Disney CEO Hints At Buying The James Bond Franchise

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Image via EON Productions LImited

Disney is slowly devouring every IP in the world. With the high-profile acquisition of Fox earlier this year, they’ve added superheroes like the X-Men and Fantastic Four to their catalogue, as well as a number of famous franchises like The SimpsonsAlien, Planet of the Apes and many, many more. But they may not be done yet.

Time Magazine just named Disney CEO Bob Iger as their businessman of the year and whatever your opinion on the artistic merits of Disney’s output or the potential monopoly in one studio owning so many properties, you can’t deny they don’t make money. In 2019 alone, they’ve already had five movies break the $1 billion barrier, with Frozen 2 soon to join them.

Anyways, as part of their interview with Iger, he was asked which future IPs the company is looking to own. He was given the options of Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and James Bond, and his answer was as follows:

“We’re not looking to buy anything right now. But I’ve always been a huge James Bond fan.”

First up, of course Disney is looking to buy new IPs. They always are and will be. Whether they could actually buy James Bond though is a different story altogether. As opposed to other IPs, the rights to Bond have always been rather tricky to pin down. They’re held by EON Productions, created by Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in 1961 to raise money for the first Bond film Dr. No.

That means it’s a family business, now run by Albert’s daughter Barbara Broccoli and stepson Michael Wilson, and they’re notoriously protective of the Bond IP. So, it may prove tricky for Disney to wrestle control of Bond away from the Broccolis (as well as sorting out who specifically owns each existing movie). However, you shouldn’t underestimate the persuasive powers of the Mouse House’s basically infinite financial resources.

Personally, I think it’s unlikely that Disney will buy James Bond anytime soon, but who knows, maybe the next generation of Broccolis might be more receptive?