Five Studios Competing To Land Distribution Rights To The James Bond Franchise

James Bond

The race to land distribution rights for James Bond is beginning to heat up – and fast! – what with Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox, and Annapurna all reportedly vying for the IP.

That’s according to a new report from The New York Times, revealing that MGM and Eon, the two companies currently in control of the film rights, are soliciting pitches from all parties – that’s including Sony, which held a deal for the previous four films in the spy series: Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, Skyfall and Spectre. NYT notes that this potential agreement would be for a one-picture contract, meaning it would only encompass the fabled Bond 25.

Putting the Daniel Craig saga to one side for the time being, the release of Spectre was always poised to instigate a sea change for 007, and when news broke that the film rights were about to revert back to MGM after Sam Mendes’ espionage thriller, Hollywood executives started to stand up and take notice. And so we arrive at the current predicament. Granted, no matter how things pan out between MGM, Eon and those aforementioned studios, it’s unlikely the end viewer will notice much of a change. This is more to do with Hollywood’s elite lobbying for control of a lucrative IP – something of a rarity in today’s box office climate.

Going one step further, it’s important to note that the Powers That Be won’t move forward until a deal is firmly locked in, so if you’ve caught wind of potential story clues, cast members and/or locations, it’s likely bogus.

As things stand, Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox and Annapurna are in the process of pitching ideas to MGM in the hope of landing distribution rights to Bond 25. The top prize is a one-picture hold on the James Bond franchise, so there’s every chance MGM and Eon will stage a similar stunt in four or five years’ time. Stay tuned for more.