After several delays, Daniel Craig’s fifth and final James Bond film No Time To Die will hopefully hit UK cinemas on September 30. And as 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the 007 movies, speculation continues as to who the new Bond and what the next reboot will look like. Following Amazon’s acquisition of MGM in an $8.45 billion merger, Bond producers have admitted that the 007 franchise is “at a critical juncture.”
In a statement to The New York Times in a piece about MGM chiefs Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson commented on a 007 future beyond Daniel Craig.
They said: “Mike and Pam understand that we are at a critical point and the continued success of the James Bond series depends on getting the next iteration right and giving us the support we need to to do this.
“Amazon has assured us that Bond will continue to debut in theaters.
“We hope they will enable Mike and Pam to continue to run MGM unencumbered.”
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In May, Express.co.uk spoke to Bond expert and writer Mark Edlitz, who has interviewed key 007 franchise players over the years.
The author of The Lost Adventures of James Bond believes the Amazon deal will have no impact on the 007 film franchise for the foreseeable future.
He said: “It will take some time for the Amazon-MGM partnership to be finalized and to go through the regulatory approval process.
“But more importantly, Amazon did not buy the franchise outright. Amazon has now partnered with EON.”
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Bond fans will know that EON Productions is the British production company that has made the official 007 films since 1962’s Dr No starring Sean Connery.
Now Amazon and EON each own half the rights, but ultimately the latter organization has the final say on changes.
Edlitz continued: “The creatives who work with EON have consistently reported that EON are generous and supportive employees.
“But in the end, EON determines the service. Still, there are many instances where EON has made concessions to support the wishes and mandates of their studio partners. The only way Amazon can fully control Bond is if they buy out EON’s stake in the franchise. I don’t see that happening.”
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Edlitz told us earlier that the Bond producers are not afraid to take risks to develop the 007 franchise.
He said: “Three-time Bond screenwriter Bruce Feirstein told me Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson know where the dead end is in the script phase. While Richard Maibaum, who wrote 13 Bond scripts, talked about the collaborative nature of writing a 007 movie.
“The screenwriter said he would be in a room with producers Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, Harry Saltzman, as well as the director, production designer and editor and everyone would pitch ideas.
“Everyone I spoke to said the producers are working together and welcome new ideas. However, they have been down this road so many times and they have a responsibility to protect the long-term interests of the franchise.”
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Director Danny Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge famously left Bond 25 due to “creative differences”, although Edlitz is in the dark about what went on behind the scenes.
Nevertheless, the author added, “But the Daniel Craig Bond movies took risks that would seem unfathomable to some years ago.”
And on where the 007 franchise might go, he said: “I think EON is clearly interested in experimenting and pushing the boundaries in what is expected in a Bond film.”
No Time To Die will hit UK cinemas on September 30, 2021
READ NEW YORK TIMES ARTICLE HERE
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