at AICN. For us it's more about the movies themselves or the dream of what they could be versus who signed on with what agency and all that nonsense.

However there are times when you can't celebrate film without talking about the business part of it and this is one of those times.

Contractually, Spectre was Sony's last Bond movie so now there's a bidding war the rights to help pay for and distribute the next James Bond movie. The New York Times has an excellent story on this process that is a little mindboggling.

The five studios in the mix are Sony, Universal, Warner Bros, Fox and Annapurna. That last one is the most fascinating of all since they've focused mainly on being a boutique film financer/distributor (although you can't forget that some of Annapurna's top brass jumped onto the Terminator franchise and we got Genysis out of it).

The crazy part is that MGM and Eon is entertaining these offers for only 1 picture. The last time they did this, Sony got a four picture deal out of it. Even crazier is that these studios are essentially falling over themselves to co-finance these huge movies where they only take a tiny cut of the profits of the movie itself. It's a lot of risk with little reward save for it looking good on them that they're in the James Bond business.

Seeing it as an investment in future movies is something I can wrap my head around, seeing them go through all this for one movie, which may or may not star Daniel Craig, is a bit crazy. How crazy? Apparently Sony's bid for continuing their distribution legacy involved them recreating a set from Dr. No and holding the meeting there. They wanted to show how long the company (back then in the form of United Artists) has been with the series since the beginning.

Anyway, I found this fascinating. I'd be surprised if Sony doesn't hold on to the franchise, but who knows? With the Broccolis still creatively in charge I don't know how much different an Annapurna-produced film would look, but it'd sure be interesting to see that logo pop up at the start of the next Bond movie, would it not?

-Eric Vespe
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