Amazon acquired more than 4,000 movies and 17,000 TV shows when the company completed its takeover of MGM, shelling out over $8 billion in the process, but the major talking point so far has been the future of the James Bond franchise.
Thanks to pre-existing contracts, No Time to Die is coming to theaters this October and will be distributed on home video via Universal, but it’s safe to assume that the previous 24 installments in the series will eventually be added to the Prime Video library. There’s already been a lot of talk about future 007 features being streaming exclusives, too, but it doesn’t sound as though that’ll be the case.
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Producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson said in a statement that they were “committed to continuing to make James Bond films for the worldwide theatrical audience,” and they’ve got a huge amount of power over the property. MGM was in control of the financing and distribution, splitting the profits with production company Eon. However, Broccoli and Wilson still have the final say on the marketing, how the distribution model is put in place and even veto power and approval over the actor playing the secret agent.
While there’s nothing stopping Amazon from developing any number of spinoffs set in the Bond universe, whether they be episodic or feature-length, the producers seem adamant that globetrotting espionage blockbusters will be designed with a theatrical release in mind, although that window could find itself drastically shortened in the future now that Amazon are in charge of MGM. It’s a fascinating situation with a huge number of questions surrounding it, so we’ll be keeping a close eye on what happens from here, not just with James Bond, but all of the major brands currently under the streaming service’s purview.