007 has gone rogue again.
That’s not the plot of Bond 25 (I mean, it probably is) - that’s the state of the series’ distribution, as Sony’s partnership with MGM and Eon ended with Spectre.
This week MGM and Eon are hearing pitches from five studios, and The New York Times has some info on how that’s all going down. And they’ve got some real doozies in there. The highlights:
- MGM and Eon are offering a ONE-FILM deal. Speculate as you like on whether that means they’re launching a new era with Bond 25 or staging a send-off for the current one. (The Times notes that Daniel Craig “has a gap on his docket, according to movie industry databases, that would allow for filming.”)
- Sony’s Kazuo Hirai made the case for returning to Sony - the franchise’s most successful decade in years, a vision for the future - from inside a recreated Dr. No set on a soundstage. You’ll recall Dr. No was Eon’s very first Bond film, featuring a villain in yellowface. No time for problematic legacies; Sony’s got bigger fish to fry!
- The other studios vying for the deal are Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox...and Annapurna Pictures.
That last detail is the most intriguing. Eon has long been a mom & pop (or more accurately, a pop & pop, then a pop & kids) shop; partnering with fellow upstart Megan Ellison might be an attractive option for the Broccolis for reasons professional and personal. Just a couple mavericks, out there making the most enduring franchise in cinema history. For Annapurna it would be an obvious game-changer. And what turns the franchise might take under that partnership - even for one film - are exciting to ponder.